Saturday, March 1, 2008

Will Ferrell...is not Funny

There, I said it. It took me a while to come to terms with this, both as someone who until recently, hadn't thought about Will Ferrell in a very long time, and as someone who once upon a time, was an avid fan. I recently saw Semi-Pro, his latest offering under extreme duress. I was told I was a snob (heh, a "pretentious know it all" if you will) for not wanting to see this film. The only other people in the theater besides myself and my kidnapper were a group of boys, no older than thirteen, who had obviously snuck in (more on that later).

I don't know exactly when it was that Will Ferrell stopped being funny...wait, yes I do. It was sometime around here:




This was back in 2004, a year after Old School. I remember watching Anchorman and thinking that something felt...off. The jokes were landing a bit heavier, the plot was feeling a bit thinner. The one good thing I can say about Anchorman was that it introduced the world to Paul Rudd as a comedic actor--and the payoff from that has been exponential for him. And yes, I suppose it gave Steve Carell a boost he needed, though truth be told, outside of an Office setting I'm getting a little sick of him too. I digress.
I wisely avoided his 2006 offering, Talladega Nights after hearing from a friend "It was kind of funny, but not as good as Anchorman." That was enough for me. The only thing that made Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory (again, watched it under duress) mildly watchable was pairing him against Jon Heder, who is quite possibly the only comedic actor in Hollywood more stale and one-note than Farrell.
After seeing Semi-Pro, I've sort of come to the realization that titles this
post...Will Ferrell isn't funny. It's a Will Ferrell comedy, so you know you're going to get the following staples:

  1. Ferrell yelling, and throwing/kicking/hitting things
  2. Ferrell playing an ultra-macho, blowhard with little to no grasp on reality AND...
  3. Ferrell at least partially naked, inexplicably, contextually or otherwise. I suppose this is actually an extension of #2, because seriously, is there anyone more obsessed with his or her own body than Will Ferrell?
There are probably more, but I won't bother with listing them all, nor will I bother even trying to explain the inane plot of Semi-Pro. It was like watching deleted scenes on the special features of a DVD for a much funnier movie. You kind of chuckle, but ultimately you say "Yeah, I can see why they cut that out." That, and every single scene in the film had almost nothing to do with the scene that preceded it. When a group of thirteen-year-old boys aren't even laughing, is it still pretentious to say that Will Ferrell isn't funny? Can we speak honestly and just admit that it's all getting a little old? Especially since we've seen films like Stranger than Fiction and Winter Passing and know that Will Ferrell can at least kind of act? This left me longing, not for the days of Old School (which was more of the same, we just didn't know it yet). But whatever happened to the Will Ferrell, who played the most popular high school boy in a little film called Superstar? The Will Ferrell who was inventing dances, and barely raised his voice above normal-speaking level (loud does not equal funny. That's painfully clear now). I'm not deluding myself into thinking that Superstar was a piece of comedic genius. But it has more charm than it's given credit for. More than any Will Ferrell movie released since then, and certainly more than Semi-Pro. I'll take Superstar, dance-inventing Will Ferrell over loud, kicking and screaming, retarded temper-tantrum Will Ferrell any day.

You know what, scratch that. I'll take neither.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can honestly agree with what you have said.I would prefer to eat broken glass instead of watching Ferrell in anything anymore. I appreciate that there are differences in humour between U.S and U.K and understandably he has a larger fanbase in the States but I can't find him funny in anyway.
I think both he and Jim Carrey are on borrowed time which may not be a bad thing!

Doug said...

I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who dislikes Will Ferrell. I cannot stand him and can't understand why anybody thinks he's funny.

Fred Derf said...

Plain and simple: Will Ferrell sucks.

Anonymous said...

I just HAD to write this down somewhere, I never find Ferrell funny in anything. I love comedy, offbeat stuff, even slapstick but this guy is just not funny, in any way...

Matteus said...

Thank you sir, for saying what we've all been thinking...this guy is just not funny. The only thing he represents is the gradual dumbing down of society in general. I cannot fathom how this man keeps finding work...sigh.

Anonymous said...

A petition should be initiated to demand a federal law prohibiting Ferrell from ever making another movie or TV appearance. I could NEVER stand him from the first moment I saw him on SNL. As another poster noted, his "comedy" serves only to further the dumbing-down of society.

Anonymous said...

I could not disagree with you more. In my honest opinion Will Ferrell is one of the funniest actors in modern media, and has been for some time. His humor has never gotten old in my opinion and the more I see him the funnier he gets. I agree with Jim Carrey's career in comedy drastically dumming down, but I still think Will Ferrell is going strong and has many hilarious films.

