Will Ferrell is a comedy icon who first established himself as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. After that, he started appearing in movies such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers and The Other Guys. But he is more than a comedy actor, he is an avid runner and can you believe that once he turned down $29 Million?
Here are some fun facts you probably don’t know about Will Ferrell compiled by Ranker.
1. He found his love for performing while doing the morning announcements
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The 50-year-old actor used to do the morning announcements when he was in high school and that’s when he found out he actually loved doing funny voices and performing skits.
2. He and his wife are avid runners
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One of the film industry’s biggest comedic and his wife have run the Boston Marathon in April 2003 and the New York City Marathon where they ran 26.2 miles.
3. He was the highest paid SNL cast member of all time
He has seven-year run as a cast member of Saturday Night Live and he was making $350,000 a season beginning in 2001.
4. The Roxbury Guys began as a groundlings sketch
The comedy film based on a recurring sketch on television’s long-running Saturday Night Live called The Roxbury Guys was an idea that Will and Chris Kattan had when they were at the improv school The Groundlings. During a 2014 AMA, the actor told everyone how they got the idea. “I don’t know exactly. I think it was Chris Kattan and myself just acting stupid in my apartment when we wrote that sketch for the Groundlings show that we were in at the time. It’s also what happens when the beat of any Haddaway song hits your ear.”
5. He loves that he and Chad Smith look alike
The resemblance between the actor and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith is uncanny. The actoss said in his Reddit AMA, “It has been acknowledged many times that myself and Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, share a resemblance to each other. A lot of people think that it’s me playing for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But that would be an insult to Chad Smith. The truth of the matter is there is no Will Ferrell. Only Chad Smith.”
6. Part of what the media describes as ‘The Frat Pack’
He is part of The Frat Pack according to media. Which means he acts in movies that involve dudes doing dude stuff, along with other actors such as Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carrell, Jack Black, Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson.
7. There’s a backstory behind the piano key tie in Zoolander
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In Zoolander, Ferrell wears a piano key tie that’s related to his father, since his father was the keyboardist for The Righteous Brothers.
8. He turned down $29 million to do Elf 2
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The actor didn’t want to do a sequel just for the money. He said: “That’s what was on offer for it. But I killed the idea of a sequel. I remember asking myself: could I withstand the criticism when it’s bad and they say, ‘He did the sequel for the money’? I decided I wouldn’t be able to. I didn’t want to wander into an area that could erase all the good work I’ve done…But you watch—I’ll do some sequel in the future that’s crap.”
9. He pops up in Kingpin
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In the Farrelly Brothers’ 1996 film Kingpin, Ferrell appeared and yelled the line “Ernie, you’re the man!”
10. He loves that cowbell skit as much as you do
The actor loves the sketch that presents a fictionalized version of the recording of Don’t Fear The Reaper on an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music which he wrote. During a Reddit AMA in 2014 he said: “I will say off the top of my head that my two favorite sketches that I was part of had to have been the Harry Caray space show with Jeff Goldblum and, of course the cowbell sketch with Christopher Walken.”
11. He credits growing up in the suburbia with making him funny
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Ferrell told the Orange County Register that growing up in a safe neighborhood is what made him funny. “Growing up in suburbia, in safe, master-planned Irvine, there was no drama so we had to create it in our heads. My main form of entertainment was cracking my friends up and exploring new ways of being funny. I didn’t have to have the survival mode instinct like other comics, who grew up in tough neighborhoods. I had the opposite. For me, I grew up in Mayberry, and the humor broke the boredom. And there was a lot to make fun of.”
12. Had his share of odd jobs before his career took off
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Like a lot of other actors Will also used to work weird jobs such as valet at a hotel and teller at a bank.
13. He’s had that scar on his abdomen since he was a baby
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He has a scar from a surgery he had as a baby to treat pyloric stenosis.
14. Was the first and last guest on The Late Show with Conan O’Brien
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The actor was the first quest when Conan O’Brien hosted The Late Show and also his last.
15. He doesn’t just act
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He is also a producer and writes his own skits and comedies like Night at the Roxbury and Anchorman.
16. Believes his brand of comedy comes from not holding anything back
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He would do anything for a good comedy. “What I recognized when I started doing comedy was that I’m probably not the wittiest, not the fastest on my feet, but the one thing I can guarantee is that I won’t hold anything back,” Ferrell explained to Esquire. “It was just funnier to me, and it played funnier, when instead of just yelling at someone in a scene, you’re yelling to the point where you’re losing your voice—that one extra step. If that’s what’s called for within the context, isn’t that our job as comedians?”
17. Has a wife and three sons
Photo: Mike Blake/NBC / 2013 Emmy Awards/Fair Use
He is married to Viveca Paulin and together they have three sons: Magnus, Mattias and Axel.
18. He is a huge advocate of the Cancer for College organization
Photo: Screenshot—Ferrell Takes The Field/CancerForCollege.com/Fair Use
Will helps any way he can with this organization whether is helping with fundraisers or an annual golf tournament and throwing out pitches at baseball games.
19. Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on March 26th, 2015.
20. He was roommates with Jon Stewart
His roommate was Jon Stewart, who is known for being the host of The Daily Show.
21. He was a jock in high school
The actor played football, basketball, and soccer in high school. “I was never the class clown. I was popular in high school and in college. I was good at sports…I used to worry that I wasn’t crazy enough to succeed in comedy. Or troubled enough. In the beginning, people were surprised that a seemingly mild-mannered person could bring a script or a character to life. But I’m not above throwing a chair out a window just to see what happens. I may not have demons, but I am kind of immune to inhibitions,“ he said.