Ranking: Will Ferrell’s Performances from Worst to Best

He's kind of a big deal...


    With the release of Get Hard, Will Ferrell is back in wily comic mode as a white-collar con dreading his imminent trip to prison. Think 25th Hour made up of dirty laughs.

    For the release, we decided to look back at the ups and downs of Ferrell’s film career and rank every single one of his movie performances. Yes, everything from the stupid (Boat Trip, the awkward early years) to the stupendous (INSERT CATCH PHRASE HERE) to the interestingly great work he’s done while uncredited. We would have included Funny or Die shorts, but that would have doubled this list. So, we’ll just say this now: The Landlord is a flawless viral video.

    Now on to Ferrell at the movies.

    –Blake Goble
    Senior Writer

    41. Darren Clark

    The Thin Pink Line (1997)

    Ferrell is just an extra in this mockumentary, so if you’ve never heard of The Thin Pink Line, why start learning about it now? It’s got Jason Priestley, Jennifer Aniston, Maura Tierney, David Cross, and it’s just terrible. Terrible. Now enjoy, or wince, at this clip featuring a sparkle-vested, awkwardly tall Ferrell. It’s truly his worst, because no one could see his talents yet. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: Dialogue not found


    40. Gil

    The Suburbans (1999)

    Here we get shy, soft-voiced, Dad-humored, pre-fame Will Ferrell in a low-rent rock comedy with Craig Bierko and Jennifer Love Hewitt. The Suburbans is one of those flops that gets re-packaged on DVD with all the stars on the cover, after they’ve become stars. Ferrell got to be the nerdy guy in a bro band. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: “I have a handheld GPS satellite-controlled system, that’s just, dynamite…”



    39. Al

    Men Seeking Women (1997)

    Ferrell’s first film is a forgettable one (his top-billed co-stars are Grant Shaud and Anthony Palermo, to which you may be asking yourself, who?), but at least his debut made an impression. At the time that he was shooting Men Seeking Women as Al, a nerdy 33-year-old who makes a bet with his friends to see who can be the first to get a girlfriend, Ferrell was still a virtual unknown, having only just joined the cast of Saturday Night Live. Of course, he became a much bigger star by the time the indie comedy was released in 1997; and judging by the emphasis on his name and face in the promotional materials, the belated star of the film as well. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: [Trapped under a car] “I’ve been worse.”


    38. Michael, Brian’s Boyfriend (uncredited)

    Boat Trip (2002)

    Wherein Ferrell upstages an Oscar winner in one completely irrelevant scene. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: “Oh, Larry, you’re still here. Your mother died. This morning. I’m sorry, I thought you got my Post-It.”


    37. Lance Delune

    The Ladies Man (2000)

    As with several films based on one-note SNL characters, Ferrell shines the brightest here as a supporting character — a wimpy husband who’s obsessed with Greco Roman wrestling. More oil! –Dan Caffrey


    Best Line: “Are you sure you don’t want just a dab? It’s a lemon essence, and it is delightful.”


    36. Jack Wyatt

    Bewitched (2005)

    This lame, if ambitious, riff on the Bewitched TV series works against most of Ferrell’s strengths. He’s great when allowed to unleash Jack Wyatt’s formidable ego, but the tenderness of the film’s romantic core doesn’t suit him. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: “You shall lick my face, and I shall lick your snout!”


    35. Dave

    The Wendell Baker Story (2005)

    A strange passion project from Luke Wilson and Andrew Wilson (Owen’s brothers, yes), Wendell Baker Story depicts a well-meaning ex-con and his hijinks at a retirement home. Will Ferrell slugging Luke Wilson in the face in a grocery story is the cameo. Forgettable movie, but it’s a smirking bit part for Ferrell. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: “You’re a real character, aren’t ya, god you’re a real character?!”


    34. Mattress Salesman (uncredited)

    The Internship (2013)

    Ferrell’s filthy, butt-obsessed bro pops in to give this abysmal Google commercial at least one funny scene. Just look at that neck tat. It had to have been his idea. –Randall Colburn


    Best Line: “Have you done the back door yet? Back door? Back door action? Knock knock? Back door? It’s me. With my penis.”


    33. Jackie Moon

    Semi-Pro (2008)

    Classic Ferrell scream-riffing, this time in a silly wig. –Randall Colburn



    32. Franz Liebkind

    The Producers (2005)

    Although the 2005 film adaptation of The Producers pales in comparison to the original 1968 film and even the 2001 Broadway stage musical, starring much of the same cast, Ferrell is still sidesplitting as Franz Liebkind, a former Nazi whose musical tribute, Springtime for Hitler, is picked up by producers Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) and Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) in their effort to stage “the worst play ever written” and defraud investors of $2 million from the sure-fire flop. Sure, Ferrell’s German accent is laughably bad — emphasis on the laughable — but his singing and dancing? Not too shabby. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “The Fuhrer wasn’t a mousy little mama’s boy! The Fuhrer was BUTCH!”



    31. Cam Brady

    The Campaign (2012)

    Throwing Southern politics into the mix makes for Ferrell at his sleaziest and meanest. But it also means there’s some sex-scandal stuff that’s funny in a cringe-worthy, icky kind of way. –Dan Caffrey

    Best Line: “Let’s do something crazy weird next time like lick each other’s buttholes in a Denny’s bathroom.”


