‘Stay classy, Boise’ Ron Burgundy stunt goes viral

Statesman staffNovember 2, 2013 

Who’s that anchor, man?

Paul Gerke, Today’s 6 On Your Side’s sports director, owned the evening Halloween newscast with his take on Ron Burgundy, the fictional TV anchor immortalized by Will Ferrell in “Anchorman” — oh, and those new Dodge ads that promote the movie’s sequel in December.

Straight shot to Internet glory

Video of the portrayal, which incorporated a healthy dose of improvisation, quickly spread. Gerke’s antics were featured on the U.K.’s Daily Mail website, Deadspin and a host of other outlets.

A surprise, mostly

A few people at the station got a heads-up that something was going down, Gerke said. However, “I didn’t go into a lot of detail,” he said. Before he launched into it, Gerke “was terrified.”

New role

This was his first stint as Burgundy, and it fit his criteria: “I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a suit ... The key to pulling it of was finding a red suitcoat — not easy with the number of would-be Burgundys searching them out for Halloween.”

The response

The stunt could have backfired — “It might still,” Gerke said — but “it resonated with people.” He even got two marriage proposals. The return of Ron? “I think I’m going to take a couple of days before I start thinking about Halloween next year,” Gerke said.

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