Yes, this article is about Will Ferrell, and by no means has he ever taken part in any movie considered the greatest ever made. But he stands tall next to contenders like Leonardo DiCaprio when discussing the most cherished actors of our generation. We knew Ferrell was destined for greatness the minute we saw him dancing to a certain Blue Öyster Cult song with his fat muffin-top belly hanging out. The guy’s a loud, hairy, slack-jawed oaf and that’s precisely why he’s the funniest actor working right now.
Since we’re all still recovering from the grueling Ron Burgundy Appreciation Month, here are Ferrell's best roles that we often overlook but still make us wet our jockeys:
5. Steve Butabi – A Night at the Roxbury (1998)
Best Quote: After repeatedly making siren noises, “That’s an ambulance coming to take me away ‘cause the sight of you stopped my heart.”
After films like The Ladies Man and MacGruber, it’s easy to see why movies based on SNL skits are often compared to food poisoning. On the whole, A Night at the Roxbury is no different. But the movie isn't without its hilarious moments, thanks mostly to Ferrell’s and co-star Chris Kattan’s pathetic, self-deprecating characters. Watching Ferrell repeatedly fail at picking up women in tune to none other than “What is Love” will stand the test of time. The movie screams ‘90s and we know the Internet just can’t get enough of that shit.
4. Big Earl – Starsky and Hutch (2004)
Best Quote: “First, I need to see something, okay? And it’s gonna involve both of you. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s gonna get weird: two dragons.”
Just ask Zach Galifianakis: if you’re a big, hairy dude in Hollywood, you’re gonna be cast some pretty weird roles every once in a while. Producers do this because, unfortunately, you really look the part. Big Earl’s multifaceted creepiness—biker appearance, obsession with dragons, aggressively gay tendencies—make this role one of Ferrell’s most memorably brief appearances. As with Wedding Crashers, his 10 minutes are the best 10 minutes of the movie.
3. Nick Halsey – Everything Must Go (2011)
Best Quote: “What’s, what’s normal? That guy, Stanley-what’s-his-name, down in the blue house, his wife blew her brains out last month ‘cause their daughter didn’t make cheerleading. Kenny practically lives by himself. Elliot and Kitty? I can’t even tell you what they do. I’m no different than any of you. I just don’t hide in my house, okay?”
I never saw Stranger Than Fiction, so Everything Must Go was the first time I’ve witnessed Ferrell step out of his obnoxiously goofy comfort zone. And he surprised the hell out of me. In a nutshell, the movie’s a study of white-collar sadness, shouldered by Ferrell’s blindsiding performance as an alcoholic who loses his job, home, and wife. I went into this movie thinking it’d be either extremely boring or just plain dogshit, but he definitely didn’t disappoint. Keep giving the guy these types of roles, expand his range, and he’ll be on Bill Murray’s level soon enough.
2. Jackie Moon – Semi-Pro (2008)
Best Quote: “In the annals of history people are going to be talking about three things: the discovery of fire, invention of the submarine, and the Flint, Michigan Mega Bowl.”
This is not only the second-most underrated Will Ferrell role but probably the most underrated sports comedy of all time. RottenTomatoes gave it a 21% critic rating and 38% audience approval rating. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT? Everything about this movie was absolutely uproarious—all the idiosyncratic characters played so idiosyncratically by a group of idiosyncratic actors.
Seriously, though, the cast, ranging from André Benjamin to Andy Richter (Conan must’ve let him out of the cold, wet dungeon for some fresh air), gave the film a distinct, diverse humor. No, that’s not a race thing.
1. Jacobim Mugatu – Zoolander (2001)
Best Quote: After poking girl with a pin, “Oh, I’m sorry, did my pin get in the way OF YOUR ASS? Do me a favor and lose five pounds immediately or get out of my building like now!”
Fuck the fluff. I’ll simply spout off the three reasons why this rides the golden chariot in to first place: the dude’s first name is Jacobim for God’s sake; it’s arguably the loudest and most “switch-hitting” comedic role ever performed by man; and never have I ever seen such a huge asshole of a modeling agent on screen (as made abundantly clear by the best quote).
*drops mic on stage like Jackie Moon after Dukes makes the Moon Shot*