When one is asked to attend an online press conference for Anchorman, the irreverent 70s-set comedy with Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, one hopes that one acquires some serious responses. But now, that would be asking too much. So our man in LA, Paul Fischer, was there, asked all the right questions, but may not have acquired the answers he was looking for. And that says it all, as we try and catch up with: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd & Director Adam McKay. Enjoy the lunacy!
McKay: So, once again, I’m Adam McKay, the director.
Rudd: Well. I’m Paul Rudd. I’m also the director.
Ferrell: I’m Jan-Michael Vincent. I’m also the director.
Applegate: Christina Applegate; craft services.
Koechner: Uh, Dave Koechner; staff medic.
Carell: And Steve Carell.
McKay: Who are you?
Ferrell: He did not serve a function on the film. He’s just a good buddy of ours who wanted to be around. He’s a great guy.
Carell: Thank you so much for the gifts. It was really nice. [Surveying our recorders]
McKay: So, um, yeah. Who’s got some questions for us? Anyone want to start off?
Question: This is for Will and Christina.Did you base your characters on any specific Anchors from the 70s, or was it an amalgamation of a lot of people?
Ferrell: I know Christina based her character on you. So, it’s a compliment. I based my character on an imaginary figure by the name of Walter Pinbrook. And Walter Pinbrook was a lieutenant in the French Navy during the 1800s. Not a lot of literature on Walter Pinbrook.No.I didn’t base it on anyone. I didn’t really watch that much tape, either.
Question: Then where did this character come from? You co-wrote the script.
Question: Then where does this guy come from?
Ferrell: Just from Adam and I, we’d get together, we’d get a case of Gin, sit down, and go to our mountain retreat.
McKay: We’d go into a haze not unlike Martin Sheen in the beginning of Apocalypse Now, in the hotel room.
Ferrell: And it gets ugly.
McKay: for a while it gets ugly. We’d punch mirrors, and we’d explore our darker selves.No, it’s just an amalgam of all Newscasters that we grew up with. Sort of like before there was cable, when these guys were gods.
Question: Was there a lot of improv going on during the production of the movie?
Koechner: We were fined if we didn’t follow the script. There was a five-dollar fine meaded out if you did not pronounce every word of the script and take notes on punctuation. Even now I’m not suppose to speak.
McKay: We are scripted for this today. I hope you don’t mind, but there are cue cards behind all of you right here. No.There was tons of improv on this. A lot of it did show up.
Ferrell: Ad-libs. We call them make-em ups sometimes. I don’t know if you want to use that. It’s a technical term.
Applegate: Throw-ins. Make-em ups.
Ferrell: Quipsters. Sure. Silly beans.
Applegate: Oh, God. Sill beans.
Ferrell: The Dark Hand of Thor. It was weird when that one hit.
McKay: Well, they can’t all sound like that. So, we came up with a new one. Spontaneity-ettes.
Question: Adam, can you talk about directing that sort of activity, and trying to keep a through-line throughout the production? We’ve heard that there’s an eight-hour director’s cut of the movie.
McKay: Eight hours? That would be amazing. We did have a four-hour cut of the movie.
(Will Ferrell breathes heavily into the microphone.)
McKay: Will, you’re breathing too close to the mic.
Ferrell: Oh! Sorry.
McKay: When you’re not talking, just stay awake. Pretend to breathe very softly.Yeah, we did. At one point, we had a four-hour cut of the movie. It was all.
(Will continues moaning very loudly into the microphone.)
McKay: (to Will) You’re still too close. We can hear you. Just when you’re not talking, back off completely.
Ferrell: I’ll totally back off. That’s fine. (Will pulls away from the Microphone. He then goes on to stare at McKay with a great deal of anger.)
McKay: We did. We had a four-hour version of the movie that was just littered with cold runs, and stuff like that. (Adam catches Will staring menacingly at him.) Now you’re just mocking me. That’s not even.
