Special Event: 'Anchorman 2,' David Koechner Big Hits at the Newseum

December 17, 2013
Location: Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater

Guests: David Koechner and CNN anchor Jake Tapper

By Sharon Shahid, online managing editor

WASHINGTON — Actor David Koechner was in and out of character Tuesday night at the Newseum during a brief but zany program that preceded an advance screening of the highly touted "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues."

Koechner, who plays sportscaster Champ Kind in the sequel to 2004's "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," treated the sold-out audience to character impersonations and behind-the-scenes insight on what it was like on the set of the two movies.

"Anchorman 2" opens nationwide Dec. 18.

Jake Tapper, anchor and chief Washington correspondent for CNN, hosted the program that at times was more improvised than scripted — similar to the dialogue in the "Anchorman" movies. At one point, Koechner called Adam McKay, co-writer and director of both movies, "brighter than any senator in town."

"That's setting the bar high," Tapper replied.

Koechner, a father of five who was called "the mayor" on the "Anchorman" set by co-star Paul Rudd, was a member of The Second City comedy troupe in Chicago before he got his first big break on "Saturday Night Live" from 1995 to 1996. "SNL" is where he met "Anchorman" star Will Ferrell.

The first "Anchorman" was not initially a box-office smash. Koechner offered his own theories about why the movie and its sequel have grown from a cult hit with repeat viewings into a pop culture phenomenon.

"The movie was so complex that people missed some things," he said. "These four guys represent authority. Each of the characters is deeply flawed, but they celebrate their flaws," he said. "How could you predict that ‘I love lamp' would be a lasting catchphrase?"

Koechner added that one catchphrase — delivered by weatherman Brick Tamland, who was portrayed by actor Steve Carell — was totally ad-libbed.

"Loud noises!" Koechner said. "That was improvised."

"Anchorman: The Exhibit," the Newseum's look behind the film's humor by highlighting the challenges women faced in 1970s newsrooms, is open through Aug. 31, 2014. A new case containing props and costumes from "Anchorman 2" is now on display.

Related Links:
Anchorman: The Exhibit
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
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