Despite several failed attempts to get the project off the ground, "Anchorman 2" came together fairly quickly, as did the announcement on Conan O'Brien's show. As Ferrell reveals in this week's Hollywood Reporter cover story on O'Brien: "We had 24 hours to do something before the news leaked... Conan was our first call."
Unsurprisingly, the video of Will showing up and surprising the audience went super viral. (It was posted on the "Conan" site ahead of the show's normal 11 p.m. slot.) According to THR, the clip "generated 3 million Internet views within 24 hours on 700 unique sites." Ferrell added that "Conan's show had the perfect vibe for that kind of announcement... We were really happy for him to reap the benefits."
O'Brien also discussed the decision of uploading the video onto the web beforehand:
"At TBS, we're masters of our own pirate ship. It's about so much more than who watches the show at 11 p.m. Who watches it at 1 a.m.? Who watches the clip online the next day? Who sees the ad with that clip? This is where it's all going, so let's get ahead of it rather than pretend it's still about America gathering around the TV to watch Roots or Ed Sullivan. That simply isn't the case anymore."
As for "Anchorman 2," the film's teaser premiered last week in front of "The Dictator." According to David Koechner -- who will reprise his role as Champ -- it was filmed right after the announcement.
You can check out the full Conan O'Brien profile over on THR.