Ferrell: No, I was just exhaling.
Question: Do you think we’ll ever see that version of the movie?
McKay: Absolutely not. Next question, please. Yeah, we’re going to put out a DVD with all of it. We literally had enough extra footage that we made another, second movie called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy. That’s right. I’m not kidding. That is not a joke. It’s absolutely true. It’s an hour and forty minute second movie of entirely fresh material that will eventually be put out on DVD.
Carell: And Comedy Central.
Carell: And on Comedy Central.
McKay: Will it be shown on Comedy Central?
Carell: I don’t know.
Ferrell: It will be on the New York Times Discovery Channel. Exclusively, it will run on that.
Question: So you’re committed to putting that out?
McKay: Yeah. They told us they were. I mean, define committed. I chased down Katzenberg and said, “Are you going to put it out?” And he said, “Get off me! Get your arm off me!” I took that as a yes.
Question: Are they going to do more than one DVD release?
McKay: I think they’re going to do one kinda straight-ahead release. Where it’s just a movie with some outtakes. And then they’re going to do a second release. It’s like a two DVD release with a second movie on it.
Question: I want to ask you guys about the big fight scene, and then ask Christina about her fight scene with Will.
Ferrell: We’d rather you didn’t. Let’s move on.
Koechner: May I also mention that buried within this new hour and forty minute movie is an adult film. It’s buried in there, too.
Ferrell: An Adult film?
Koechner: Yes. And we all participated. Just because you see a blacked out line across certain people’s eyes, you’ll know who’s in the orgy.
McKay: So, did you guys actually have a question?
Question: Yes, the fight scene.
Ferrell: Yeah. The fight scene. It happened. You know what. It was an amazing feat that Adam pulled off. I think there was something like sixty set-ups in one day. I believe. With two camera units working simultaneously. We were setting people on fire. And tridents.
McKay: There are rumors that we used a lot of actual dead bodies for the background, which of course is not true.
Ferrell: It’s so not true.
McKay: We did what we needed to do to get it done. If people got hurt, then so be it. You know? That’s what.Never mind.
Ferrell: Oh, and then our fight scene together.
Applegate: Oh, yeah.
Ferrell: It was.
Applegate: Very violent.
Ferrell: That actually took three camera crews.
Applegate: That did take two or three days.
Ferrell: That took two or three weeks. That took most of the shooting schedule.
Applegate: God, we were there for seventeen or eighteen hours. Right? Remember?
Ferrell: At the least.
Applegate: Because Adam was very particular about the part where I had the TV antenna. I guess I wasn’t doing it right. So we had to do that.
McKay: It’s not that you weren’t doing it right. You were doing it wrong. That’s the same way to express two thoughts.But, yeah.We met before this movie for six months, much like the Matrix. They worked out with Martial Arts instructors. We were in Hong Kong for two months working on the wire-fu techniques. Another four months, we all went to Madagascar, and they all became Balinese Mask Makers. That had nothing to do with the movie. I just wanted them all to have that experience. And, then, Steve and Dave actually went to the Brewer’s Fantasy camp. And got to play with the players. Again, nothing to do with the movie. It’s just a neat little side story.
Carell: It was really fun.
McKay: There was a lot of effort. We started shooting this in 89. With an entirely different cast. It was originally Harvey Keitel who was playing Will’s role. It just didn’t work out. We had to re-shoot the whole beginning. At one point, the Philippine government had an insurgency, and they had to take back all our helicopters. So we lost them in the middle of the shoot. Then Martin had the heart attack. And then, remember when Brando showed up three hundred pounds overweight?
Ferrell: I saw that coming.
McKay: That happens to me sometimes.
Question: Did anything funny happen on the set?
Ferrell: There was one.It wasn’t really funny. Paul got into a sticky situation with Border Police down in San Diego. He was at the dog track in Tijuana.
