Something mysterious popped up on the schedule for all five network late-night shows (plus TBS’ Conan) this Thursday night: “Special Guest TBA.”
It’s not uncommon for a presidential candidate or some other major figure to confirm an appearance at the last minute. But one secret guest sitting down with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, James Corden, and Conan O’Brien on the same night? That is downright unheard of.
As it turned out, the mystery guest was Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy, who performed six distinct, intentionally terrible stand-up sets and sat down for six different interviews with the six hosts. It was all in the name of promoting season two of The Ron Burgundy Podcast, which launched on Friday morning with a very special guest of its own: Kamala Harris.
The Anchorman star began his new episode by officially announcing that “after years of thought and dreams,” he will not be running for president. And while many talk show hosts prepare vigorously to interview high-level politicians, Burgundy said he was just going to “wing it.”
When Harris entered the fray, he promptly introduced her as “former Mötley Crüe bandmate and presidential candidate,” before correcting himself. The interview was full of confident errors like this one, including when he asked which branch of the military Harris was in when she was attorney general of California. It brought to mind times Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each dropped by Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns to do semi-unwitting improv scenes with Zach Galifianakis.
The whole endeavor could be viewed as a practice session for how Harris might contend with President Trump if she makes it to the general election debates. Though, while the Burgundy character is undoubtedly a misogynist moron, he was a lot kinder to his guest in this interview than Trump is likely to be on the debate stage.
When Burgundy played devil’s advocate on climate change, Harris accused Trump of “selling science fiction instead of science fact.” Burgundy replied with, “I love science fiction, though.” When he asked her what she thinks about “men speaking over women,” Harris said, “It happens a lot and it should not,” as the host comically interrupted both her and his female sidekick Carolina.
“What a pleasure to have a U.S. senator in the studio,” Burgundy told listeners before wrapping up his season premiere. “And the cool thing is, this upcoming election is going to be extremely elegant and orderly. She won’t be treated differently than any of the other candidates.”