    30. Sky Corrigan/Jesus

    Superstar (1999)

    Superstar literally has one funny bit, but it’s funny enough to make the film worth seeking out. Ferrell plays Sky Corrigan, the hunky crush of Molly Shannon’s awkward Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher. Naturally, when she sees Jesus, he has a strikingly similar resemblance to her object of affection, lending a casual, Dude-like demeanor to our Lord and Savior. –Dan Caffrey

    Best Line: “I’m a mixture of your mind’s images of God, some past authority figures, uh, Sky, and your dad. Basically, your subconscious came up with me to help you deal. Dig?”


    29. Corbitt

    Winter Passing (2005)

    An utterly indistinct indie with a decent heart, Winter Sleep was one of Ferrell’s early and feeble attempts at drama. Complete with shy, affectless staring, Ferrell showed a commitment to scaling back when he was quickly getting a reputation for going all out. It’s Ferrell’s offbeat persona nearly on mute. –Blake Goble


    Best Line: “Crack cocaine will fry your brain.”

    28. Cubby the Funeral Director

    Drowning Mona (2000)

    Drowning Mona is a terrible excuse for a film, and you would be wise to skip it. The only, albeit awkward, laughs come from Ferrell’s bizarre cameo as Cubby the Funeral Director, as he takes each of his would-be-boring lines (“You and everyone’s mother, haha!”) and spins them to sound as creepy as possible. If only he and co-star Danny DeVito could have run away together and made a Death to Smoochy-style black comedy over this DOA dud. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “In my experience, wakes aren’t very well attended.”


    27. Armando

    Casa de mi Padre (2012)

    Casa de mi Padre is like watching one big inside joke for people who cherish, or mock, Spanish Soap operas. It may as well be the Funny or Die movie, as it’s one experimental short comedy expanded mercilessly into 84 minutes of Will Ferrell playing a hapless Mexican. For a film that’s the very definition of a one-note joke, Ferrell sees it through, complete with melodramatic mockery and even some butt nudity to boot. –Blake Goble


    Best Line: “Yo soy Armando Alvarez!!!”


    26. Hobie

    Melinda & Melinda (2005)

    While he doesn’t quite work as a Woody Allen stand-in (let’s face it, Owen Wilson has been the only actor in recent years to really pull this off), Ferrell takes the nebbish cuckold role of Hobie to a far weirder place than other Allen proxies like Colin Firth and Jason Biggs are likely capable of going. His crazy eyes when he finds his wife in bed with a mutual friend – “You’re having an affair with Steve Walsh? He’s wonderful!”– are next level. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “Did I tell you I played Uncle Vanya once? With a limp. It was interesting.”


    25. Ted, the Man in the Yellow Hat

    Curious George (2006)

    Listen, before passing away, my Grandmother loved this movie because it was just cute in her eyes. So, cheers to the monkey for making her happy. That said, Ferrell wasn’t too bad as The Man in the Yellow Hat. Using his higher pitch and excitable shtick, Ferrell was the loving, well-meaning father to that infamous little chimp. Ferrell’s fine here. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: “You don’t give a monkey a latte!”


    24. Steve Butabi

    A Night at the Roxbury (1998)

    In A Night at the Roxbury, Chris Kattan is basically playing Chris Kattan. Ferrell, however, spun the wordless head-bobber of the popular SNL sketch into a fleshed-out character, a doofy dude-bro with a voice and countenance all his own. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: No line in this film is funnier than this shirt:

    nightattheroxbury2 Ranking: Will Ferrells Performances from Worst to Best

    23. Phil Weston

    Kicking & Screaming (2005)


    This Ferrell heyday vehicle about a competitive boys’ soccer team is not great, per se, but entertaining nonetheless, and probably better off with Ferrell at the helm than one of his early aughts contemporaries like Adam Sandler, Kevin James, or worse, Rob Schneider. Ferrell plays Coach Phil Weston somewhere between tightly wound and batshit insane so that even when the plot falters, his outbursts sweep in to make his performance, if not the movie itself, memorable. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “I am angry. I’m like a tornado of anger, swirling about.”


    22. Bob Woodward

    Dick (1999)

    Somebody, please, release this on Blu-Ray, or put it on Netflix Instant, or something! Andrew Fleming’s Dick was the delightfully teen-oriented take on Watergate led by Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst; a clever cutesy-fied All the President’s Men. Take Ferrell as a buffoonish Bob Woodward (not far from the truth) getting into a slap fight with Bernstein (Kids in the Hall’s Bruce McCulloch) on live TV. In a true story made ludicrous and funny, Ferrell helps us get in on the joke. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: “Don’t … will you … you smell like cabbage!”


    21. Chazz Michael Michaels

    Blades of Glory (2007)

    Blades of Glory isn’t a great movie, but it is a fun one thanks to the two lead performances from Will Ferrell and Jon Heder as rival figure skaters forced to team up. On Ferrell’s end, it’s the sort of performance we’ve seen from him before — self-absorbed and arrogant — but it stands out because he’s actually supposed to be a good skater, despite him clearly being out of shape and, at 40 years of age, a bit too old to be a current champion of the sport. The silliness is inspired, so inspired in fact, that a choice quote became immortalized by Jay-Z and Kanye. –Dan Caffrey


    Best Line: “I remember Boston. And that victory was as sweet as the cream pie for which the town was named.”


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