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Party Game Review: ‘Anchorman: Improper Teleprompter’ from Barry & Jason

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: The Game: Improper Teleprompter from Barry & Jason Games gives players the chance to relive one of the greatest moments of cinema history. Just as Will Ferrell remained straight-faced through reading a ridiculous hodgepodge of nonsense, so players are challenged to put their professionalism first and see who can go the longest without laughing.

Anchorman: Improper Teleprompter begins with each player choosing a metal tray that corresponds with a character or reference from the film. Along with the character names, the trays give engaging art and famous quotes, such as Ron Burgundy’s “I’m kind of a big deal. People know me,” Veronica Corningstone’s “Thanks for stopping by, San Diego,” and rival newsman Wes Mantooth’s “I didn’t know the Salvation Army was having a sale.” Players then pull at random 10 nouns, plural nouns, and verbs that will serve as their collection to make stories that are as ridiculous as possible.

In each round of Anchorman: Improper Teleprompter, one player serves as the Lead Anchor. The other players have 60 seconds as counted by the limited edition Sex Panther timer to assemble the funniest of their words onto blanks in the news story papers. At time, they set their trays in front of the Lead Anchor in the teleprompter. The reading begins with stories like “Weasels will be taking over San Diego all weekend for the prison lasagna club’s annual fundraiser. Saucy bottoms will be sleepwalking at the park, with all manly girdles going to the grandpa foundation.”

If the Lead Anchor can read them all with a serious face, they win one point. If they break into laughter or a goofy grin, the composer of that news story gets a point. Then, after working their way all the way through the new stories with however many breaks, the Lead Anchor chooses a favorite to award an additional point. Play continues in a new round with the next Lead Anchor. In the free-loving spirit of the game, there is no hard and fast end at a certain number of points; instead, when players agree that it’s time to sign off, one last round goes into effect. The player with the most points, of course, wins.

In addition to the hilarious challenge of reading wacky phrasal templates, Anchorman: Improper Teleprompter has an optional set of Whammy! cards. Before reading, the Lead Anchor draws the top card to change things up a bit. Many of the cards are bonus points for a player, such as the Brick Tamland player getting a point because “I love lamp.” If any characters are left out, players might leave these out of the deck at the beginning of the game, draw another card, or just leave things hanging. Other cards prompt players to swap trays and word collections or even a wild round where players assemble their news stories without a guide, leaving an especially challenging round of potential tongue-twisters.

Anchorman: Improper Teleprompter is a party game for two to eight players aged 17 and up due to the suggestive nature of some of the word choices. Thanks to the large number of magnetic words, the game is readily replayable. Even receiving the same template will generate a maddeningly different news story, and only the greatest news anchors of them all will be able to read them seriously.

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About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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