Rudd: It was tough, too. I was in wardrobe, and I didn’t have my passport on me.
Ferrell: You know the dog track in Tijuana, right?
Rudd: Anyway, apparently I’d made this bet. I knew I’d made the bet, and they refused to pay me, even though my dog came in. Because I’d lost my ticket. You have to hold on to your ticket. So I went up there and said, “I’d like my money.” And they said, “Well, where’s your ticket?” And I told them, “I don’t have it, you stupid assholes.” They wanted to see my passport, and I just started swinging.
Ferrell: Along with having a suitcase full of cocaine.
McKay: There are several scenes in the movie that are sorta shot like Game of Death, with Bruce Lee. Where we had to actually transpose a face over a stand-in to have Paul be in it. We hope you can’t tell. But people have told us that you absolutely can tell. It ruins the movie. But we had to get it done. We had to finish. There’s an old expression, “The show’s got to go near the on.”
Ferrell: Yeah. That’s not an expression at all.
McKay: It’s close. The show must go to the on. You’ve got to turn the show on, right? Is that it?
Rudd: I knew it before you actually started saying it.
McKay: The show must go, go, go.
Koechner: That’s it. Yeah.
Question: Will, Entertainment Weekly quotes you as the hardest working man in show business, with eight projects in production. How many of those projects are actually going to get made?
Ferrell: Literally, none of those movies are happening. You know? Sometimes, this is a town based on rumors, and those things just get away from you.
Question: What’s the biggest rumor?
Ferrell: That I’m not gay. And that pisses me off. Because I work hard with my partner Roger, and I.And, uh.You know.Enough said.
Question: How hard was it to get all the cameos together, and did you have to pay them a lot of money? What was involved in that?
Koechner: I think I can field that. It was up to me. They didn’t give me any phone numbers. I had to pay them out of my own pocket. And most of them refused to talk to me the day they were on the set. But they said, “You go do this, or we will cut out every part of the film that you are in.” So I managed to track down all of the stars, and I got them in there.
McKay: Well, originally, Dave came to us with a different list of cameos that wasn’t quite as exciting. Uh, it was the guy that played Schneider on One Day at a Time.
Ferrell: Pat Harrington.
McKay: He got us the original girl from Happy Days with the slicked-back hair. What was her name?
Koechner: Again, I didn’t know her name. I just saw her on the street and said, “Hey!”
Ferrell: Pinky Tuskadaro, I guess.
McKay: We got her. And then we got Steve Garvey. Those were our original three cameos. We went and shot it, and were like, “This isn’t exciting at all.” We didn’t recognize these people, it made no sense.
Ferrell: We had to do lower thirds, “Here comes Steve Garvey.”
McKay: Then Dave says, “I got a surprise for you!” He’d gotten the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans. I was just like, “That’s fucking crazy.” We couldn’t use that at all. Then Judd Apatow, our producer, got on the phone and immediately got Tim Robbins, Vince Vaughn.Everyone just came down within five minutes. They showed up and saved our biscuits.
Koechner: I think the cast I put together actually worked.
McKay: We’ll never really know.
Ferrell: Yeah. We’ll know. It defiantly did not work.
McKay: But we don’t want it to get ugly in front of all these people.
McKay: But, how did we get the cameos? They just came.
Question: You guys are missing a very important part of the cast today, the dog.
Ferrell: Yes. Peanut.
Question: What was it like working with him? You guys had great chemistry together.
Ferrell: We did. Because, I’m professional, I’m allowed to say this. I let him lick my balls. So, that’s what you need to get close with your animal. No, I can say that? Right?
McKay: No. You should definitely not have said that. When that happened in your trailer, when you were doing it, I said, “This is horrifying. All you have to do is hold a little piece of food in your hand, and the dog will come near you.” You said, “No, no.I want to do it this way.” And I specifically said, “When we do the press junket, don’t bring this up.”
Ferrell: I get confused at these things.
