You know you are in trouble when you think the opening credits run too long. Anchorman with Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate could have been a great comedy (the premise is there, the writing is there sometimes, the acting is definitely there) about news anchors in the early seventies and a woman trying to get her foot in the door but soon descends into weird little over the top and basically useless to the plot short skits (such as the Care Bear like animation that follows Burgundy bedding the Applegate Character)
The character of seventies playboy, number one anchorman, and basic dolt Guy Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is interesting and Ferrell does a pretty good job with this character but at the same time some of the writing or improv by Ferrell takes away any willing suspension of disbelief (like when Burgundy says San Diego is German for whale's vagina) and you soon get tired of this one-dimensional character.
The supporting cast does a very good job in Anchorman considering they are just following Will Ferrell's lead and playing everything over the top and the characters they play, the sports reporter, the field reporter, and the weatherman, are basically little more than clichés of similar characters in countless movies and Saturday Night Live skits.
Probably the lamest moment in this movie (and there are quite a few) is the battle of the news teams: it does absolutely nothing to move the plot and there is nothing even remotely funny about it. The most inane moment in Anchorman is a scene about eating cat poo, yes, cat poo. Perhaps it is meat to be interpreted as the movie eating itself.
One wonders if having been on Saturday Night Live causes all (supposedly) comic actors to think the way to a laugh is playing everything over the top, being as loud as you possibly can, and squeezing in as many sexual references as you possibly can while making sure the skit runs way past its prime. If so, Anchorman is perfect proof that medical research is still trying to find a cure for Saturday Night Live fever..
Anchorman had an excellent premise, very good actors, and then something went terribly, terribly wrong.