Ferrell reveals Burgundy inspiration as Mort Crim who worked at WHAS11




Posted on December 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 10 at 5:51 PM

(ABC NEWS) -- America’s favorite anchorman is back with his starched suit, camera-ready hair and that baritone voice.

And now Will Ferrell is revealing the man who helped bring Ron Burgundy to life, veteran anchorman Mort Crim.

In the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Ferrell says he found inspiration while watching Crim in a Lifetime documentary on pioneering journalist Jessica Savitch.

“At one point, they were talking to this anchor, Mort Crim, who was basically saying, ‘I was an (profanity) to her,’” Ferrell told the magazine. “What made me laugh was watching him. He still spoke like this … He still used his on-camera voice.”


“Well you have to understand,” Crim explained of his behavior in the documentary about Savitch. “That I was a typical traditional 1972 male chauvinist anchor.”

Crim, 78, who co-anchored with Savitch at KYW-TV in Philadelphia, says he “did not take any offense” at Ferrell’s comedic interpretation of himself.

“You know comedy and satire and parody is nothing but taking a grain of truth and stretching it out to an absolutely ridiculous conclusion,” the retired anchorman told ABC News. “And I think that’s what they have done very skillfully in ‘Anchorman,’ and I enjoyed it immensely.”

Now an author and voiceover artist, Crim says the movie holds true to life as a journalist in the 1970s.

“I think they’ve done an excellent job of taking some real situations, some real tensions that existed and squeezed the humor out of them,” he said.

This weekend, the real anchorman is heading to New York City for the premiere of “Anchorman 2″ and is set to meet Ron Burgundy for the first time.

“Not only will it be my first time to meet Will Ferrell, but more importantly, it’ll be his first time to meet me,” Crim quipped.

Mort Crim worked at WHAS11 in the late 1960's and early seventies and anchored the newscast with Ken Rowland, Fred Wiche and Cawood Ledford.

WHAS11’s Gary Roedemeier had this to say about Crim:

When I arrived at WHAS-TV in 1984, the place was infamous for old furniture in the newsroom and old equipment. My chair and desk must have been 50-years-old. And one day, I looked at the back of the chair and Mort Crim was scratched in the metal on the back of the chair. Apparently, it was his chair when he worked at WHAS in the '70s. From there, he went to Detroit I think. But, I inherited his chair....and apparently kept it for 30 years.

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