I don’t think it’s far-fetched to assume that if you are making a comedy, and Will Ferrell asks to be in it, your answer would be an enthusiastic yes. Considering he is one of Lorne Michaels' top SNL alums and Ferrell’s movies are legendary, having him in your comedy would be incredible. Jen D'Angelo, the writer and producer of the new comedy Quiz Lady, got to live this out firsthand, because the actor sent her an email asking to be in the Hulu film. Not only was this one of the best messages she’d received in her career, but it also helped out the film as she told me during an interview for CinemaBlend.
Ferrell’s production company, Gloria Sanchez Productions, was working on Quiz Lady, a comedy about two sisters, played by Awkwafina and Sandra Oh, who decide to try out for a game show to pay off a debt. When it came to casting the other roles, Jen D'Angelo said the SNL alum put himself up for the part of Terry McTeer, the game show host, after being involved with the film from a producing standpoint for a while. On top of the Elf star being a top-tier comedian, he also has experience playing game show hosts because of his days in Studio 8H, which made him the perfect choice.
So, getting an email from him was one of the best messages D'Angelo received in her career. During an interview with CinemaBlend, the writer and producer told me what it was like getting this email, saying:
I would say, of the three best emails I've gotten in my entire career. One was, ‘Hey, do you want to come pitch on Hocus Pocus 2?’ One was ‘Hey, Awkwafina read the script, and wants to talk to you about it. She really likes it.’ And the third was, I guess the third was Sandra [Oh]. And then the fourth was when Will was like – because he was already attached as a producer, and he had been involved with the script for a while with Gloria Sanchez, Jessica Elbaum, his production company – and he brought it up. He was like, ‘Hey, I think I'd be interested in playing Terry.’ And that was just the most incredible news of all time. Because, he really is like, he is my Terry McTeer. Will Ferrell is the person I grew up watching, and he's just so funny and so lovely. And so to see him step into that role was incredible.
Along with Quiz Lady proving Sandra Oh is a comedic icon, and showing off Awkwafina’s dramatic skills, this comedy also highlights Ferrell’s personality, kind energy, and ability to bring the funny anytime. During our interview, D'Angelo noted that she grew up watching him on SNL’s “Celebrity Jeopardy!,” and getting to see him in her movie as a game show host again was “so cool.”
Overall, Will Ferrell plays Terry McTeer perfectly, and watching him as a wholesome game show host is such a delight. His role also helps show the audience why Awkwafina’s character is so invested in this quiz show, and why getting on it meant so much to her. The heart and humor in the Anchorman star’s character is also present in the whole movie, and the way he plays the role really helps prove that point. So, thank goodness he sent that email!
To catch Will Ferrell’s hilarious and heartfelt performance as Terry McTeer, and to see Awkwafina and Sandra Oh on their comedy A-game, you can stream Quiz Lady with a Hulu subscription on November 3. Then, make sure to check out the 2023 movie schedule to plan your next trip to the theaters.