‘Vote classy, San Diego’ — What Will Ferrell said in Oceanside before car crash on Interstate 5
Billy Eichner and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) “Glam Up The Midterms” at Oceanside High School Performing Arts Center, a conversation about the upcoming primary in CA-49 as part of Funny Or Die and Billy Eichner’s “Glam Up The Midterms” non-partisan campaign to encourage young people to vote.(Joe Scarnici / Getty Images for Funny or Die)
People stand in line for the will call window to get their tickets before the start of the Glam Up The Midterms, featuring comedians Billy Eichner and Will Ferrell, playing Ron Burgundy, at Oceanside High School on Thursday.(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)
People, who were handed signs, pose for a photo as they wait in line for the will call window to get their tickets before the start of the Glam Up The Midterms, featuring comedians Billy Eichner and Will Ferrell, playing Ron Burgundy, at Oceanside High School on Thursday.(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)
It was homecoming night for Ron Burgundy on Thursday.
“I’m getting a little peeved that people are relaxing and pronouncing it ‘San Diego,’” said Will Ferrell on stage in the performing arts center at Oceanside High School. “It’s pronounced ‘Sahn Di-Ah-go. Discovered by the Germans in 1904. They named it Sahn Di-Ah-go, which of course means a whale’s vagina.”
Fans of Farrell’s recognized the absurd lines from the 2004 movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” a comedy about a fictional San Diego TV anchor in the 1970s, and many joined in to recite them with Farrell.
He and comedian Billy Eichner were at the 500-seat high school auditorium as the first stop in a tour to push for voter registration and to promote the “Glam Up the Midterms” campaign to encourage people to vote in the midterm elections on Nov. 6.
Although he was introduced by Eichner as a local legend, Burgundy’s Thursday appearance may have been the first time Ferrell has donned a mustache and three-piece burgundy suit for a live San Diego County appearance.
He and Eichner, however, had done their homework before arriving, casually dropping the names of area schools and neighborhoods as though they were locals.
“We’re in Oceanside, so I have to say, ‘Go Pirates,” Eichner said, referring to Oceanside High’s mascot.
Burgundy even knew that the Oceanside High Pirates were playing the San Marcos High Knights in a varsity baseball game the next night and warned any Knights in the audience that Oceanside would “rape and pillage” them for a final 10th inning score of 2-1.
Eichner admitted that he had skipped voting in primary elections before and that he had never been to San Diego before.
“It’s very surprising, considering my love of Blink 182, closeted gay Republicans and board shorts,” he said.
While the event was billed as a non-partisan effort to increase voter participation, the jokes and the audience response did seem left-leaning.
“You idiots let Darrell Issa represent Legoland?” Eichner said. “I didn’t even care about District 49 at all until someone said, ‘Billy, this election concerns the people of Legoland.’”
On a serious note, Eichner said only 12 percent of millennials voted in the 2014 midterm election, and he wanted to create an event that would make it the “hottest, sexiest” event of the year.
“I think right now we’re seeing the consequences of sitting out elections,” he said. “The reality is, nothing will change if you don’t go out and vote.”
The two also had done their homework about the candidates in the June primary election in the 49th Congressional district.
At one point, Eichner showed Ferrell, who remained in character as Burgundy throughout the evening, pictures of candidates in the race and asked his immediate reaction to each.
Burgundy dismissed Doug Applegate because he didn’t like his baby blue tie, but called Sarah Jacobs an affable young woman and Paul Kerr “a man’s man.” When Mike Levin’s photo appeared, Burgundy said he had slept with him, a running joke for the rest of the night.
Some people booed when Kristin Gaspar’s picture appeared, and Burgundy joked that the blurry picture of David Medway was the best he could produce. Looking at Peace and Freedom party candidate Jordan Mills, Eichner said he was the only candidate who made him not want peace or freedom.
At one point, Burgundy abruptly left the stage after saying he had to cover an emergency at Sea World, then returned later with the surprise announcement that he was running in the 49th district. He later rescinded the announcement after realizing he was in a sailboat race to Catalina the day of the primary election.
During a question and answer portion, someone asked Burgundy where he likes to surf.
“Blacks Beach,” he responded. “That’s still nude, right?”
He also told Eichner he was registered to vote in all 50 states, which he said may sound illegal but was his Plan B, and that he does still occasionally play jazz flute at the Rusty Pelican.
After leaving the event, Ferrell was involved in a rollover crash on Interstate 5 in Orange County. He and other passengers in the car chauffeur-driven SUV were taken to a hospital. Ferrell’s injuries were described as minor.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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