Contact Us

The Real Ron Burgundy Was A Local News Anchor? [VIDEOS]

YouTube/Paramount Pictures

“Stay classy, Detroit” probably wasn’t his signature catchphrase, but the inspiration for ‘Anchorman’ Ron Burgundy was a Motor City news man for almost two decades.

Following his run on ‘Saturday Night Live’, Will Ferrell had several supporting roles on the big screen. But the inspiration for his big break came one night in 2000 while at home watching an A&E ‘Biography’ special. It was about Jessica Savitch, a news reporter who, at 26-years-old, became the first female news anchor in a major television market. It wasn’t Jessica that piqued his interest, it was her co-anchor. That anchorman’s name: Mort Crim.

Crim anchored the news at Philadelphia’s KYW-TV in the early-1970s before spending almost two decades as news anchor at WDIV in good ol’ D-town beginning in 1978.

WDIV-TV Ad From the December 1, 1978 Issue of TV Guide

Although he was initially anchoring solo at KYW, he did have his news team made up of a weather, sports and an investigative reporter… all male. In those days, only men reported the news. That is until 1974 when Jessica Savitch became his co-anchor.

While looking back with an honest take on his perspective in the 70s, Crim said,

“I liked woman, but I wasn’t sure their place was sitting beside me on an anchor set, doing what I did.”

In the movie, Brian Fantana had a very similar line,

“Don’t get me wrong, I love the ladies. I mean they rev my engines, but they don’t belong in the newsroom!”

Check out Mort Crim’s segment in Jessica Savitch’s Biography below:

Savitch eventually went on to host ‘NBC Nightly News’ in 1977, just three years after joining Crim in Philly, but died in a car accident in 1983. Her life was the inspiration for the 1996 film ‘Up Close And Personal’ starring Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Crim was in the running to host ‘ABC World News’ but that gig ended up going to the late Peter Jennings. After winning the battle against colon cancer, he retired in 2007. When asked about his thoughts on inspiring the blockbuster film, in 2004 Crim said, “I think I’ll have a lot of chuckles when I see it.” He also offered some advice to Will Ferrell on achieving the authenticity of the character by saying, “He needs lime green polyester pants, and sideburns down to his ankles.”

Mort Crim is still around working for Majic Windows out of Wixom, Michigan, currently serving as their spokesman.

Best of US 103.1

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for US 103 Ultimate VIP Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive US 103 Ultimate VIP Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.