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April 27, 2001

News:

Will WINS!!...
Will Ferrell was the winner in the category "FUNNIEST MALE PERFORMER IN A TELEVISION SPECIAL" at the 15th annual American Comedy Awards. He beat out the likes of Billy Crystal, Gary Shandling and Jon Stewart for the award. He was honored for his work on the network special "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2000."

His acceptance speech was one of the funnier ones of the night as he was delayed from speaking at the microphone with a mouth full of food. When he was finished chewing, he said that he wanted to share the award with Darrell Hammond for his portrayals of Al Gore and Bill Clinton. He thanked everyone who worked at Saturday Night Live, including "Lonnie" Michaels.

He finished by thanking his wife because she had "a sweet little ass."

You can catch the American Comedy Awards when they're rebroadcast on Comedy Central Friday, April 27th at 9:00 PM, and on Saturday, April 28th at 1:00 PM.

 

Website News:

Updates...
The lack of updates, for those that have asked, is due to th oldest excuse in the book: I'm a friggin' busy guy. Aside from my regular 9-5 job, I'm also a freelance artist on the side so sometimes I have quite a bit on my plate.

Rest assured, though, Planet Will is still alive and well, even if Will has only gotten back to me one in the 4 years this site has been around. No worries, though, as I've got some things started to update this site with in the near future, not the least of which includes fixing the Message Boards and the Guestbook, adding a news archive section, and, oh yeah, BRINGING BACK THE VIDEO SECTION! Stay tuned for that!s

Talk to you all later.


February 25, 2001

Website News:

Video and audio problems...
As a reminder: problems with bandwidth persist and are keeping the video and audio sections out of commission for the time being. Thanks, again, for your patience. I'm hoping that a solution will present itself soon.


February 8, 2001

Will and George:

Bush is a Burden for Ferrell
from Jim Rutenberg / New York Times

PThe television set anchored to the wall in Will Ferrell's "Saturday Night Live" dressing room at NBC was tuned to the Fox News Channel; George W. Bush was on the screen, taking the presidential oath.

Mr. Ferrell, who has been impersonating the new president for national audiences since early last year, watched his subject with a slight grin on his apple-pie face. As Mr. Bush held up his right hand, Mr. Ferrell did the same. In a mild, dress rehearsal- level mimicry of the new president, Mr. Ferrell said in mock fear: "This is it. There's no turning back. It's happening."

He dropped his hand, sat down in front of his mirror, popped a grape into his mouth and shook his head in a mix of disapproval and bewilderment. But there was also excitement.

For Mr. Ferrell, 33, the inauguration of Mr. Bush was a moment of ambivalence. He was fairly open about it: he voted for Vice President Al Gore and he has big questions about Mr. Bush's preparedness for his new job.

But then Mr. Bush's election campaign, with all of its twists and turns, has given an enormous boost to Mr. Ferrell's already healthy career as a comedian. He now stands as the leading impersonator of the commander in chief, as a definer of President Bush for the popular culture at large. He takes the reins from his "Saturday Night Live" co-star Darrell Hammond, impersonator of President Bill Clinton.

It is an oddly burdensome role that Mr. Ferrell said he was not necessarily comfortable with: the kind of burden, he said, that can kill a good comedy routine.

"In this job, you can't really worry about that kind of stuff that much," he said. "I just view it as doing another character on the show."

Yet Mr. Ferrell is aware that despite decades of political theater - with Rich Little impersonating President Richard M. Nixon and Vaughn Meader as President John F. Kennedy - perhaps no other comedic bits have had more national news exposure than those performed on "Saturday Night Live" by Mr. Ferrell as Mr. Bush and by Mr. Hammond as Al Gore during the election.

Chevy Chase is remembered by those who saw him during the early glory days of "Saturday Night Live" as a hilarious impersonator of President Gerald R. Ford as an uncoordinated bumbler, a routine that was funny partly because it made no attempt to portray the man in any other sense. His colleague Dan Ackroyd played a mean and scheming Nixon and a pious Jimmy Carter. Years later Dana Carvey offered a signature impersonation of the first President Bush, who ultimately invited him to the White House. That was about as far as political humor traveled into the news realm.

