Tickets weren’t cheap, but neither was the humor at Will Ferrell’s “Kinda Humorous Comedy Show,” a fundraising event Friday night at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
All of the proceeds from the $150 to $300 tickets – the highest ever to be offered at the casino believes Pechanga’s Public Relations Manager Robert Bledsoe – benefited Cancer for College, which awards college scholarships to cancer survivors. An accompanying golf tournament also contributed to the total amount.
Since its inception, Cancer for College has granted $1.5 million to over 800 cancer survivors. Ferrell has been an advocate of the organization and hosts numerous fundraising events for it.
“Thank you so much for coming. Thank you so much for spending money,” said Ferrell, noting that giving can be difficult these days given the state of the economy.
On Friday, Ferrell took the stage numerous times throughout the 2-hour-and-35-minute show inside Pechanga’s theater to portray not only an inspirational juggler sans juggling equipment, but also two of his most popular impersonations and characters: former President George W. Bush, made popular on “Saturday Night Live,” and “Anchorman” lead character Ron Burgundy.
Also performing were Ferrell’s fellow comedic colleagues Sean Kent, Nick Kroll, B.J. Novak, Sarah Silverman, Tig Notaro, Craig Robinson, comedy-folk-singing duo Garfunkel & Oates, and David Koechner.
Ferrell, in his burgundy Burgundy getup, was presented with a $300,000 check following the show. Eight scholarship winners from around the country, including one from Brea, Cali., joined Ferrell on stage for the check presentation.
In full Ron Burgundy mode, Ferrell skewered the cardboard check’s presenter for trying to act as if the check was real.
“Are you making me out to be a fool?” Ferrell, as Burgundy, questioned.
Ferrell appeared on stage early in the night following an opening set by comedian Sean Kent, a cancer survivor himself.
Introduced as “D’Angelo Vickers,” the stage’s curtains opened to reveal Ferrell, dressed all in black with shiny copper-colored shoes, playing the character of an inspirational juggler.
“I’m not used to that kind of applause,” Ferrell deadpanned. “No, I won’t do anything to my pants,” he continued, as if replying to an overzealous fan.
Ferrell, as Vickers, explained that he didn’t have his equipment with him, but he would proceed to do his juggling routine anyway.
Ferrell then got into position and began to motion as though he was juggling to Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life.” At one point, he pretended to apply a blindfold and even brought an audience member on stage to pretend-juggle off her face.
“Thank you,” Ferrell began following the bit that left the crowd cheering uncontrollably. “I’m D’Angelo Vickers, and that’s the best I’ve ever done. Enjoy the rest of the show.”
Ferrell later came out to narrate a photo slideshow of his family, as well as some humorous photos of families unrelated to his own and some random situations.
“That’s me walking along the 10 Freeway with a machete in my hand,” he said as a photo of just that appeared on the two video screens.
Ferrell later showed three more machete pictures, including on other California freeways and in front of the Church of Scientology.
Later, the former “SNL” star walked out on stage in a cowboy hat to impersonate former President George W. Bush. George “Dubya” greeted his Temecula audience by, appropriately, butchering the city’s name.
“The people here of TEM-ah-COO-la have an independent spirit,” Ferrell said.
He proceeded to call Pechanga, “Pech-aye-nga.” An audience member corrected him.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, lady,” Ferrell shot back.
Toward the end of the evening, the crowd exploded when Ferrell came out at as Ron Burgundy as the final act.
“It’s good to be back in S-ahh-n Diego,” said Ferrell, wearing his signature ‘70s red suit from the film. “It’s good to be back in the whale’s vagina,” he said, referencing “Anchorman”’s well-known line.
At one point, Ferrell gave some tongue-in-cheek props to the city, saying: “Once you see Temecula, there’s no other place to see. I mean, am I right?”
Here’s hoping Ferrell liked it so much he returns soon.