MEDIA: Philly Mag Tracks Down Retired Philly Anchorman Mort Crim, The Original Ron Burgundy

Artwork by SCHANGO

PHILLY MAG: In case you haven’t been paying attention, Anchorman 2 is coming out soon, and Will Ferrell has been making the (early) publicity rounds, including by anchoring a real live newscast as Ron Burgundy, his ridiculous character in the movies. The New York Times recently interviewed Ferrell about the origins of Ron Burgundy and Anchorman, and Ferrell pointed to Jessica Savitch’s co-anchor in Philadelphia, Mort Crim:

The inspiration for the original “Anchorman” came one evening more than a decade ago when Mr. Ferrell was watching a television documentary about Jessica Savitch, one of the first women to anchor news telecasts. He was struck by a former co-anchor of hers in Philadelphia, who delivered his reminiscences in a silky baritone. “He literally said the line: ‘You have to remember, back then I was a real male chauvinist pig. I was not nice to her.’ ”

I called the 78-year-old Crim at his home in Florida to see if Ferrell does the role justice.

PHILY MAG: So does Will Ferrell nail the stereotype of the 1970s anchorman?
MORT CRIM: Well, as a matter of fact, I got an email a couple of months ago from Will’s agent. He said, “As you know, Will is a fan of yours and we want to do something special for him at the end of filming. We thought it would be nice if you could send him an autographed picture.” So I pulled out an 8×10 and wrote, “You’ve almost got it. A little more authenticity and you’ll be there. Your friend, the real Anchorman, Mort Crim.” MORE