Will Ferrell's Ron Burgundy Honored at Emerson College as 'Anchorman 2' Publicity Push Continues

Will Ferrell Ron Burgundy Emerson - H 2013
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Will Ferrell Ron Burgundy Emerson - H 2013

While the actor dished out memorable bits of advice like "You have to report the facts, unless it's too hard to find the facts" school officials seemed a bit discomfited by the fake journalist's high-profile appearance.

If you happen to catch a faint whiff of scotch, hairspray and Sex Panther cologne on your morning commute, it's probably just Ron Burgundy passing by. He's been everywhere lately.

The latest stop on Anchorman 2's exhaustive marketing campaign was Boston's Emerson College, where its School of Communication was renamed -- for Wednesday only -- the Ron Burgundy School of Communication.

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Star Will Ferrell was on hand, as Burgundy, to accept the honor. Sporting silver-buckled cocoa loafers, an expensive burgundy suit and a ravishingly coifed head of hair (mustache included), the actor was in full Anchorman mode.

The past week has seen Ferrell, as Burgundy, interview Peyton Manning for ESPN the Magazine, co-anchor a newscast in North Dakota and don a kilt to call the Canadian curling trials in Winnipeg. That's not to mention Paramount's unprecedented marketing efforts overseas. His appearance on Thursday night's edition of ESPN's SportsCenter was canceled due to a planned press conference earlier in the day about the sexual assault allegations leveled against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

Held in Emerson's Semel Theater, the official renaming ceremony was hosted by Emerson president Lee Pelton, the School of Communication's interim dean, Phillip Glenn, and Emerson senior Muna Mouchien. Various media outlets joined faculty and students in the 216-capacity theater.

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Ferrell held back tears while accepting a plaque of recognition.

"I told myself I would not get emotional," he said after embracing the ceremony's hosts. "I am literally in a glass case of emotion."

He added: "The Ron Burgundy School of Communication will stand here for the test of time. A thousand years from now, when the world is controlled by robots and mutants from the X-Men series, one thing will be standing: The Ron Burgundy School of Communication."

Pelton made sure to interject that the renaming was for one day "and not a minute more."

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Continuing with his playful speech, Ferrell bashed other colleges for failing to partake in Anchorman 2's marketing ploy. "For those journalism schools out there across the country who didn't have the guts … I will never talk to you," he said.

Ferrell also dished out a few memorable nuggets of Ron Burgundy wisdom. "You have to report the facts, unless it's too hard to find the facts," he said. "Keep a $20 bill in your shoe," he added. And he advised women, in classic Burgundy form, "Maybe wear a shorter skirt."

Laughs aside, sentiment surrounding the school's renaming was varied, as reported by The Boston Globe.

When Andrea Shea of Boston's WBUR pressed for a response to the notion that Emerson is "poking fun at journalism," Pelton and Glenn shared an uneasy look. "I'll just say this is a transcendent moment for the School of Communication," Glenn responded.

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Ferrell cooled the tension. "If anyone takes issue with me being here today, I'm willing to take them out to a nice buffet lunch at the Union Oyster House for a $22 meal and a complimentary cocktail," he offered, but it's unknown whether or not anyone took the comedian up on his proposal.

The hourlong event, however, including no insight into the filmmaking or acting process, despite Emerson's well-regarded programs in both areas (The Hollywood Reporter ranked Emerson's film program as eighth in the nation earlier this year) and the fact that the school is opening a Los Angeles campus next month.

Nevertheless, many students seemed to enjoy the event, which also included a preview screening of Anchorman 2 and cups of Ben & Jerry's Ron Burgundy's Scotchy Scotch Scotch ice cream.

"Let me speak on behalf of President Pelton, here: [having me here is] the best decision he's ever made in his career," Ferrell said in his closing remarks.

Pelton, ostensibly uncomfortable, smiled and said, "Well, a memorable decision."