McKay: It was the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen. For some reason he insisted on wearing a black hood. He was in a dark room with a red light.
Ferrell: Uh. Strike that from the record. I should not have said that. That was horrible.
Question: How do you feel about being referred to as the Frat Pack?
Ferrell: Well, I love the name. It’s fantastic. It’s catchy. We’ve made over twenty-five thousand T-shirts that say, “Get on board, the Frat Pack train is leaving the station.” We’re going to work on the slogan. But it’s catchy. It’s fun. It’s now.
McKay: Weren’t you talking about how all you guys were going to get really pumped up and cut, then call yourselves the Lat-Pack?
Ferrell: Right. We might go with the Lat-Pack. We might become the News-Pack.
Question: How did Judd Apatow get attached to the project?
McKay: Judd was a political concession that we made to certain powers involved with the release. We did not want him involved with the movie, but the only way we could get financing. It’s a long story. Judd’s uncle owns a German insurance bond. Because of that, he gets attached to a lot of.
Ferrell: It’s the Slesinger fund.
McKay: It’s the Slesinger fund. And because of that he gets attached to a lot of TV shows and a lot of movies. But, he’s harmless enough. Actually, Judd had a lot of input. Judd was great. Judd would, when Will and I would get kind of lazy on the rewrites, come and kick us, and make us do stuff. He had great notes on editing, and gave us ideas. He would be on set, behind the monitor. Occasionally, he would give great directions to throw out. He was, kind of like, unbelievable, actually.
Question: Christina, what was it like working with all these madmen?
Applegate: Well, as you can see, I just kind of kept myself quiet. And I laughed a lot. That’s it. That’s what I did everyday. I didn’t say a word. In fact, I don’t think we ever spoke (points to Steve Carell) through the whole shoot.
Carell: Off camera? No.
Applegate: But, it’s great to meet you today. (Steve stands up and shakes her hand)
Carell: I’m Steve.
Applegate: You are very funny in the movie, by the way.
Carell: Thank you.
Applegate: It was amazing. I mean, look at it. This is what I got to do every day. Laugh this hard. And we did. This is how hard we laughed. People actually had accidents; that’s how hard they laughed. But I won’t mention who.
McKay: We did. We had some accidents. I’m not going to back off it. Three people were set on fire because of laughter. Another time, a bunch of Dobermans got out of a cage because of laughter.
Question: After playing members of the media, do you have a better understanding of what we do? And are there any favorite questions that you are asked by people like us?
McKay: No.Uh.It’s always just fun to say. I’m sorry.
Applegate: He doesn’t know.
Ferrell: Do you have any sympathy for the media?
McKay: The one thing that we noticed was, we were looking back at the old anchors before cable, and assuming that they would be more doddering, and simple. But a lot of the guys we interviewed were actually pretty smart. They were more connected to the Edward R. Marrow tradition. You know. The people now, as far as the anchormen go, are more bent on presentation. And that surprised us. We didn’t expect that.
Ferrell: Wow. That was a serious answer. That was really good.
Question: Do you have a favorite junket question?
Ferrell: Well, we’re just starting. You’re only the second thing that we’ve done.
Applegate: Every question, I’d say, has been pretty stupid.
McKay: What does make us laugh is that people keep asking Paul Rudd if he’s Chinese, which is odd.
Rudd: And the thing that is odd; I’ve never even gotten that question before. But now, it’s been, like, four times.
McKay: What’s it like being of Chinese decent.
Carell: If I hear, “What is your cup size?” One more time.
McKay: A lot of people ask Will, “What did you make last year? Before taxes? After taxes?”
Ferrell: And I love that question.
McKay: He’ll answer it right away.
Ferrell: Uh.Seventy-eight million dollars.
Question: Before or after?
Question: Will you be starting on Bewitched next?
Ferrell: We won’t be starting until September 21st. And we’re kind of working with Nora Ephron on the script a little bit.
