John "Will" William Ferrell
(born July 16, 1968) is a comedian, impressionist,
and actor who first established himself as a cast member
of Saturday Night Live (1995–2002).
Born in Irvine, California, Ferrell attended University
High School in Irvine and became interested in performing
while making his school's daily morning announcements
over the public address system in disguised voices.
He then enrolled at the University of Southern California.
After graduating in 1989, Ferrell developed his improvisation
skills as a member of the comedy group The Groundlings.
His original characters included "Morning Latte" co-host
Tom Wilkins, music teacher Marty Culp, Spartan cheerleader
Craig Buchanan, Dale Sturtevant "Dissing Your
Dog", and night clubber Steve Butabi in a sketch
that became the 1998 film A Night at the Roxbury.
His final performance as a regular on Saturday Night
Live was May 18, 2002, in which the real Alex Trebek
made an appearance at the end of the last Celebrity
Jeopardy! sketch. Ferrell then followed in the footsteps
of fellow SNL alumni by switching to a career focused
Ferrell returned to Saturday Night Live as a guest
host on May 14, 2005. In one sketch, he reprised his
role as Robert Goulet, advertising a series of crooned
ringtones. Also on the same episode, during the preformance
of the song "Little Sister" by musical guests
Queens of the Stone Age, Ferrell came onstage playing
the cowbell: this was in reference to a famous 2000
sketch in which he portrayed Gene Frenkle, a (fictitious)
member of Blue Öyster Cult, manically but arrhythmically
playing the instrument during the band's recording
of (Don't Fear) The Reaper.
Ferrell has appeared in many films, including The
Ladies Man (2001), Zoolander (2001), Jay and Silent
Bob Strike Back (2001), Old School (2003). He has had
leading roles in Elf (2003), Anchorman: The Legend
of Ron Burgundy (2004), and Kicking and Screaming (2005).