Like every action of his “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” character, Brick Tamland, Steve Carell revealed that not much thought went into the iconic “I love lamp” exchange in the cult-favorite movie.
“I love that I’m talking about my method in creating Brick Tamland, let me delve into it,” Carell joked to the audience during a conversation at the 92nd Street Y on Thursday night. “I would stand in front of the camera and say these non-sequiturs.”
In the 2004 film where Will Ferrell’s character, anchorman Ron Burgundy, leads his San Diego news team — including weatherman Tamland — on various adventures in the 1970s, Carell recalled the film’s director Adam McKay wanting to give him more lines.
Steve Carell and Annette Insdorf at the 92nd St. Y. Rod Morata / Michael Priest Phot
“Adam was like, ‘We should have more lines for you, but we don’t have any on the page.’ He literally said ‘Just say something,’ and hence came ‘I ate a big red candle’ [and]‘I love lamp,’” he recalled.
But Carell said that his co-stars quickly caught on to his improv, which made for the funny bit and memorable one-liner.
“The ‘I love lamp’ thing was just me at the end of a scene staring at a lamp and I said ‘I love lamp’ and [Ferrell] picked up on it and said, ‘You’re just saying things you’re looking at.’”
“And we got paid to do it,” the actor quipped. “There was a budget and there were cameras, it was insane.”
Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd and David Koechner also starred in the movie.