Question: It’s a very different interpretation, isn’t it?
Ferrell: Yes. It will be done in a Kabuki theater style. We’re very excited. We’re going to have to learn Japanese. Which, I don’t think. People say it sounds like a huge leap we’re making.
Rudd: It’s not. I’ll help you.
Ferrell: I’m going to work with Paul.
Question: What do you think you can teach Nicole Kidman about comedy?
Ferrell: Uh.You know.I’m not really familiar with Nicole Kidman as an actress. I’ve heard that she’s done some great stuff. And I hear that she’s got a cute little rear end on her. But, aside from that, I’m not really familiar with her.
Question: Steve, you’ve done a lot of newsman roles.
Carell: Yes, I have.
Question: Is there any talk about you heading up your own project?
Carell: Weatherman! Weatherman is in post-production right now. It’s the continuing saga of Brick Tamland. Um.Yeah, there are a few things. And they’re all going to be fantastic. Probably better than everything I’ve done, combined. But I’d like to write some of my own stuff. Because some of the stuff I’m given now is pretty lame. I’d like to put my own vent on something. And watch out.
Question: What is this next project?
Carell: I have to figure that out. I know it will be hysterical. I really want to direct. And do drama. That’s right. I don’t want to do comedy anymore. I just want to do really straight roles. And do choreography. I’d like a cooking show.
Question: Was that your actual voices singing Afternoon Delight? And do you guys have any recording plans?
Ferrell: Those were our voices. And, uh.Unfortunately, what happened.
McKay: They haven’t done Afternoon Delight in a while. They’ve been working on We Built This City. I don’t want to put them on the spot, but I do know they’ve been meeting for five hours everyday, for the past month, working on We Built This City. Do you guys want to give it a go?
Ferrell: We might as well.
Applegate: Ah 1, Ah 2.Ah 1, 2, 3, 4.
(Ferrell, Rudd, Koechner, & Carell harmonizing in high falsetto: We built this city. We built this city on rock and roll. Do, do, do.)
McKay: Stop. Stop. They weren’t ready.
Rudd: It’s early. Maybe after lunch, or something.
McKay: That was bad. That was really bad.
Rudd: The problem was, the first three times we all got together we all argued over who was going to sing the Grace Slick part.
McKay: Oh, okay.Well, to answer your question.Yes, there are several music projects in the works.
Question: An album?
McKay: Oh, yeah.Well, an album. Sort of like, there will be a double album. And then there will be four solo albums. Like when Kiss had one with each of them on the cover. We’ll be doing that.
Question: Is there going to be a tour?
McKay: There will be a tour. There will be an Amusement park. There’s going to be dogs. Which I don’t know how that relates. There’s going to be robots. Everything. That’s it.
Question: Steve, are you going to play anything other than newscaster?
Carell: Nope. This is it. It’s newscasters for the rest of my life. That’s all I’m going to do. That’s all I understand. I think that’s pretty much it for me. That’s my range.
Question: Do you like it?
Carell: No. And you can see that in my performance. I have contempt for all the other actors, except for myself. I deserve a lead role. But I have a three year old and a new born. I have to make ends meet. I resent my wife. You know, for making me work. Why doesn’t she go out and get a job? She’s talented too. She can write, she can do something. She doesn’t do anything. She just sits around eating bon-bons all day, “Oh, I have a three week old. I’m breast feeding.” I’m so sick of that.
McKay: It’s a real problem in our nation right now.
Carell: “Aagghhh! He’s chewing on them!” It’s like, “Well, you know what? You wanted to breast feed.”
Ferrell: And it’s common. I think a lot of families are experiencing that.
Carell: I’ve had it up to here. And the kid? With the crying? “I’m needy! I’m hungry! I’ve a poopy Diaper!” So, pretty much, I’m going to be doing this. Just to get out of the house, essentially.I hope my wife never gets on the Internet.
