The 10 Best Will Ferrell Skits of All-Time
With Talladega Nights raking in big money at the box office, we decided to take a look back at the golden era, when Will Ferrell was just the hardest working cast member on SNL. Here they are, numbers 10 to 1, embedded for your viewing pleasure.
10. Get Off the Shed
Three families try to have a polite conversation at a birthday party while Ferrell screams threats of physical abuse at his children. A good place to start since it' the first SNL character he ever played, and not coincidentally the first Will Ferrell character we ever remember laughing out loud at. The character of the furious dad screaming, "Get off the shed!" was also actually one of the characters Ferrell used in his tryout.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: To see the same material in the hands of a lesser talent, look no further than the cringe-inducing delivery by Christine Baranski, who plays his wife.
Highlight: "I will take you into a dark alley and fight you if you do not get off the shed."
This skit was filmed in dress rehearsal and cut before the actual show went live, which isn't surprising because it doesn't make any sense. It' the tale of an elite fighting unit in Afghanistan that, for some reason, has an old prospector in its midst.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: What is amazing to see is how hard Ferrell tries to make what is clearly a losing sketch work. He completely gives himself over even though it' only dress rehearsal.
Highlight: When he refuses to stop ringing his prospector bell as Chris Kattan tries to deliver his lines.
8. Dale Sturtevant - Dissing Your Dog
Ferrell stars in a fake commercial for a dog-training program that shows you how to shame your dog into doing what you want him to do, assuming of course that your dog picks up on subtle hints of sarcasm and oblique insults.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: Ferrell is the best at playing someone who is barely able to keep his rage under control, and the dumber that rage, the better.
Highlight: When he gently lifts up the dog' ear and whispers "You're a fucking dog."
7. The H. is O.
In what might be the oddest sounding summary of any story ever told, Ben Stiller bets his friends that he can fuck Glenn Frey of the Eagles by using only three pick-up lines. The skit, actually a short film written and directed by Adam McKay (Anchorman director) for SNL, offers a nice preview of what was to come by casting Ferrell as a creepy over the hill ego-maniac long before Ron Burgundy was a household name.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: Actually, we're pretty sure anyone could have played Frye in this skit. He just sort of wears shades and acts weird. But it' sort of like when Lebron only scores 12 and the Cavs win anyway. You just know he was contributing intangibles on the set that day.
Highlight: Of all people, Jimmy Fallon gets the highlight when he screams "That' threeee!" Ferrell must have suggested that"
6. VH1 Behind the Music: Blue Oyster Cult
While some argue this is the best SNL sketch ever, we couldn't give it the number one spot because the best moments belong to Walken. Ferrell is great and integral to the sketch, but the real magic is in the lines about gold-plated diapers and having a fever. That being said, no one will ever handle a cowbell that well again.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: It combines physical comedy with Ferrell' dark side. Chris Farley actually probably could have pulled this one off too.
Highlight: When Ferrell, channeling a petulant child, brings the cowbell just inches from Chris Parnell' face and plays it slowly.
5. Harry Caray - Space: The Infinite Frontier
For some reason, Harry Caray has a science talk show, and for some reason he is interviewing a legitimate scientist about whether he would eat the moon if it were made of ribs. Ferrell makes the concept of acting seem ridiculous by completely disappearing into what is quite possibly the most absurd character ever created.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: His complete commitment to character. The intensity with which he channels Harry Caray makes De Niro in Taxi Driver look like a freshman in a school play.
Highlight:"What's your favorite planet? Mine's the sun."
4. Robert Goulet Coconut Banger's Ball
Picking perhaps the only celebrity as mind-bogglingly random as Harry Caray, Ferrell dons a smooth turtleneck, a rad set of shades and a bitchin' mustache in what has become a favorite sketch for stoned people everywhere. Insanely, Goulet tries to sell his new "rap" CD by crooning songs like "The Thong Song," and even dropping the N-bomb twice.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: It had to have been next to impossible to avoid laughing during this sketch, especially while trying to feed cereal to a stuffed ram. A lesser man (read: Jimmy Fallon) wouldn't have been so committed to something so absurd.
Highlight: Goulet repeatedly yelling out his own name for no reason whatsoever.
3. Family Portrait
A family tries to have a normal dinner conversation as tension slowly builds. Ferrell and his wife exchange quiet insults like "I wish you weren't a liar" in between loud shouting matches. Ferrell, one of the best screamers around, somehow turns a declaration of the car he drives into one of the funniest moments in his time on the show.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: In addition to the shouting, he' probably the only person who could have infused statements like, "Could you let me finish the story?" with such repressed anger.
Highlight: "I drive"I drive"I drive a Dodge Stratus!"
2. VH1 Storytellers: Neal Diamond
Neil Diamond, a performer known for being a bit of a square, reveals that the stories behind some of his greatest hits involve murder, drug use and xenophobia. John Goodman is great as Ferrell' shy guitarist. Not so great? The only version we could find online has Lorne Michaels talking for a few seconds right in the middle.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: No one is better at selling the idea that his insane characters are completely oblivious to the fact that they're insane.
Highlight: Diamond screaming, "I will leave you in!"
1. Mr. Tarkanian, the Boss From Hell
Mr. Tarkanian' (Ferrell) attempts to woo a potential employee (Pierce Brosnan) are undermined by his repeated abuse of his employees. One of the most underrated Ferrell sketches, this one doesn't even make it onto reruns on E!, though we're guessing that the 33 times (we counted) he stabs one of his underlings with a trident has something to do with that.
Why Only Ferrell Could Make it Golden: It' unlikely that any other comedian would have kept stabbing once the audience stopped laughing around stab 17. Ferrell somehow knew it was going to get funny again, and he was right.
Highlight: The entrance of a trident-wielding Chris Parnell, although Ferrell telling a male coworker: "I am this close to raping you!" is right on its heels.