The last time Will Ferrell starred in an HBO special, he was lampooning former President George W. Bush on Broadway.
On Thursday, Ferrell will be pretending to be something he’s not once more for HBO, but this time, it’s for a very good cause — in partnership with Major League Baseball and produced by Funny or Die, the comedian and actor will take the field at five different spring training games in Arizona, playing 10 different positions and wearing 10 different uniforms, all to raise money for organizations that fight to end cancer.
#FerrellTakesTheField will chronicle the action live Thursday, and then broadcast as an edited HBO special later this year.
Ferrell’s feat honors the actual achievement Bert Campaneris accomplished 50 years ago, playing all of the field positions in a single game.
“We hope to always be in the Will Ferrell business,” said HBO Programming chief Michael Lombardo. “This latest collaboration is one of those things only Will could pull off. I can’t wait to see him take the field.”
MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. added: “Spring training affords an appropriate setting where our game can serve as the backdrop for an event that will benefit organizations that fight cancer. Will is a big fan of our game, and many of us in baseball – among our clubs, players and our millions of fans – are big fans of his. Major League Baseball is happy to take part in what will surely be a fun and memorable day for a great cause.”
Ferrell will be playing in the following games as part of the special:
March 12, 2015 (all times Pacific; subject to change)
- 12:05 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (HoHoKam Stadium)
- 1:10 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
- 2:10 p.m. Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick)
- 4:05 p.m. San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox (Camelback Ranch)
- 6:15 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (Peoria Stadium)
Game-used memorabilia from Ferrell’s journey across the five ballparks will raise money via auctions at MLB.com with proceeds being donated to Cancer for College as well as Stand Up To Cancer.
On Sept. 8, 1965, Bert “Campy” Campaneris went 0-for-3 playing all nine positions for the Kansas City Athletics in a game against the California Angels. Campaneris is expected to be there with Ferrell as he begins his journey tomorrow.
Ferrell’s relationship with HBO not included his 2009 comedy special Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush, but also Eastbound & Down (which he guest-starred in and executive-produced) and sketch series Funny Or Die Presents.
Will Ferrell is executive-producing this HBO baseball special with his Gary Sanchez Productions, Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, and Stuart Miller. Brian McGinn will direct.