Will Ferrell’s comedy hit Anchorman has inspired a new exhibit at Washington’s Newseum in November that combines a look at ‘70s journalism with a hit of Hollywood.
Visitors will have the chance to sit in Ron Burgundy’s chair at a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and news set as part of Anchorman: The Exhibit. Or they can try their hand at reporting in a TV spot introduced by the Anchorman himself, Ron Burgundy, as played by Will Ferrell.
News that Burgundy has inspired a Newseum exhibit is "an urgent and horrifying news update," ripping a line from the original 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
'I think you could say that sexism and ratings wars and even polyester leisure suits are all part of the history of TV news' —Cathy Trost, Newseum VP
"I’m literally trapped in a glass case of emotion," Burgundy said in a statement.
The Newseum partnered with Paramount Pictures for the exhibit, which will display costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News team and original movie props like Burgandy’s jazz flute.
The exhibit opens in advance of the Dec. 20 release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Ferrell will reunite with co-stars Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner for the sequel.
Written by Ferrell and director Adam McKay, the original Anchorman takes a humorous look at a 1970s-era television newsroom and the local anchorman who ruled it with his all-male team. Reporter Veronica Corningstone (played by Applegate) challenges the male-dominated field in pursuit of her dream to be an anchor.
Cathy Trost, vice president of exhibits and programs at the Newseum, said in addition to being fun, the exhibit explores the reality behind the film’s humour.
"I think you could say that sexism and ratings wars and even polyester leisure suits are all part of the history of TV news," Trost said in a phone interview.
"The movie certainly had fun with that. But some of these themes are very serious and certainly the evolution of television news has moved to a new level."
Trost told CBC News the exhibit will look at innovations such as the rise of personality-driven news, as well as the development of eye-witness formats.
Permanent exhibits at the Newseum tell the serious story of news and press freedom, including tributes to journalists who have died pursuing stories and a collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism.
But the museum also makes room for satirical critiques of the business, featuring screenings of clips from late-night hosts like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman.
Real history of TV news
"That’s our intention, to not only entertain but to educate," Trost said. "Visitors will be getting a real history of TV news as well as a real light-hearted look at the way Hollywood portrays TV journalism in the movie."
For many fans, the exhibit announcement is – as Burgundy would say – "kind of a big deal."
Trevor Benoit, a college student in Massachusetts, said he’s a huge fan of the original Anchorman and has seen it well over 10 times. He was thrilled to hear about the Newseum exhibit and hopes to travel to Washington to see it first-hand.
"A film as famous as Anchorman absolutely has a place alongside famous exhibits," Benoit said. "It’s definitely one people will be going out of their way to see."
Anchorman: The Exhibit will be on display at the Newseum through Aug. 31, 2014.