Question: Steve, you stole a lot of laughs in this film. Where did you find the inspiration to play Brick?
Carell: Do you watch Spongebob Squarepants? Well, the character of the starfish? We’re essentially the same person. Patrick. Thank you. No.I think the inspiration was the script itself. It was such a funny character. And to joke about doing this character for an entire movie would be the worst idea ever. Because it’s the kind of character where very small doses are very funny. But anymore than that would be pretty obnoxious. I was pretty lucky. This script was so funny.
Question: This is for everybody, and be honest. Who kept their wardrobe?
Koechner: Those were my clothes to begin with.
Rudd: I don’t think anybody did, really. We all kept our rings. Our Channel Four rings.
Ferrell: I kept a camera. Yeah, I kept one of the catering tents that you eat under.
McKay: Halfway through the shoot you took that. That was a real problem.
Ferrell: Was it?
McKay: Oh, you know what I kept as a souvenir? I kept a hundred and eighty thousand dollars out of the lock box. And they caught me, I was like, “It’s just a keep sake!”
Ferrell: You wanted a souvenir from the movie.
McKay: I wanted a souvenir from the movie. Yeah. A keepsake.
Question: This is directed at Christina. How did you relate to this character, because I remember you played a babe on a TV show for a long time?
Applegate: It was really difficult because I’m really just limited to that. Anything outside that is like, “Whoa!” Uh. No, I’m kidding. No. I’m serious. No, I’m kidding. I loved playing Veronica. Having watched a lot of footage from that time in the 70s, and watching women as newscasters, I got to have this tape that was behind the scenes. I got to see the dynamic between the men and the women. I loved the idea that these women were just. They were in Hell. I love playing a character that has to overcompensate playing with the boys. That’s a very colloquial answer to that.
Question: Did you ever experience anything like that?
Question: You’ve never experienced sexism?
Applegate: I don’t find it. The casting couch thing is a normal thing, right? I mean; that’s what we do to get jobs.
McKay: Christina, what were some of the non-regional words you’d say to crack us up. You’d do the non-regional pronunciations.
McKay: And you’d say Pin-Da.
Applegate: Pin-da. And Fah-word.
McKay: That would make us laugh.
Applegate: Yeah, I mean, I had to sleep with Adam to get this job. But that’s not sexism. I think that’s just the way the biz goes.
Koechner: That’s not sexism. We all did it.
McKay: It’s about tenderness and understanding. That’s what it’s all about.
Rudd: Earning your keep is what I always call it.
Ferrell: And being filmed. And you literally just sleep with Adam. There’s no contact. You just lie in bed with him.
McKay: I caress you hair and sing German Children songs to you. And I feed everyone cups of honey. And I call them my little boish-doits. And then I cleaned their feet in the morning. There’s nothing creepy about it. It’s just that.
Ferrell: He’ll let you listen to your I-Pod while it happens.
Question: How did you choose San Diego as the location for your news station?
McKay: Originally, it was set in Philadelphia. That was our first choice. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. Those are the anchormen that I remember. Then we went over to Portland. We thought Portland would be good, because we were starting to go West Coast. But Portland turned out not to be a good double for Vancouver. Then we thought, wait a minute. San Diego’s perfect. Because we wanted a mid-market; sort of big, but not too big. Plus Will is almost a disturbingly big Padres fan. That really made it nice for him. And then, I’m really good friends with Doug Fluty. So, it was a great match, and it was a mid-level market.
Question: Will, how did you keep this character going through the end of the day?
Ferrell: Well, I didn’t make it, a lot of the times, to the end of the day. I’d usually check out around 11 am. But that’s just a sidebar. A fair amount of this character was on the page. Just because Adam and I had lived with it for so long, writing it. But Adam’s somewhat unconventional as a director. Because, we kind of do the scene written one time. And then we’d start improvising right away.
Question: How long did this sort of process last?