But Mr. Ferrell and Mr. Hammond's recurring act as Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore was born in an age of three 24-hour cable news channels, one of which, , MSNBC, is owned by their network. And it was extended by the dispute over voting results, news about which the nation simply could not get enough. (Propelled by the election skits, "Saturday Night Live" had its biggest ratings in six years.)

Their routines were played and replayed on the broadcast and cable news programs, with their impact snowballing to the point that both Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore showed up to make fun of themselves on a "Saturday Night Live" prime-time election special in November. It was the first appearance on the show by presidential candidates in "Saturday Night Live's" history. Mr. Gore's aides even showed him a tape of the sketch that ran after the first election debate to help him prepare for his second encounter with Mr. Bush.

"I think if you look at it historically, cartoons and popular caricatures have always had a big impact on presidents," said Michael Beschloss, the presidential historian. "Now you have to multiply that by about 50 because of the force of television, where it is replayed and replayed."

Mr. Beschloss said that comedians in general - like Jon Stewart, Jay Leno and David Letterman - may have also assumed a greater role in this election year because times were relatively good for the nation.

"In an era where we're not dealing with the cold war and not, thank God, dealing with the Depression, other voices come into the dialogue and loom larger than they might have during a grave time," he said.

These comedic voices are rarely, if ever, flattering.

Mr. Hammond's Al Gore had somewhat slurred speech and the condescending air of the nerdy smart kid who is universally disliked by classmates. Mr. Ferrell's George

Bush was an inarticulate, squinty- eyed frat boy doing his best to fake his way through final exams. Mr. Ferrell's Mr. Bush promised to emerge from the election process "victoriant"; his one-word election mantra was "strategery." In a recent skit in which Mr. Gore and the president's brother, Gov. Jeb Bush, are shown debating the country's future, Mr. Ferrell's George Bush is in the corner of the room playing with a ball of string like a cat.

Though his portrayal may well have capitalized on a negative image of Mr. Bush that had already taken shape on its own in some circles, it helped fix it in the public mind.

"I think it's going to be very hard for Bush to get away from the image that this guy has created for him in people's minds," said Eric Foner, professor of American history at Columbia University.

Both he and Mr. Beschloss suggested that Mr. Bush would be able to counter it by making joking references to Mr. Ferrell's act or by embracing Mr. Ferrell at a public event. While Mr. Bush did join in when he visited "Saturday Night Live" (he said he was "ambilavent" about the appearance because some of the show's material has been "offensible") Mr. Ferrell said that a public embrace seemed unlikely.

"Let's just say I don't think I'll be going up to Kennebunkport," said Mr. Ferrell in a reference to the Bush family's Maine vacation home. The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment on President Bush's view of Mr. Ferrell's caricature.

Mr. Ferrell said that his decision to be open about his low regard for Mr. Bush did not come lightly. He said he recognized there was "a fine line" he had to walk, although he does not consider himself a highly political person. But he added: "You shouldn't have a problem being political, expressing yourself. It's funny in the stories and stuff; I don't know whether to be unabashed about that or not, but, yeah, I didn't vote for him."

His general description of Mr. Bush? "Let's just put it this way: I wouldn't be surprised if this is, like, just a stepping stone on his way to being commissioner of baseball.

It's just like, `O.K., I'll do this for a while.' " Addressing television critics this month in Pasadena, Calif., Mr. Ferrell said, "I think he's probably drawing up plans to set up a mechanical bull in the Oval Office."

 

This perspective informs the Mr. Bush that Mr. Ferrell plays on the program, although the skits are written by others before being customized by the comedian. For instance, in the "Saturday Night Live" sketch based upon the first debate between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush, Mr. Ferrell's Mr. Bush was slow to answer questions, and steadfastly avoided saying too much lest he misstate a fact.

"If you noticed in the debates, he took these long pauses, which some people, I'm sure, read as wisdom," Mr. Ferrell said. "But I just read it as, like, `I'm . . . trying . . . to . . . think . . . what . . . I'm . . . supposed . . . to . . . say.' "

Mr. Ferrell said he did not consider his portrayal of Mr. Bush a dead- on imitation and that he did not bring the sort of precise observation to his act practiced by Mr. Hammond, who studies hours of tapes for facial tics and idiosyncrasies of speech.

