A paean to silly self-regard from the master of the genre, TV anchor Burgundy.
Burgundy is, of course, a fictitious character, the product of comedian Will Ferrell. There’s a Pinocchio moment toward the end of this looping book, full of sound but empty of signification, when he calls it “a novel about my life,” even as he deems the two Anchorman franchise films to date “factual documentaries about myself.” Roll with it, then: Burgundy, a native of a little town in Iowa named for a sectarian murderer and full of people who just didn’t quite have the gumption to head further west, has made himself an enduring star of the small screen, a jazz flautist, dog lover and collector of “authentic replications of Spanish broadswords.” And let’s not forget connoisseur of peaty adult beverages: “There’s nothing so bad on God’s green earth that can’t be made good by a tall glass of scotch.” That may be, but even a fifth of the firth’s finest can’t mask the fundamental so-whatness of this artifact. The satire is broad to the point of micrometer-thinness, the targets all the usual suspects, the put-on chauvinism and arrogance just more of the same for anyone who’s seen the films—and who besides the films’ fans would plunk down the money for this book? Stephen Colbert has done wonders with his similarly broad-brushed character, but this is second-tier stuff. Even if Burgundy (or whoever the writer is) occasionally lands a point, it seems almost accidental, as when Burgundy senior tells his anchor-boy son, “Ron, sometimes people don’t want the truth. They just want the news.”
A stocking stuffer for die-hard Burgundians or a gag gift to bring to Wes Mantooth’s holiday party, but nothing more than that.