So you think you know Will Ferrell? You watch the Saturday Night Live – The Best of Will Ferrell special every time VH1 and E! fill a timeslot. You’ve seen and re-seen every Ferrell movie – even Land of the Lost. You are intimately familiar with the 48-year-old’s naked figure (aren’t we all?). But yet, the curly-haired comedian is so much more than his body and body of works. And because of that, we’ve rounded up some fascinating facts about the Get Hard star. So get ready to get educated – yes, even you, diehards.
Ferrell’s dad was a longtime member of The Righteous Brothers’s band.
Ferrell has some musical chops – whether he’s in a store and he’s “SINGING,” delivering the cow bell, or he’s battling Red Hot Chili Pepper’s drummer Chad Smith in a drum-off. Any semblance of musical inclination comes from his father, Roy Lee Ferrell, a keyboardist and saxophonist for The Righteous Brothers. The 73-year-old toured with the band for almost 20 years. Bill Medley, one half of the duo known for songs like “Unchained Melody,” is quite fond of his longtime tour mate, waxing on about the musician during a 2011 interview.
“He and I have dinner about once a week. We have been friends and band mates since 1963. He has been my musical director and conductor, road manager for a long time. I remember Will Ferrell when he was just little Will; now he is Big Will. Lee is a great piano player and sax player.
Ferrell’s turn as a streaking frat star in Old School wasn’t far from the truth.
Ferrell’s tendency to shed his shorts started long before Saturday Night Live. During his undergrad days at USC, the star was often running naked around campus as a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity.
“In college, they had this thing where you’d run naked on fraternity row, and if anyone challenged me, I’d be happy to do it,” he once told Rolling Stone.
“The incident in Oklahoma, that is a real argument for getting rid of the system altogether, in my opinion, even having been through a fraternity. Because when you break it down, it really is about creating cliques and clubs and being exclusionary. Fraternities were started as academic societies that were supposed to have a philanthropic arm to them. And when it’s governed by those kinds of rules, then they’re still beneficial. But you’ve got to be careful.”
Ferrell didn’t part with his virginity until age 21.
For someone who plays a lot of highly sexual characters, it’s a little shocking that Ferrell held onto his virginity well into college. The star told Rolling Stone that he was a junior when he finally made whoopie, but he insisted the wait was no big deal: “In my mind’s eye, it seemed like the way it was supposed to happen.”
Ironically, Ferrell’s mother was convinced her son was sexually active long before that. He told the mag that mamma bear accosted him about using protection way back in high school. “‘I’m telling you now,’ she said, ‘if you slept with this girl, you’d better slap a condom on that pecker of yours,” he told RS, laughing.
The actor actually did play an elf at a shopping mall.
Call it method acting: before playing a mall elf on the big screen, Ferrell really was a mall Christmas worker. Joined by his Night at the Roxbury cohort Chris Kattan, the actor took a gig playing Santa at an outdoor mall in Pasadena for five weeks. Kattan was an elf. The pair met through a sketch comedy troupe (prior to joining SNL), and spent most of the gig passing out candy canes to snot-nosed kiddies.
“It was hilarious because little kids could care less about the elf. They just come right to Santa Claus. So by the second weekend, Kattan had dropped the whole affectation he was doing and was like (Ferrell makes a face of bitter boredom), ‘Santa’s over there, kid.'”
The star has sworn off caffeine after having heart palpitations.
Don’t worry, though – the booze stays. Ferrell’s a little more health conscious these days. He once told Elle that he’s pretty much stopped consuming caffeine after a health scare. “I don’t do regular coffee, because I had a heart palpitation,” he told the mag. “It could be caffeine, alcohol, dehydration, stress…. So no caffeine, drink a lot of water, avoid stress—but the alcohol will stay.”
Accomplished athlete and actor? Ferrell was a varsity sportsman in high school.
Triple threat – on and off the field. The Kicking & Screaming actor played three varsity sports at his California high school: soccer, football and basketball (he even captained the team). Ferrell’s main skills were on the pitch, but eventually his killer kick captured the attention of the football team. He joined varsity as a field-goal kicker during his sophomore year.
“It’s a high-pressure, high-stakes position, unless you play for the high school I went to. We were 1-8-1 my senior year, so not a lot of field goals kicked,” he told A.V. Club. “I think I was four for six. It was just six attempts the whole year.”
Ron Burgundy is his personal favorite role.
I’m Ron Burgundy?
Ferrell has, obviously, starred in a slew of celebrated comedies but the actor doesn’t struggle to pick a favorite — he’s partial to 2004’s Anchorman and his role as a crass ’70s newsman who absolutely doesn’t speak Spanish.
“That was a movie that no one wanted to make, we had like 10 different studios say no in one day,” he said during a radio show interview, explaining that he’s enamored with the flick mainly because of the challenge it was to get it made. In fact, he’s still shocked that it was filmed, and even more surprised that it actually made it to theaters. Not to mention that star-studded sequel.
He’s got a, self-described, “mild case of OCD” that dictates his wardrobe choices.
The star’s got a very diplomatic attitude toward his wardrobe. Everything gets equal play, but he doesn’t want it to be a hassle. He dresses himself by moving from left to right in his closet, picking the first shirt and pair of pants he comes to. It’s a rule he’s come to live by, and one that often makes him a victim of the fashion police. Color coordination is never a factor.
Why the strict routine? A little bit of obsessive compulsion and a little bit of lazy.
“It just takes the mental anguish out of having to decide what to wear,” he told GQ. The only exceptions to this routine are “fancy events” (but who likes those, anyway).
He’s been dubbed the ‘Worst Celebrity Autographer’ (it’s a thing, really).
The first thing to note is there is an Autograph Magazine. The title pretty much says all you need to know.
Back in 2013, the Golden Globe-winner was awarded yet another honor: one of the mag’s “Worst Celebrity Signers” of the year. Hold your applause.
According to Autograph, Ferrell “mocks people, taunts and embarrasses them when they ask for autographs.” I wonder how he feels about fan selfies?