Bill Murray Vs. Will Ferrell: Who Is The King Of Weird Public Antics?

09.23.15 4 years ago 2 Comments

I’ve always considered Will Ferrell and Bill Murray to be kindred spirits of sorts. Granted, their original rises to fame came decades apart from each other. But overall, their career arcs have taken similar paths.

First, they both made names for themselves on Saturday Night Live, with Murray becoming one of the show’s first breakout stars in the 1970s (despite not being a member of the original cast), and Ferrell becoming a household name two decades later as a part of one of the show’s numerous rebirths. From there, they both headed to Hollywood to make movies, with varying degrees of success.

At first glance, Murray’s film resume seems to be more successful, but the main reason is because the flops are grossly outnumbered by the hits and the critically lauded options. For nearly 40 years, he has pumped out a steady stream of movies that fans will never stop loving, nor quoting. In fact, even his non-classics are still well received by his diehards. As for Ferrell, he has certainly had his fair share of classics and hits, as well, and you could argue his peak (Old School, Anchorman, and Step Brothers) is on par with Murray’s. However, it’s the handful of duds within his overall body of work that tends to knock him down a peg.

One way in which both men have excelled without fail, though, is their unconnected, but nonetheless dueling campaign for the hearts and minds of the public with their often weird and always awesome public antics. As is the case with the Highlander, though, there can be only one. Which one? Really, it’s a fun question, and, as usual, one that we can answer through science. Or, rather, a grading scale with a list of criteria and scores that are properly weighted and certainly not arbitrarily chosen by me at this very moment.

Based on the examples I’m about to provide, a successful public antic is made possible based on any or all of the following six principles:

    1. If it took place at a wedding or wedding-related event. (worth two points)
    2. If the person was wearing silly clothes. (worth three points)
    3. If they sang. (worth four points)
    4. If they danced. (worth five points)
    5. If they were (probably) drunk. (worth five points)
    6. If the crowd standing nearby enjoyed it. (worth five points)

From there, we can add them all up and come up with a winner. Oh, and just for fun, I’m giving a bonus of 10 points for any event that was spontaneous, and not clearly staged ahead of time.

The case for Murray:

The case for Ferrell:

Added together, that’s 184 points for Murray (20.4 average) and 172 for Ferrell (15.6 average). So, it’s clear that Murray is still the master of crazy antics. But Ferrell is making a strong push. Really, the only separation has been that a majority of Murray’s stunts have been spontaneous, while Ferrell’s have mostly been staged. And if not for that stupid 10-point rule I added at the beginning of this exercise, this contest would be a virtual tie. Dammit, science!

Can I go back and change my own rules?

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