DETROIT (WWJ) – Well, he’s kind of a big deal — and he has been for decades.
Will the real Ron Burgundy please stand up?
Movie star Will Ferrell revealed in a magazine interview that he was inspired to create Ron Burgundy, the lead character in “Anchorman,” when he happened on a documentary featuring none other than longtime Detroit media personality Mort Crim.
It was a film on pioneering news anchor Jessica Savitch where Crim — her co-anchor at an early gig in Philadelphia — said, “You have to remember, back then I was a real chauvinist pig.”
And a star was born.
Crim told WWJ’s Sandra McNeil he’d heard the character was based on him before the movie came out — and he wasn’t insulted.
“If you’re in this business any amount of time, you have to get used to the parodies,” he said, “and recognize there is a lot of comedy in every situation in life, and we’re certainly not immune to that any more than politicians are.”
McNeil got Crim to recite a few of Burgundy’s famous lines, including, “If you were a man, I’d punch you right in the mouth,” and “Don’t act like you’re not impressed.”
Crim said Ferrell’s agent contacted him as the comic was wrapping up “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, and asked for an autographed picture for Ferrell.
“So, I pulled out one of my old eight-by-tens, and I wrote, ‘Dear Will: You’ve almost got it — just a little more authenticity. Your friend, the real anchorman, Mort Crim.'”
Ferrell responded by inviting Crim to the movie’s New York premier, and Crim plans to attend.
Meantime, he’s busy with voice-overs and working on a new book.
“Stay classy, Detroit,” Crim said.
The movie opens nationwide Dec. 18.