Will Ferrell: Brilliant Idiot

How the sketch comedian made a career out of improvised stupidity, humiliation and bare skin

Michael Grecco for TIME

Portrait of actor Will Ferrell, lying on a polar bear rug, photographed at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles on March 9, 2007.

If you've seen one Will Ferrell movie, you can probably see his latest, Blades of Glory, in your head right now. Ferrell plays Chazz Michael Michaels, a sex-addicted alcoholic ex-figure-skating champ who bottoms out when he vomits inside a foam mascot head while on the ice during a children's skating revue and is redeemed when he becomes part of history's first male-male pairs skating team. "The part was written for a young Martin Landau," says Ferrell. "It's a script that's been around for 30 years, just waiting for its time. That time is now."

The part was actually intended for Ben...

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