Meet the Inspiration Behind Ron Burgundy

Meet the Inspiration Behind Ron Burgundy

He's that over-the-top male chauvinist anchorman you love to hate and now, meet the real-life Ron Burgundy!

Retired anchorman Mort Crim is the deep-voiced guy Will Ferrell credits with inspiring the movie Anchorman, a dubious honor, to say the least.

So how did Mort Crim inspire Ferrell? It happened when the actor was watching a TV documentary of the late Jessica Savitch, who shared an anchor desk with Crim in Philadelphia early in her career.

In the documentary, Crim is heard saying "You have to understand that I was a typical, traditional, 1972 male chauvinist anchor and I liked women but I wasn't sure that their place was necessarily sitting beside me on an anchor set."

Crim cleared that moment up when he told us, "I guess I did make a statement in that documentary that I was a typical male chauvinist pig. That's not really true. I probably said that tongue in cheek." Still, that line was all Ferrell needed to create Ron Burgundy and his catty rivalry with his female partner on the anchor desk!

Funny stuff, but nothing at all like Crim's relationship with Savitch, whose tragic drowning death in 1983 shocked the nation.

INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander asked, "What do you remember from your first encounter with Jessica Savitch?"

“Well, it was an all-boy's club, because guys were the only ones anchoring the news at that time. She was one of the first.” Crim answered. “I said, Jessica, you are aware that it was not my choice to have you share my five o'clock news. We are in this together now. I'm not going to do anything to sabotage you and to the contrary I want to help you as much as I can."

Watch More Of Crim's Interview

Crim eventually came to admire Savitch. He even delivered the eulogy at her funeral.

And, like it or not, there's a bond between Crim and Ron Burgundy, which is why the real Ron Burgundy didn't mind giving us a special sign-off, saying “You stay classy Inside Edition.”