“You stay classy, San Diego” is the most-quoted line from fictional San Diego news anchorman Ron Burgundy in the 2004 film “Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Legend.” What places in the city evoke Will Ferrell’s over-the-top character, who returns this month in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”?
There are some touchstones if you know where to look, but, unlike Burgundy, they’re subtle.
Candice Eley, public relations manager for the San Diego Tourism Authority, says people do associate the destination with Ron Burgundy. But there’s no way to measure the tourism-pop culture impact other than to point to the abundance of “staying classy” in San Diego remarks that show up regularly on Twitter and Facebook.
And then there are San Diegans themselves. “It’s definitely part of the culture here,” Eley says. “People have embraced it.”
People such as Matt Gordon, chef and owner of Urban Solace restaurant at 3823 30th St. He put up a portrait of Burgundy at his upscale eatery in 2011. The image also has been uploaded as the restaurant’s Facebook photo. “We felt the need to add a touch of humor to the dining room to lighten up the mood,” Gordon says in an email. It’s been the most photographed item on his restaurant walls, he says.
Although San Diego will be forever linked to Burgundy, there’s not much of the city in either film. In the original, Balboa Park made the cut, but Long Beach masqueraded as San Diego in many other scenes. In the sequel, Burgundy and the gang head to New York City to work at GNN, Global News Network.
Eley was an extra on the set during filming at the aquatic theme park, but she would not reveal what the scene was about other than to confirm “dolphins were involved.”
“We got to watch Mr. Ferrell do his thing,” she said. “It was very interesting to watch. There was so much ad libbing and off-the-cuff comments with each shot.”