SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’S The Best of Will Ferrell: Volume 3 DVD Review

     September 7, 2010

There’s plenty of people who love Will Ferrell, and I’ll admit that I’m definitely one of them. However, my love for the outrageous funnyman does not make me blind to the fact that once you get to Saturday Night Live’s The Best of Will Ferrell: Volume 3, a more accurate description of said collection of sketches would be The Average/Medicore of Will Ferrell. This newest assortment of SNL sketches featuring Will Ferrell was released just three days before the theatrical release of The Other Guys, so it seems like NBC Universal was simply looking to capitalize on Ferrell’s buzz from that film leading fans to this collection of funny. However, unless you’re just a die hard fan of Ferrell’s work, this release will leave you unsatisfied. Find out why after the jump.

For some reason this release scrapes the bottom of the barrel even when there’s plenty of other SNL material that wasn’t featured on the previous two volumes of The Best of Will Ferrell. The opening sketch makes promises the rest of the DVD can’t keep with Ferrell reprising his impression of former President George W. Bush looking to publicly endorse Sen. John McCain (Darrell Hammond) and Governor Sarah Palin (Tina Fey) in their run for the 2008 presidency. While the rest of the DVD has intermittent throwbacks to some of Ferrell’s most iconic SNL characters and bits, whoever put together this assortment seems to have chosen the weakest iterations.

Celebrity Jeopardy makes an appearance with the diabolical Sean Connery (Darrell Hammond), Sharon Osborne (Amy Poehler) and Bill Cosby (Kenan Thompson) which is good for a couple laughs. However, it seems like this sketch, along with a couple others were chosen only because they were from one of Ferrell’s more recent hosting stints, and NBC was looking to further promote their current fresh young cast. One of the sketches in question includes a segment of The Lawrence Welk Show with Fred Armisen as the titular host and a singing Will Ferrell being freaked out by a weird, baby-armed Kristen Wiig singing and dancing with otherwise beautiful ladies. This seems like a sketch that should be on The Best of Kristen Wiig since Ferrell isn’t all that hilarious in it. The same can be said for another sketch that simply has Ferrell appearing in the lower third of the screen as one of those motion promos that run during the NBA on TNT with Kenan Thompson as a childish and easily distracted Charles Barkley.

The two largest saving graces in this collection seem to be a dysfunctional family dinner sketch with a lot of trademark Will Ferrell yelling at his wife (Ana Gasteyer) and daughter (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and a late night advertisement for an inconvenient cellular phone and ringtones from the incomparable Robert Goulet. Otherwise Ferrell appears as Craig the Spartan cheeleader alongside Cheri Oteri at a chess tournament, delivers a moderately entertaining dramatic monologue from a fictional play Ferrell wrote himself, and leads the Oracle corporation employee convention with poor results. The disc finishes with a wholly strange sketch featuring Ferrell as a peculiar man with an eye patch hitting on an equally strange character from Mya Rudolph and the credits run over a weaker version of the hilarious “Get off the shed!” sketch that Ferrell once performed with Christine Baranski.

THE EXTRAS:

  • A couple of sketches from the non-televised dress rehearsals
  • A photo gallery of moments behind-the-scenes of Saturday Night Live
  • An off-air performance from Green Day featuring Will Ferrell playing the cowbell

THE FINAL WORD:

This is a release for only the most die-hard Will Ferrell or Saturday Night Live fans, but there’s a lot less of the “best” of Ferrell and not enough laughs to demand a purchase from your average viewer.


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