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.”


    20. McDermott (uncredited)

    The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2009)

    The Goods was quietly released in August 2009, buried under The Hangover, and scarcely heard from again. It’s worth watching if only for Ferrell’s brief, uncredited cameo as McDermott, “the greatest car sale DJ anyone has ever seen.” McDermott meets an untimely end when he dresses up like Abraham Lincoln and gets airdropped on the day of a big car sale, only to discover that he has a bag of dildos strapped to his back instead of a parachute. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “Just like John Wilkes Booth, our prices are gonna sneak up behind you and blow your brains out!”

    19. Dr. Rick Marshall

    Land of the Lost (2009)

    Saying someone didn’t “get” a movie (or any piece of art for that matter) is an elitist, shitty thing to do, but I maintain to this day that most people didn’t “get” the Land of the Lost reboot. Like The Brady Bunch films before it, the film commented on the inherent ridiculousness of the source material by amplifying it — in this case, parodying Sid and Marty Kroft’s ’70s sci-fi hokum by turning it into a bona fide stoner comedy. Much of its success relies on both the fact that the Krofts produced it (thus the movie never feels mean-spirited) and how Will Ferrell transformed the show’s Dr. Rick Marshall from a rugged, competent scientist to an arrogant dimwit. It’s actually a fairly understated Ferrell performance, one that stands out for its smugness and condescension rather than yelling (although he still does yell). –Dan Caffrey


    Best Line: “Forget about the Polish. It’s the T-Rexes who are the real dummies of the world.”


    18. Mustafa

    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

    I think this was my, and likely much of the world’s, first encounter with Ferrell. Here, his signature style of prolonged riffing was still fresh and stood out in a film that prided itself on the broadness of its gags. It’s also a pitch-perfect satirization of the sort of nebulous booby traps found in so many swinger-era spy films. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: “I’m very badly burned!”


    17. Mustafa

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

    Ferrell made his three minutes of screen time count in Mike Myers’ super spy sequel. The sheer pity we feel for Mustafa, not to mention the guilt for laughing at his pain, the same silly pain in a joke made in the first film. But this time the joke was nastier, funnier, and a little more memorable. And the best part is that Mustafa didn’t die until after the movie was over. So very mean. We thank you for your pain, Mustafa.  –Blake Goble


    Best Line: “Hello up there!

    I seem to have fallen down a cliff.

    I’m still alive, but I’m very badly injured.

    I think my legs are broken. I’ll try to stand.

    Yes, they are broken.”


    16. Big Earl (uncredited)

    Starsky & Hutch (2004)

    Here we have Ferrell in a moment of silly power, moments before Anchorman came out, and people were curious to see what he was capable of. With his hairnet, jean outfit, and strangely homoerotic intensity for dragons and Owen Wilson, Ferrell made the most out of a side role that he filmed in one day. It’s a role that screams “just doing things until it’s funny,” and he found a high spot in his character career: a sleazy, funny prison dude. –Blake Goble

    Best Line: “Oh, eureka. God, that’s nice. It’s like a little bowl of oatmeal with a hole in it. I got one too. I just got a little more brown sugar on mine.”


    15. Nick Halsey

    Everything Must Go (2010)

    Ferrell dips into his dramatic range for this underrated indie, playing an alcoholic in the throes of a midlife relapse. After he is fired from his job and his wife leaves him, Nick holds an indefinite yard sale, camping out on his front lawn and waiting for his life to restart. Nick may be sad and stalled, but he also has a warmth to him: a hopefulness buried under years of dejection and despair and a vulnerability that Ferrell peels back in layers, flawlessly. –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “You know they say that the dining room is the least utilized room in the house? I think it’s the front lawn. It’s starting to look good, don’t you think?”


    14. Allen Gamble

    The Other Guys (2010)

    Ferrell’s best in the quiet moments of this failed attempt at reviving the action comedy genre when his paper-pushing detective is forced to react to the machismo of his fellow cops.


    Damon Wayans Jr. saying he’ll make Ferrell piss blood from his ass? Not funny.

    Ferrell responding with a meek “that’s horrible,” though? Hilarious. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: “They were so convincing in their argument! They swung me!”


    13. Ron Burgundy

    Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)

    Anchorman 2 is maximalist absurdity — messier and far less restrained than its predecessor. But while it doesn’t have the cohesion of the first film, it arguably has more individual laughs. It feels like Adam McKay just let the camera roll and asked Ferrell and co. to do whatever the hell they wanted, whether it’s nursing a baby shark to adulthood or fighting alongside a Were-Hyena version of fellow newsman Harrison Ford. The end product may not make a whole lot of sense, but it’s a case study in improv as camaraderie. Very funny camaraderie. –Dan Caffrey

    Best Line: “I’ll tell you, those fellas, they got the looks, they got the curves, they got the chi-chis, and then at some point during the evening, you reach down below the belt looking to get a little angel hair pasta, and you get a handful of the Battle of the Bulge.”



    12. President Business/Man Upstairs

    Lego Movie (2014)

    As soon as we hear Ferrell’s voice announce, “Hi, I’m President Business, president of the Octan corporation and the world … follow the instructions, or you’ll be put to sleep, and don’t forget Taco Tuesday’s coming next week,” we know we’re in for a treat. We love him as the bad guy, we love him as the good guy, and here, he gets to play both, reminding us why, in 2015, Ferrell is still the Man.  –Leah Pickett

    Best Line: “All I’m asking for is total perfection.”


    11. Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly

    Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

    Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back carries the countenance of a zany, warmhearted farce, but the only one on screen who seems to understand that is Ferrell’s Dudley Do-Right-ish Federal Wildlife Marshall Willenholly. –Randall Colburn

    Best Line: “Fire a warning shot into his bulbous ass!”


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