KIND OF A BIG DEAL – Saul Austerlitz – Uncovering Feminism, Satire & Comedy

This unexpected account not only shows the enduring appeal of Ferrell’s humor, but also demonstrates its remarkable complexity.

By Saul Austerlitz ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 22, 2023

The 2004 movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is renowned for its catchphrases, sight gags, and over-the-top plot. However, author and NYU adjunct professor of writing and comedy, Wes Austerlitz, reveals the unexpected feminist roots and satiric look at the changing business of news in his book about the movie. Through his use of an omniscient narrator, Austerlitz places the movie in the context of not only the careers of Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Steve Carell, and Paul Rudd, but also the discrimination against women in the workplace and the shifting priorities of local news. He also provides insight into the alternate version of Anchorman, Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, which featured a counterculture group of activists played by Chuck D and Maya Rudolph. Austerlitz explains the movie’s use of the Starland Vocal Band’s hit “Afternoon Delight” as a paean to love by a sensitive but cloddish white guy, which is the ideal vehicle for Ron’s ode to love. He also questions the sexist jokes that don’t seem so funny anymore and why many of the jokes poking fun at homosexuality were always problematic. Through his exhaustive yet fast-paced text, Austerlitz provides an in-depth look at the making of Anchorman and its place in the broader themes of the time.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 2023
ISBN: 9780593186848

Page Count: 320
Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023