Anchorman and “Kind of a Big Deal”

Opened Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Screening of ANCHORMAN and an on-stage conversation with Saul Austerlitz, author of the new book Kind of a Big Deal: How Anchorman Stayed Classy and Became the Most Iconic Comedy of the Twenty-First Century, moderated by writer Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. A book signing will follow.

In 2004, Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy burst into movie fans’ lives, reminding San Diego to “stay classy”, relishing the simple pleasure of a glass of scotch, and battling rival news outlets armed only with a burgundy suit and salon quality hair, all while lampooning a time gone by.

Now, nearly twenty years later, celebrated pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz’s new book tells the story of how Anchorman was developed, written, and cast, with exclusive interviews and thoughtful and humorous critical insight into a production process as wild and unique as the movie it created. A fresh blend of pop-culture analysis, behind-the-scenes stories, and interviews with key players like Will Ferrell, director Adam McKay, and more, Austerlitz’s Kind of a Big Deal is at once a celebration of ANCHORMAN and a cultural analysis of the film’s sly commentary on feminism, the media, fragile masculinity, and 1970s nostalgia. Austerlitz has unearthed surprising facts and stories sure to delight longtime fans—such as the film’s original conception as a plane crash/cannibal comedy mashup and the surprising, real-life newscaster who inspired the character of Veronica—while also examining ANCHORMAN’s improv origins, the impact it had on its actors’ careers, and the film’s lasting influence on comedy today.

Saul Austerlitz is the author of six books, including Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era (2019). He teaches writing and comedy history at New York University and has written for the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone and numerous other publications.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s books include the New York Times bestseller Seinfeldia; When Women Invented Television; Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted; and Sex and the City and Us.

  • Country USA
  • Year 2004
  • Running Time 94 minutes
  • Format DCP
  • Distributor Dreamworks
  • Director Adam McKay
  • Cast Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell

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