What’s Worth Watching: ‘Ferrell Takes the Field’ on HBO and ‘The Golden Girls’ on Logo for Friday, September 11 and Saturday September 12
Ferrell Takes the Field, Saturday, Sept. 12, 10/9c, HBO
We’ve known Will Ferrell to be among the most versatile of clowns at least since his heyday on Saturday Night Live, but his new HBO comedy special is one for the record books. Sports records, to be precise, as the comedian takes one for the team—10 Major League Baseball teams in one jam-packed, Cracker Jack day—to help out a friend’s charity. Honoring the achievement established 50 years ago by baseball legend Bert “Campy” Campaneris, who played all nine positions within a single September game for the Kansas City Athletics, Ferrell zooms between five spring-training games (at one point making up time in a helicopter) to assume every position, changing uniforms at each cleated step. (He adds a 10th assignment, acting as 3rd-base coach for the Cubs.)
Ferrell Takes the Field, a Funny Or Die collaboration with MLB, turns out to be more than a stunt—though it’s a quite impressive one. The goal is to raise money and awareness for the charity Cancer for College, founded by Ferrell’s USC frat brother Craig Pollard, whose college baseball career was cut short by the disease. While the intent is serious, the genial special scores at least a solid base hit on the comedy scale, capitalizing on Ferrell’s gift for pompous silliness as he feigns sports-star egotism (“I’m in beast mode right now, can’t talk,” he tells the curious media) and later explodes in mock outrage as he suffers the indignity of being “traded” from team to team after each inning.
If the sight of a 47-year-old Ferrell not quite rounding the bases makes some spectators feel a bit old, consider this sobering statistic: The Golden Girls is turning 30 this year! In celebration of the classic sitcom’s premiere date in 1985, cable’s Logo presents 30 straight (in a manner of speaking) hours of Golden Girls classics, starting Saturday at noon/11c and continuing through Sunday, Sept. 13, at 6/5c. As if this programming stunt needed a higher camp quotient, hosts for the marathon are popular veterans from RuPaul’s Drag Race, costumed as the Florida femmes: Shangela as Sophia, Delta Work as Dorothy, Pandora Boxx as Rose and Willam as Blanche. Someone please pass the cheesecake!