I will start right off in saying I'm no fan of Will Ferrell as a comedian. I find his usual shtick of the man child who gets loud and noisy gets very tiresome very quickly. I just don't find it particularly funny and I find he too often just devolves into repetition in his performances. I was not even looking forward too much to watching this film, but I was very encouraged by other non-Will Farrell fans who claimed this was the Will Farrell film that they did enjoy. Well watching the film proved their claim to be true, and I actually don't dislike Farrell in this film. The main reason being that he does not exactly do his usual thing exactly. Well Ron Burgundy is not exactly a normal functioning adult by any means, and Farrell is in no way avoiding his usual style of comedy there's a certain factor that makes his performance here far more enjoyable than usual for me. That factor being that he is playing a 70's local news anchor who at least seems to suffer the delusion of being somewhat intelligent.
Ferrell is very enjoyable in the fact that he plays the role to actually be at least marginally convincing as a news anchor. Obviously its still entirely comedic in nature, but Ferrell's proper newsman man voice and whole physical manner are quite good. Ferrell is convincing just enough with his semi refined manner here that it makes his stupidity all the funnier. His completely moronic statements such as first believing San Diego's name is something that it definitely does not stand for then proceeds to retract that statement claiming scientists are still trying to determine what the name means exactly would not be nearly as funny if it were not for the semi-intellectual manner in which Ferrell speaks. That pretty much goes throughout his whole performance as he makes something rather endearing out of the foolishness expressed by Burgundy because Burgundy always states the foolishness in such way in which you feel as though Burgundy is really trying.
This is not a terribly complex comedic role as Ferrell technically keeps up with this same style throughout the film and Burgundy does not really change all that much by the end of it. Of course that does not matter since this is a comedy that is particularly goofy after all it has various news teams duke it out in a particularly hilarious and absurd brawl. The biggest change that occurs is when Burgundy gets fired from the news leaving him a broken man. The best parts of the brief set of scenes is when Ferrell really goes extremely dramatic in portraying Burgundy as haunted beyond belief by his failure as a newsman. When Ferrell plays rather "seriously" it is when he is at his most hilarious actually. Of course this scene does not last long and as soon he is hired Burgundy is back to his old self again. There's no big character arc past that, but there does not have to be. Ferrell is rather funny, certainly the most I've liked him, and although I would not put this as an all-time great comic performance it is a good one.