By the hymen of Olivia Newton-John… we have ourselves a good, old-fashioned Quote Off!
In preparation for Adam McKay’s long-gestating Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Eric combed through the original film and pulled out the 10 funniest lines we continue to quote to this day. These quotes have burrowed so deeply into our pop culture, you can simply scream, "I’m in a glass case of emotion," and people picture a wailing Will Ferrell in a phone booth.
I tried to take this exercise one step further. When I screened Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Anchorman sequel, I listened for the 10 quotes that were going to stand out and become instantly repeatable punchlines for years to come. It took 10 minutes to realize that this was an impossible task. Almost every line of dialogue penned by Ferrell and McKay for The Legend Continues easily could fit on a t-shirt or coffee mug, living alongside "I’m kind of a big deal" as the next great Ron Burgundy quote.
Still, the sequel deserves its own list, and so here are the 10 Anchorman 2 quotes we think fans will be forcing into conversation this holiday season and beyond. Obviously, these quotes and descriptions are going to spoil Anchorman 2, so bookmark for later if you haven’t seen the movie yet!
"I’m laughing like a ventriloquist dummy!"
Ron Burgundy rarely is able to "take the temperature of the room." Usually his own massive ego is getting in the way of Ron recognizing how factors might be playing against him. So early on in the film, when Harrison Ford is promoting Christina Applegate but insulting Ferrell to his face, the only thing our clueless anchorman is able to do is laugh away the tears, the confusion and the pain… like a dummy on a stranger’s knee.
"You know I don’t follow the NBA!"
The Anchorman movie is extremely racist. Not in an angry, mean-spirited way. But Ron Burgundy has a beautiful, black boss (Meagan Good) at GNN, the 24-hour news channel he agrees to work at, and the scenario has this lily-white teleprompter reader more than a little uncomfortable. You can pull quotes from the awkward dinner-table scene (featured in the trailer), of course, but this response, when Burgundy confuses Julius Caesar with Dr. J predicts the waves of painful racism McKay dares to weave through his comedy.
Confronted with his African-American supervisor for the first time, Burgundy can only repeat the word, "Black." He realizes how ridiculously insensitive he sounds. He actually apologizes, which is something Ron Burgundy rarely does. And then he proceeds to say "Black" a few more times, exaggerating every beat in this one-syllable word. It gets funnier every time.
"I paid a hobo to spoon me."
When Anchorman 2 begins, Ron is down in the dumps. He has lost his job, his wife, and his son. Drunk on Scotch, he hosts tour shows back in Sea World. To let us know how far he has fallen, he tells kids and families about his activities the night before. Someone needs to rent Blackfish for Burgundy, so he can get the hell out of Dodge!
"Chicken of the cave."
Ron isn’t the only one who has fallen on hard times. Ex-sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner) can’t make ends meet at his fast-food franchise without cutting a few corners. The next time you are sitting down to dinner and your meal is – well, let’s just say "less than desirable" – bust out this quote to get your companions cracking up. "Chicken of the railyard" is also acceptable.
"I’ll bet his poop smells like sandalwood."
Burgundy’s only as good as his chief rival, and Anchorman 2 introduces the ridiculously handsome and charismatic Jack Lime, played by the underrated James Marsden. Or is it "Jack Lame?" Anyway, the quote is said in a rare bout of candid honesty, as the news team surveys Lame… er, Lime, and sizes up the competition.
"He picked eight winning cocks!"
Ron Burgundy will never win a Father of the Year trophy. But there’s something disgustingly sweet about how he defends the decision to bring his young son, Walter (Judah Nelson), to a cock-fighting contest. Young Walter might have a knack for picking winning cocks, but his future therapy bills are going to be through the roof thanks to the departure of a beloved shark… and having Burgundy as a father figure (of sorts).
"I gave her a whole Brady Bunch of crabs."
No one questions the sexual prowess of reporter Brian Fantana. The man has a legendary condom closet. But we learn in Legend that his conquests have stretched into the realm of classic television sitcoms, and Florence Henderson isn’t as clean as we might have imagined. Poor Mrs. Brady!
"That’s not news, Ron!"
The reason Anchorman 2 succeeds (in my humble opinion) is because Ferrell and McKay waited long enough to have something relevant to say about network news, cable news, and the excuses reporters have to make to stay on the air 24 hours a day. So there are several pointed jabs about the content Burgundy brings to GNN… and the way that car chases and pandering patriotism are lapped up by the masses. It might not be news, but it sure gets ratings. And isn’t that all that matters nowadays?
"Son, I fought a Minotaur to be here."
I’m already using this one, explaining to my kids how hard I have to work to bring them something they need. It concludes perhaps the greatest sequence in Anchorman 2, the cameo-laden anchor fight that escalates the action from the initial movie… including the ghost of "Stonewall" Jackson and, yes, the mythical Minotaur. It’s Ron Burgundy’s finest moment – until Anchorman 3 rolls around.