Let me get this out of the way…
No, this was not funnier than Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy. But it may have been a better movie.
Now, here me out. After seeing the outtakes movie, it is clear that all Will Ferrell and Adam McKay do is film a few CORE plot scenes, a bunch of funny scenes and piece it together to make a movie.
I would say 40% of the scenes from the trailer were not in the theatrical version nor the outtakes during the end credits (which means the DVD is going to be another classic and maybe another outtakes movie).
More than Anchorman, Talladega Nights had more of a plot. Everyone in the movie from Will Ferrell down to his two sons, Walker and Texas Ranger, were funny (the only weak link was Leslie Bibb as Ricky’s gold digger wife). There were a lot of quotables.
The only thing that was missing was the pure silliness of Anchorman which was embodied by Steve Carrell’s Brick Tamland. Everytime I watch that movie, I catch something that he was doing in the background that I didn’t notice before.
This was more of a straightforward funny movie. Less throwing a bunch of gum at the ceiling to see what sticks.
It’s hard to follow-up a cult classic like Anchorman, and if this came out first, I wonder how Anchorman would have been received.