Ferrell: Well, a take would usually be when the film ran out. And then we’d reset and keep doing stuff over and over again. Plus, Adam, a lot of times, would just yell out great suggestions and lines while we were rolling.
Applegate: They weren’t that great.
Ferrell: You know what? You’re right. They were just borderline horrible. And you’d do it anyway. Then we’d look at each other and go, “Ooh, it’s nothing but hurtful to do this.”
McKay: Do you guys want to take another swipe at We Built This City? I mean, do you think you can do it? I think it was a bit rough last time. Are you ready?
(Ferrell, Rudd, Koechner, Carell, and this time, Applegate, join together for another high falsetto rendition of We Built This City.)
Ferrell: Wait, slow it down.
(They go again.)
McKay: Stop, let’s stop.
Koechner: That was cooking, though. That was really cooking.
McKay: It wasn’t. Because, I can hear it. You know?
(A tape stops)
Applegate: Your tape stopped.
Question: That’s okay.
Applegate: Oh, so you don’t want to tape what we’re saying? I don’t know. I could say something brilliant. This could be the one.
Question: Will, is the next thing you’re doing a drama?
Ferrell: What drama am I doing?
Question: We’ve heard that you are doing a drama.
Ferrell: No, I’m not doing a drama. Bewitched is next. Are you saying that Bewitched is a drama?
Question: I thought you had a drama coming out.
Ferrell: Oh, it’s coming out. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Question: How different was it working on that?
Ferrell: It was.You know, I don’t know if it was that different. Because the role is slightly comedic within.Winter Passing is what I believe you are referring to.But, uh.It’s the same approach. I play a deaf, blind mute. So, I don’t really say anything. I just lie there, motionless. And they cut to my hand on occasion.
Koechner: I’ve seen an early cut, and it’s still fascinating.
Ferrell: Thank you.
McKay: If I could, just for one second.I don’t know if this is awkward to do. Paul asked me.
Rudd: No. No, I didn’t.
McKay: Paul’s a leading guy. He’s been in a lot of movies. It’s a big deal. We know Will’s a big deal, but Paul’s also a big deal.
Question: I would like to ask Paul a question.
McKay: Well, then, this is great. Because he really asked me. He said, “This is bullshit. I’m a big deal. This is all about Will.” So, great, a question for Paul Rudd, at long last.
Question: What is the big difference between working in this and working.
Koechner: I’d like to answer this for Paul. Paul and I are from the same region of the country. I think that says it all.
Question: Paul, what’s it like working on something like this, where a lot of it’s improvised, compared to working on something like The Shape of Things, where you’re performing the same stage play every night?
Rudd: Well, with this one, because there was so much improvisation, it was really fresh. And fun. When I was doing Shape of Things, which I’d done as a play, it was just so tired by the time we rolled tape.
Ferrell: Only questions for Paul Rudd from now on.
Question: This question is for everyone, starting with Paul. Can everyone please tell me their favorite Seventies memories?
Ferrell: Well, you know, it’s funny.
Rudd: Damn it, Will.
Applegate: We’re supposed to start with Paul.
Ferrell: I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening.
Rudd: Well, Dave.Do you want to take that?
Koechner: Dave’s favorite Seventies memory was the move from New Jersey to Kansas City, Missouri. He cried. They took a long car trip, and he cried the entire way. I grew up with Paul. We’re actually brothers. That’s how I know what his favorite memories are.
Rudd: Dave’s family took me in at a very young age.
Ferrell: Do you know what my favorite Seventies memory was?
Applegate: What, Will?
Ferrell: This is going to be good, too. This is going to be good.
McKay: He actually told me this before. This is going to be really good. Sir, do you want to restart up your tape recorder here? Do you want to put fresh tape in the cameras?
Koechner: No, shut them off. Shut them all off.
Ferrell: Should we take a fifteen-minute break and come back?
Applegate: Just say it.
McKay: Say it now.
