There’s no way I can continue on with this review without this warning, so here it goes. If you haven’t seen or did not like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy or Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, do not read Let Me Off At the Top: My Life and Other Classy Musings. You certainly won’t get the humor, almost all of the anecdotes, and Ron Burgundy himself without experiencing the films first.
I know this is a pretty obvious warning, but I needed to emphasize this before writing down my feelings. I read about a handful of folks who picked up this book and thought it was boring. I tried to wrap my head around their comments and I couldn’t help but think that these are the only two groups of people who would come to this conclusion.
Anyway, now that my little preemptive statement is out of the way, let’s get down to business. Let Me Off At the Top: My Life and Other Classy Musings is a collection of anecdotes told by San Diego’s number one News Anchor, Ron Burgundy. In the book, Burgundy shares a few tales from his professional and personal life, outside of the ones that have already been discussed in the films (ie: the gathering of the news team, meeting Veronica Cornerstone, etc). Most of these consist of raw encounters with both celebrities and the general public, but there’s a handful of works of art in between.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed most of Burgundy’s musings, my all time favorite one was a real-time encounter he endured with his neighbor, Richard Wellspar. Wellspar interrupted Burgundy’s walk down memory lane in the beginning of the book and sporadically made appearances whenever an incident happened. These incidents ignited after Wellspar did not return Burgundy’s leaf blower. At the end of the book, Burgundy reveals that he returned his leaf blower all along, and shrugged it off like leaving poop on his doorstep or showing pictures of his wife was no big deal. This is classic Ron Burgundy and I almost wish this was all played out on screen instead.
While the majority of this book was highly amusing, there were some parts that were either too outrageous or not really all that special. I thought “The History of Mexico” was kind of a dud. I skimmed through that faster than any other chapter. I also thought the doodles at the end weren’t funny. A handful of the celebrity stories were a bit too much; it almost seemed like it was trying too hard to incite laughs. I don’t think any of this would cause someone to write off the book completely, but there were definitely a hand full of parts that could have been written better.
Overall, this was a pretty solid read. It wasn’t five star quality, but it was a nice and fluffy diversion after reading Gone Girl. Aside from the parts where it was trying too hard, a lot of Anchorman fans would find this absolutely hilarious. I hope that they continue the next film right where the book left off.