Grenn said...

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Will-Ferrell-is-NOT-FUNNY/172836258259

Anonymous said...

I would compare Will Ferrell to Durward Kirby, able to survive in show business without any discernable talent. He must have something "on" somebody.

Anonymous said...

Will Ferrell is every bit as funny as Dane Cook which is to say - not at all. The next time either of them is funny will be the first time.

Anonymous said...

Hard to choose between the worst, Ferrel or Tina Fey.

BrianJBean said...

I am so glad I am not the only one who detests Will Ferrel's brand of anti-comedy. He is a disaster of a comedic actor. He never comes off as the character he portrays. He is always just Will Ferrell-trying-to-be-funny and nothing is more obnoxious than the obnoxious a-hole who thinks he's funny.

Anonymous said...

To sit though a Will Ferrell performance is like undergoing a simultaneous colonoscopy and root canal. He almost single handedly derailed Wedding Crashers. The words "Ma! Meatloaf!" are now known to cause convulsions. When he received MTV's first ever "comedic genius" award, I wondered if perhaps the Mayans were only a year off with that calendar of theirs.

Jake Werkmeister said...

"Loud does not equal funny" was what came to mind the first time I saw him on SNL. I enjoyed Anchorman, but that's primarily for the rest of the ensemble. Farrell had a few laughs, but he's a one trick pony. Either you like that, or you don't. I personally don't care for him, but will acknowledge that 1 out of 60 of his jokes will be funny. Those other 59 are extremely painful.

swalker18 said...

I knew the guy wasn't the least bit funny when he was doing the cheerleader skits on SNL. Irritating to watch, but not funny in the least. He's selling Dodge vehicles now, unreal.

Anonymous said...

I think to me the worst part of Will Farrel is he never drops the fact that he is "acting". He always does all his lines as if he is always perfectly aware he is being shot at and thus mugs as much as possible.

The only way he could get worse is if he actually looked at the camera. So I guess a point in his favor, he could be worse.

Anonymous said...

With all the hype for Anchorman 2 and I do mean ALOT OF HYPE you just know this movie is going to tank. The studio is hoping to make all their $$ back the first weekend because after that the movie is dead in the water.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with Will Farrell is that he has no sense of humor. He appears to be some kind of middle class humorless former HS athlete who accidently discovered that there was money in entering some kind of show business and has managed to meet the right people and now feverishly struggles to keep making money. He has no idea of what comedy is about. He reminds me of that pitiful comedian named Blake Clark who lives off the few part time jobs that his buddy Adam Sandler gives him. Farrell might be good in a serial killer role since he has a creepy and demented look on his face.

AutumnFire said...

Thank goodness there are others who feel the same as I do! His 'humor' has always made me either cringe or scratch my head wondering why he seemed like he was waiting for me to acknowledge his performance. I know it's all a matter of perspective, but I just can't stand him. What's worse is being bombarded by all the Anchorman 2 commercials on TV. Please, stop!

IndieB said...

Yes! Completely agree. He's not funny at all! Neither is Jim Carey..I do enjoy a comedy but those two boggle my mind how they're popular! Yawn! Lame, witless humour.

Anonymous said...

I wondered why I was not laughing, I mean people sing his comedic praises so often, but I realized it is not I who suffers from a lack of humor but Will Ferrell himself. I felt shame because I didn't laugh when all my dingaling friends roared with laughter. WF is a moronic humorless witless doofus and I feel free now to publicly show disdain for his incessant humorless dribble. Thank God I am not alone in the "Will Ferrell is not even remotely funny" club. I suspect his overt desire to be applauded for his "efforts" is the result of his subconscious knowledge that he is at best a hack and his days are numbered in the comedic actor genre. "These are my opinions and my best advice would be to stretch your wings WF and try something new. Let people forget about how NOT funny you are and come back with a psychological thriller or a gripping dramatic piece that reestablishes you as an actor instead of a sketch comic who struggles for even mediocre laughs on screen. If you trust your comedy skills, let someone else write the jokes and see if you can pull them off...now that would be hilarious!"

Anonymous said...

Agreed Will Ferrell is about as funny as a broken leg. I love the new commercial where they say "go ahead, I dare you not to laugh at will Farrell" Pathetic.!

Ed said...

I agree. I thought he was OK in Ricky Bobby but how many times can you do exactly the same thing?
I wouldn't even call him an actor he just plays himself in every movie, a loud idiotic obnoxious moron who seems to be mentally retarded. It is getting very stale.
Seeing the Anchorman 2 ads just made me realize how unfunny and annoying he is.