When it comes to comedy actors, there are not many that are bigger and more well known than Will Ferrell, best known for films like Step Brothers, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and Elf. But what many people do not know is that he is much more than just a comedy actor. In HBO's comedy special Ferrell Takes the Field, Ferrell showed his true colors as an amazing man trying to spread awareness for a beautiful cause for one of his best friends.
The TV movie is in a sports documentary format (with plenty of added comedy). It follows the actor as he plays for ten different major league baseball teams at five different stadiums in the course of one day, playing all nine field positions and batting once. It is filmed in a way that makes him look as though he is constantly being traded between the teams, but it was all planned from the beginning that he would play for each team once.
But just playing for the teams is not the real purpose of Will Ferrell's publicity stunt. Many people assumed that the stunt was just to inflate his own ego, but it was really for something much more important than that.
Ferrell took his time in the sports spotlight to draw attention to Cancer for College. Cancer for College is a charity started by Ferrell's long-time friend Craig Pollard. Pollard played baseball for the University of Southern California when he was diagnosed with cancer. Pollard survived the almost fatal disease, but found that he had lost his passion for baseball. He instead started a charity to help cancer survivors like himself through college by founding Cancer for College, which now gives thousands of scholarships to cancer survivors going into college each year.
Everything Ferrell did during that day was to give publicity to Cancer for College, which he had significantly helped in the past already. On that day alone, Ferrell raised over one million dollars for the charity just from the people at the games, which will be used (or has been used) to provide thousands of cancer survivors with scholarships.
While watching Ferrell Takes the Field, the entire focus may seem to be on the 47 year-old comedy actor, but the beginning and the ending say differently. The TV movie opens by establishing the goal of what they are doing. The ending shows their phenomenal results, having made over a million dollars, not to mention the publicity the charity earned when the comedy special arrived on HBO.
Will Ferrell took the field that day ten times to stand for an amazing cause. It was not about himself (as many critics argue), but about his friend and helping other cancer survivors. It is a funny comedy special to watch, but it also touches your heart once you realize what it's all about.