Will Ferrell is funny whether you like it or not. Up from the legendary Groundlings troop, for seven years he cracked people up and reinvigorated the set of Saturday Night Live – playing the uninvited cheerleader at high school games, Alex Trebek belittled by celeb contestants, James Lipton zealously lauding celebrities In the Actor’s Studio, a wild-eyed president of strategery named George W. Bush, and a hairy musician flaunting his jelly midriff while absolutely hammering a cowbell and fearing not the reaper. (To be fair, Christopher Walken encouraged him.) By 2001, he was the highest paid SNL cast member with a season salary of $350,000 – and ready to exit, stage left (coast).
He likes sports (Go Trojans!) and gets to play a lot in his films – Semi-Pro (basketball), Talladega Nights (race cars), Blades of Glory (ice skating), Screaming and Kicking (soccer). He often wears tight pants (Elf, Zoolander, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon) and sometimes none (Old School, Late Show with David Letterman). He co-owns the website FunnyorDie.com – an ultimatum he appears to have taken seriously. Ferrell – now worth an estimated $80 million – may be one of the few people able to say definitively whether indeed laughter is the best medicine, or if more expensive stuff is better.