He said he tried instead to capture the essence of Mr. Bush's mannerisms. "I try to get as good as I can, and then I kind of almost throw it out, and then I go on just

mannerism and what comes to me comedically in terms of attitude and play it that way," he said. "I don't sound that dead-on like him. It's a blending of trying to get his

facial stuff down and just kind of like the beady eyes and his mouth kind of droops a little bit."

Now that Mr. Bush has emerged the winner, Mr. Ferrell is often asked to appear on political talk shows to offer his insights into the man.

He has been refusing many such requests, he said. Mr. Ferrell, who six years ago was a relatively obscure comic with the Groundlings improvisational group in Los Angeles, is clearly uncomfortable with this new role.

Mr. Ferrell has been used in a variety of roles on "Saturday Night," none of which has greatly upstaged any other. He is as well known for his impersonation of Attorney General Janet Reno as he is for his role as Craig, the annoying cheerleader, which he said is the way he wants it. He fears that the Bush act could impinge on his comedy, he said, and dictate the future of his career. Recently he has begun crossing over into movies: he was a co-star on "A Night at the Roxbury" and will appear in the forthcoming Kevin Smith film, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and in Ben Stiller's film "Zoolander." He also supplies the voice for one character in a new WB network animated series, "The Oblongs".

"I think that the tendency is to be like: `Whoa! You're so lucky! You get to do the president,' " he said. "But I've seen how, like, you can just get kind of railroaded into doing the one thing." Still, he said, "It has definitely, on some level, been the most exciting role in terms of the attention."

As for what he expects of his Bush act in the future, Mr. Ferrell said he sometimes wondered if the act could replicate the highs it reached during the election campaign and its aftermath. "Sometimes, it is, like, `Wow, I wonder if we kind of got as close to the sun as we're ever going to get,' " he said.

Ultimately, Mr. Ferrell said, it is up to President Bush. "He's really going to determine it, in a way," he said. "If he's going to keep making news, we'll keep doing stuff."

Website News:

Video and audio problems...
Problems with bandwidth persist and are keeping the video and audio secions out of commission for the time being. Thanks for your patience.


February 3, 2001

Website News:

Video and audio problems...
The video and audio sketches are currently down in the MULTIMEDIA section. I'll let you know when they're back up.


January 20, 2001

Update:

Videos added...
6, count 'em, 6 new videos added to the VIDEO section!

News:

Ferrell Not Stating for Bush?
from saturday-night-live.com

Will Ferrell isn't sure if he'll be sticking around for the entire George W. Bush administration -- four more seasons would make him the longest-standing "SNL" cast member ever.

"I don't want to be the guy who's been graduated from high school for two years and is still hangin' out in the parking lot looking for girls," Ferrell tells The Dallas Morning news. "It's an interesting show to be a part of. Some people leave too early, some people stay too long. At a certain point, you kind of have to graduate."

Ferrell says he's been studying Bush's mannerisms when he has the chance, but basically views the incoming leader of the free world as "just a character I play on the show."

Ferrell, Morgan Strike Back
from saturday-night-live.com

Will Ferrell and Tracy Morgan are among the stars of writer/director Kevin Smith's next film, "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back."

The plot of the Dimension Films project remains shrouded in secrecy, though producers referred to the film as the final installment of Smith's so-called New Jersey chronicles, which includes "Clerks," "Mallrats," and "Chasing Amy." Shannon Elizabeth, Judd Nelson, George Carlin, Jason Biggs, Jason Lee, and Jason Mewes are among those also appearing. Filming is slated to begin this month with an August 10 release date.

"In the tradition of 'A Mad, Mad World,' we've worked with Kevin to put together an ensemble of the finest comedic actors,'' said Dimension co-chairman Bob Weinstein. "This will be one of the biggest event comedies of the summer.''

Ferrell Plays Bush, Votes Gore
from Zap2it.com

Even though he voted for Vice President Gore in November, actor Will Ferrell will profit from George W. Bush's presence in the White House. After all, he'll have time to finely tune his regular "Saturday Night Live" impression of the future POTUS.

