One video I will always watch to lift my spirits is Steve Carell’s audition for “Anchorman.” Though he hadn’t fully captured the Brick Tamland character yet, you see the pure comic genius of Carell as he mimes gagging while happily eating garbage, making everyone in the room absolutely lose it. It’s brilliant. Carell’s co-star Paul Rudd recalled to GQ that when it came time to actually shoot “Anchorman,” this also was the scene that made them laugh the hardest during production:
“I think the scene we laughed the hardest — it was the first time I think even the crew was getting a little annoyed ’cause we just couldn’t get through it — which was a scene of all of us sitting around a table, plotting how we were going to take down Veronica Corningstone. And Will [Ferrell] is asking Brick what he’s eating, and Brick says, ‘It’s one of those delicious falafel hot dogs with cinnamon and bacon on top’ … [I]t looked like coffee, a real coffee filter, a cigarette butt, a wrapper, and then a dime. And every time Carell would take a bite of it, it was so repulsive, we’d all start laughing. We’d have to do it again, and then the build-up became funny.”
And every time they did the scene, they would just laugh harder. Though the scene ultimately didn’t make the final cut despite how funny it is, it does thankfully live on in “Wake Up, Ron Burgundy.” A film like “Anchorman” can only sustain so many scenes of four guys sitting around doing nonsense before it feels self-indulgent and repetitive. I think it was the right choice to cut it, but I’m glad we can still enjoy it out of context as much as they did making it.