Ferrell: When you used to watch football games, and the guy with the rainbow wig.
Ferrell: What? The rainbow wig guy.
Applegate: John 3:16.
Ferrell: I thought that was going to be bigger.
Koechner: I want to know Paul’s.
Applegate: Shhh, I’m talking. I was an infant. Unlike all of them, I was very young. I was born in 1982. Write that down. Quote me on that. That’s how old I am. Go!
Koechner: I just want to hear Paul Rudd’s favorite memory.
Rudd: Seventy-Six. Battle of the Network Stars. I was just a kid, watching it on TV. And they were doing a tug-of-war. And Adrienne Barbeau was on the right side. And she was pulling pretty hard. She was really giving it her all. And then they cut over to the other side, and it’s Ed Asner, which is funny, because this movie we’re taking about is Anchorman, and Ed Asner was the Anchorman during the tug-of-war.
McKay: That’s weird.
Rudd: That is weird, right?
Ferrell: That’s nice to tie that all together.
McKay: That’s magic.
Rudd: And they wound up winning. And they were all very excited about it. And I was really happy for them. I don’t know. I guess that’s my favorite memory from the Seventies. I was in the closet most of the rest of the Seventies. Dave’s parents, once they took me in, wouldn’t let me out in the sun too much.
Question: When did you come out of the closet?
Rudd: I came out of the. Whoa.
Applegate: Ahhh! Bah-dump-bump!
McKay: With my memory, it’s a pretty quick one.
Applegate: They weren’t asking you.
McKay: He said everyone. It’ll be quick. Mine was Seventy-Four, at the end of the Vietnam War. I was two years old, and the image of the helicopters being pushed off the aircraft carrier. And it just hit me. I’m sitting there, two years old, with a Popsicle, and I’m just thinking, “This is the end of an Empire.” I mean, we went there with these political goals, this post-World War 2 paradigm, and this paradigm is shattering in half right in front of us. That, and then Hong Kong Phooey.
Ferrell: Are you serious? I mean, you were only two. And that’s what you were thinking? That’s amazing.
McKay: Yeah. You can talk when you’re two. You’re not an idiot when you’re two. I remember, I got on the horn with Kissinger, and I said, “Henry, what have you done?”
Carell: Are you serious?
McKay: I said, “This madman theory.You were the madman!” That’s all it was.
Carell: Adam, let me just say that a lot of this has been lighthearted. But this is really amazing.
McKay: Yeah. I had a direct line to Henry Kissinger. I was two. Yeah, I worked for Carter’s campaign when I was eleven. I was pretty active in the Seventies.
McKay: Yeah, when I was three, I became Secretary of the Interior.
Koechner: Were you like a ghost Secretary?
McKay: No, it was me. If you look at old photos, there’s a three year old up there.
Rudd: In a Batman shirt.
Question: Christina, what’s your next project?
Applegate: Right now, I’m going to New York to star in Sweet Charity.
Question: How are you preparing for that?
Ferrell: Be sure you stretch.
Applegate: Yeah. I am. This is really difficult, and absolutely insane to do. But I’m just training right now.
Question: Do you think you’ll work with your husband anytime in the future?
Applegate: Maybe. You know? I love my husband. I want to keep my relationship. I’m afraid if we did a movie together, that might not happen.As we’ve seen with other couples.
Question: What’s next for the rest of you?
Koechner: I’m going to do Sweet Charity on Broadway for about nine weeks.
(There is a long silence)
Ferrell: No one else has anything? God, what a sad answer that was.
McKay: The whole group is not doing well.
Applegate: What the hey? Summer Vay-Kay.
Ferrell: I’m working on Bewitched. What are you doing?
McKay: Bewitched. Will and I are actually working on our next project. Talladega Nights, about racecar drivers.
Rudd: I’m actually going to go see Christina in Sweet Charity somewhere in the course of nine months.
McKay: That’s it. Good-bye.