By Dalton Carver
Staff reporter

By the beard of Zeus!

Ron Burgundy and the Channel Four news team have returned to make us laugh until we cry and shake our heads in uncomfortable ridiculousness. Don’t bust out in “Afternoon Delight” just yet, though. Although “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is hilarious, it still doesn’t reach the height of hilarity that the original did.

Will Ferrell reprises his role as the absurd anchorman and it’s like he never stepped out of Burgundy’s shoes. His tone, manner and jokes instantly reintroduce you to Burgundy. It’s like it didn’t take nine years to release the sequel. There isn’t any doubt that Burgundy is the lead guy, but Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland earns a close second.

The writers figured out how popular Brick was in the previous film, as a lot of focus was shifted towards him. He even gets his own romance side-plot with Saturday Night Live alumna, Kristen Wiig, which is awkward and hilarious.

I laughed at almost every scene that Carell was in. He played Brick perfectly, expounding upon the groundwork that he laid in the original. In some scenes, he’s even funnier than Ferrell. It was a smart move giving the character so much screen time, a nod to what the audience wanted to see.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the remainder of the Channel Four news team. Champ Kind, played by the comedy-savvy David Koechner, gets even less screen time than the original. He’s featured in some key scenes at the beginning of the movie, but really fades away into almost nothing.

Brian Fantana, once again played by Paul Rudd, fares a little better. His infamous cologne cabinet is reincarnated as a condom cache, but fans will be happy to see that Sex Panther does make a return. However, it seems that sometimes Fantana is just there to feed and outline Ron’s ridiculous antics.

Although fans will be disappointed that “Afternoon Delight” doesn’t make a return, they will be happy to see a lot of other old jokes make a comeback. The reason that many of the vintage gags worked again was the gap between movies. Viewers wanted to see the evolution of the quotes and scenes that we’d quoted and rehashed over the past nine years.

“Anchorman 2” does a great job of utilizing a lot of actors and still making everything concise and funny. The celebrity cameos are excellent, beginning with an unexpected one and ending with a plethora of them towards the end.

The sequel also attempts a few more racial jokes than the previous, centered on the interracial romance between Burgundy and Meagan Good’s character, Linda Jackson. I didn’t find them all that funny, and this comes from a fan of “Family Guy,” where racial jokes are practically bouncing off the walls in every episode.

Despite this minor setback, the movie did touch on some serious subjects, albeit in ridiculous ways. The satire on modern media was spot-on, especially with larger companies owning news corporations, therefore deciding what is displayed to the public. The movie raises some questions to media ethics, while making fun of them at the same time.

The film runs a little long and the plot is predictable. It stuffs in a few more jokes that it needs, but I was laughing consistently throughout the movie. Carell’s facial expressions alone were enough to send me into hysterics. I’m ecstatic that the Channel Four news team made a comeback and didn’t ruin their reputation. Most of the characters coming into their own since the original, but the chemistry is still there.

If the Anchorman movies are considered popular culture, and therefore a lower form of art, consider me a lower form of human being. If Ron Burgundy is wrong, then I definitely don’t want to be right. However, if you want to laugh, you’d be right in going to see “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

You stay classy, Winfield.

Dalton Carver is a junior majoring in communication and the online editor for UpdateSC. You can email him at dalton.carver@sckans.edu or tweet him @Dalty_James.