Ron Burgundy’s advice to Emerson students, Boston media: ‘It’s all about hygiene’

Detachable moustaches were handed out at Wednesday's press conference honoring fictional news anchor Ron Burgundy, star of "Anchorman 2."  Photo by Morgan Rousseau/Metro
Detachable moustaches were handed out at Wednesday’s press conference honoring fictional news anchor Ron Burgundy, star of “Anchorman 2.”
Photo by Morgan Rousseau/Metro

Fictional San Diego newsman Ron Burgundy, embodied by comedian Will Ferrell, stopped by Emerson College on Wednesday to accept the honor of being the 24-hour namesake of the college’s School of Communication.

Sporting his notorious moustache and burgundy suit, Burgundy made his appearance around 11 a.m. at the school’s Semel Theater, where he tearfully accepted a plaque honoring him for his classy work in the field of journalism.

Burgundy made brief remarks, calling it a “historic, historic day.”

“To be finally recognized for my work as a journalist is truly extraordinary,” he said. “To be here at Emerson College, it’s wonderful. And to know that the Ron Burgundy School of Communication will stand here for the test of time; a thousand years when the planet is controlled by robots and mutants from the X-Men series… Is that true? Oh, just one day… and not a minute more? I’ll take it.”

The comical event was meant to promote Ferrell’s new film, “Anchorman 2.” The actor hosted a special screening for Emerson students last night at at AMC Loews.

Emerson senior Yvonne Goutman, who is studying acting, laughed throughout Burgundy’s tongue-and-cheek press conference.

“I’ve been a fan since I was a kid, when (Ferrell) was on (Saturday Night Live). I feel very honored to be a student here. His Q & A was great. He is such a great comedian, and he handled all the questions so gracefully and smoothly.”

It’s hard to deny – during a 20-minute question-and-answer session Burgundy handled dozens of questions, and delivered an equal amount of hilarious off-the-cuff responses.

Actor Will Ferrell answering questions from Emerson College students and Boston media while in character as fictional newsman Ron Burgundy.
Actor Will Ferrell answering questions from Emerson College students and Boston media while in character as fictional newsman Ron Burgundy.

When asked what kind of advice he has for journalism students at the school, Burgundy said: “Of course, report the facts. Unless it’s too hard to find the facts. It’s really about hygiene. Be sure to use a leave in conditioner, and rinse. Wear perfumes and colognes. Don’t be afraid to be stylish in front of the camera.”

He also advised journalists to keep a $20 bill sewed into the sole of their shoes: “You never know when you’re going to need it. You could be out on a field report, or find yourself in a jail in Peru.”

He applauded a (real) reporter from the United Kingdom’s Sky News for her “fake (British) accent” and chuckled when another reported told him she worked for a public radio station (“Pff, public radio”).

Burgundy weighed in on:

The controversial matter of entertainment in the news:
“It’s nice to spice things up every now and again. It’s nice to show puff pieces of kittens water skiing, or a squirrel on its back.”

The classiness of Boston vs. San Diego:
“That’s like Sophie’s Choice.”

How he maintains his velvety broadcasting voice:
“I gargle with day-old bathwater. That’s what gives me these dulcet tones.”

He went on to say that during his 24 hours in Boston he planned to install a pool and jacuzzi (full of baked beans) at Emerson College and eliminate classes on Tuesdays through Fridays – opting instead to establish an 18-hour Monday.

Once finished with his Emerson duties, Burgundy said he would go on a Duck Boat tour, walk the Freedom Trail, climb to the top of the bell tower at the historic Old North Church, steal a “hunk of sod” from Fenway Stadium and go night clubbing with Big Papi.

Not all members of the media were amused by the character’s visit.

Boston Magazine contributing editor David S. Bernstein tweeted, “Dear media colleagues (again): his name is Will Ferrell. He is an actor promoting a movie. ‘Ron Burgundy’ did not speak at Emerson today.”

The news director of an Emerson station, when asking Burgundy his opinion on Boston’s “classiness” as compared to San Diego, threw in the dig, “Even though you are a fictional journalist,” a comment that drew gasps from the crowd and a swift rebuttal from Burgundy.

“I am a fan (of Ferrell’s), but I wanted to see the behind-the-scenes; the way things work in general,” said Sarie Gessner, 21, a costume design major.

“I think it’s interesting that they’re naming the school after (Burgundy). I’m surprised they’re doing it. But it’s for fun. It’s for the communication school so I suppose it isn’t totally out of the blue.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



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