"Let's put it this way: I just put a down payment on a boat," said the actor as a recent press conference where he was promoting his voice work on the WB's upcoming animated show "The Oblongs."

This past season Ferrell got a chance to meet Bush when the Texas oilman turned politician did a small walk-on for "SNL." According to Ferrell, their interaction was cursory at best.

"Initially, he didn't know that I was the guy who played him, if that gives you any indication of what we are in store for the next four years."

Although the two men did not get a chance to converse at any length, Ferrell later received a note from Bush saying how much he appreciated Ferrell's take on him. Still, this is more response than Ferrell has received from one of his other stock characters -- Attorney General Janet Reno. Ferrell joked that he hasn't heard from her "since we were roommates in the early '80s."

Curious About George
from People

DCount Saturday Night Live's Will Ferrell among the winners of Election 2000: He'll ride on the presidential coattails of Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey and Darrell Hammond (who plays Bill Clinton as well as Al Gore) as the sketch comedy's spoofer-in-chief. "Darrell's this master technician and has almost this scientific approach to the way he breaks down impersonating someone.

"I'm not an impressionist. I try to get more of an overall feel for what they do," says Ferrell, 33, who struck gold with his squinty-eyed, scatterbrained take on George W. Bush. "I just mucked my way through it, and it fit George W., so it worked out. And since Al Gore is very precise, Darrell's approach fit him the best." He is also looking forward to reteaming with Hammond.

"Darrell's got his Dick Cheney ready to go," says Ferrell. "This roller coaster ride is going to continue."

--Jason Lynch

SNL's Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond
from Entertainment Weekly

During this comically chaotic election season, mocking the candidates was like shooting fish in a barrel. But thanks to the cutting impressions of Ferrell (as George W. Bush) and Hammond (as Al Gore), Saturday Night Live bypassed shooting and went directly to bludgeoning, garroting, and eviscerating, then selling the barrel for scrap. From summing up the pointlessness of the first debate in two words (lockbox and strategery) to a TV Land-worthy Odd Couple parody where the two in-limbo candidates share the White House, these two cast mates uplifted SNL's "let's play dress-up" approach from mere mimicry to inspired political satire. The chameleonlike Hammond effortlessly passed himself the Democratic baton; while his Clinton was all in the pinched thumb, his Gore seems channeled out of his chin-tucking reflex, as if stifling a belch, to stress his "I agree"s in a sleepy Tennessee drawl. Ferrell, on the other hand, dispenses his mirror imagery, taking a Chevy-as-Ford approach: Armed with only a faint Texas accent and a confused squint, the performance is pure simpleton, and simply scathing. (Giggles "Bush" over a gum cartoon, "Man, Bazooka Joe, you don't have to throw a clock to see if time flies!) In a word, hilarityous.

--Josh Wolk


December 19, 2000

News:

SNL's Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond
from Entertainment Weekly

During this comically chaotic election season, mocking the candidates was like shooting fish in a barrel. But thanks to the cutting impressions of Ferrell (as George W. Bush) and Hammond (as Al Gore), Saturday Night Live bypassed shooting and went directly to bludgeoning, garroting, and eviscerating, then selling the barrel for scrap. From summing up the pointlessness of the first debate in two words (lockbox and strategery) to a TV Land-worthy Odd Couple parody where the two in-limbo candidates share the White House, these two cast mates uplifted SNL's "let's play dress-up" approach from mere mimicry to inspired political satire. The chameleonlike Hammond effortlessly passed himself the Democratic baton; while his Clinton was all in the pinched thumb, his Gore seems channeled out of his chin-tucking reflex, as if stifling a belch, to stress his "I agree"s in a sleepy Tennessee drawl. Ferrell, on the other hand, dispenses his mirror imagery, taking a Chevy-as-Ford approach: Armed with only a faint Texas accent and a confused squint, the performance is pure simpleton, and simply scathing. (Giggles "Bush" over a gum cartoon, "Man, Bazooka Joe, you don't have to throw a clock to see if time flies!) In a word, hilarityous.

