HOLLYWOOD — Will Ferrell had the crowd laughing at the premiere of his new movie, "Anchorman," before he'd even stepped onto the red carpet.
The comedian arrived at Mann's Chinese Theatre on Monday night in a big blue news van with a large photo of him on the side and a slogan that read, "His news is bigger than your news." Ferrell then made his grand entrance with fellow cast members Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd and Fred Willard as cameras flashed and moviegoers chuckled.
In the film, Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, a top-rated San Diego anchorman in the '70s whose world is turned upside-down when a female newscaster (Applegate) steps behind the news desk. A battle ensues between the chauvinistic all-male news team and the sassy anchorwoman.
The film has already generated a strong buzz, and stars like Ray Romano, Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Bill Maher came out on Monday to see if the flick lived up to the teases that fans have gotten in trailers, commercials and even Ferrell's own music video (for his cover of Starland Vocal Band's 1976 hit, "Afternoon Delight").
Even Andy Dick was starstruck by those in attendance. "Don't talk to me," he told reporters. "Gwen Stefani is over there!" Stefani arrived with bandmate Tony Kanal, who said they were taking a rare break from No Doubt's current tour to catch the film. "We have one night off and Gwen called me and asked if I wanted to go to a premiere," Kanal said. "We are both big fans of Will Ferrell. He is amazing."
Other Ferrell fans included Lance Bass, who arrived arm-in-arm with actress Jennifer Gimenez, and Fred Durst, who wore his hat low and quickly snuck into the theater. Ben Stiller's wife, Christine Taylor, showed Ferrell some love by kissing his face on one of the many movie posters that lined the red carpet. "We have a lot of friends in the movie and really wanted to see it," she said.
Fellow funnyman Jack Black rushed into the theater, saying, "I don't want to be late."
With everyone jockeying for a seat, it was up to Ferrell's co-star Fred Willard to explain the appeal of the movie. "News anchorpeople are funny to begin with," he said. "And we are looking back 30 years, before they were self-aware, so the worst of it all comes out."
There were also those in the crowd hoping to get a repeat of Ferrell's revealing performance in "Old School." "I want to see his butt," said actress Constance Marie. In the end, Ferrell kept his clothes on as he posed for photos with his wife, Viveca Paulin, before joining his friends and fans inside the theater to watch the film.
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