--Josh Wolk

Even Dubya laughs at SNL's jokes
from MSNBC

Dec. 18...George W. Bush apparently has a better sense of humor about himself than many of his fans do. Some ardent Republicans are furious about comedian Will Ferrell's stinging impersonation of the president-elect on "Saturday Night Live," sources say.

"[SNL] HAS GOTTEN some really nasty letters and e-mails about it," says one insider. "[Some Bush supporters] think it's unfair and biased for [SNL] to portray Bush as dumb. I'd imagine that some of Gore's fans probably aren't thrilled about the impersonations of him either, but they've been less vocal. Some of the Bush supporters have been pretty unpleasant."

A spokesman for the show declined to comment, saying, "We don't discuss fan mail or viewer reaction." But Ferrell's agent says that when Bush appeared on the show in November, he made a point of telling the comedian that he enjoys the impersonation. "He told Ferrell he thinks he does a good job," says the agent. "He thinks it's really funny."

More Jay and Silent Bob Casting News
from The Hollywood Reporter

Writer/director Kevin Smith has finished casting his upcoming comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The latest additions to the cast are: Will Ferrell, Shannon Elizabeth, George Carlin, Seann William Scott, Jason Biggs, Tracy Morgan and E! Entertainment's Steve Kmetko and Jules Asner. Smith, Judd Nelson, Jason Mewes, Brian O'Halloran, Jason Lee and Jeff Anderson are already in line to appear in the project, which is slated to begin filming in January for an August 10 release.

Although Dimension Films is keeping mum about plot and budget details, company co-chairman Bob Weinstein assures us that Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back will be the "biggest event comedy of the summer."

Update:

Videos added...
Palm Beach and a strange magazine. Hmmmmm.
2 new videos have been added to the VIDEO section.


December 6, 2000

Update:

Videos added...
Roxbury, Rocky Roads and Shopping! Oh my!
3 new videos have been added to the VIDEO section.


November 28, 2000

Update:

Audio sketches added...
More AUDIO SKETCHES were added including Will and Horatio Sanz as bad wedding singers and Janet Reno declaring martial law.

Videos added...
2 new videos added to the VIDEO section revolving around this year's Presidential debates.


November 18, 2000

News:

Ferrell Gets Shot by Pimp in Disney Comedy
(Courtesy saturday-night-live.com)
Will Ferrell and "SNL" writer Matt Piedmont have sold an action comedy pitch to Disney, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Disney has paid a low-six figure sum for the "Untitled Will Ferrell" project, which Piedmont will write, about a hard-nosed cop (Ferrell) in the 1970s who slips into a coma after being shot by a pimp. The officer wakes up in present and teams with his former partner's daughter to hunt down the pimp, who turns out to be the largest crime boss in Los Angeles.

Robert Simonds, who always seems willing to lend a hand to films starring "SNL" cast members, is set to produce the Ferrell project. He has previously taken producer credits on all of Adam Sandler's comedies, both of Norm Macdonald's movies, and Jim Breuer's "Half Baked." He will also produce the upcoming "Joe Dirt," starring David Spade, and "Corky Bonono," with Chris Kattan.

Update:

New section added...
There's a new section in he MEDIA section called AUDIO SKETCHES which has, well, SNL sketches on audio. It's very cool. Check it out.

Videos added...
5 new videos added to the VIDEO section, including The Coconut Bangers Ball and Wake Up and Smile!


November 12, 2000

News:

Will to Work with Stiller again...
Will Ferrell has joined the cast of Paramount Pictures' feature "Zoolander," according to Variety.
The comedy stars Owen Wilson and former "SNL" featured player Ben Stiller, who wrote the screenplay and will direct. Ferrell is set to play Mugatu, a flamboyant fashion designer and rival to Stiller's character.
More on this soon...

Update:

Videos added...
Some new videos have been added to the VIDEO page in the MEDIA section, including an episode of Dog how and a meeting of the Brasky Boys!

Transcipts added...
There are some new transcipts added to the TRANSCRIPT page of the MEDIA section.

The Ladies Man...
A page for the film The Ladies Man has finally been put up. Sorry for the wait on that.