I'm listening to some very loud chewing before Ron Burgundy says, "Mmm, that's a good apple,". It's followed by some equally loud slurping as he washes it down. Then, with an exaggerated air of appreciative satisfaction he says, "Nothing like an apple and coffee,".
It's a combination, so unexpected yet so perfectly ridiculous, that I almost laugh out loud, only narrowly avoiding an involuntarily and embarrassing spit take of the coffee that I'm drinking. It would have been an awkward conversation indeed explaining to the IT department why there's liquid all through my computer.
This is the first minute of the first episode of the Ron Burgundy Podcast, which you can listen to now for free on the iHeartRadio phone app or website.
It sees comic actor Will Ferrell reprising the role of his well-loved, arrogantly foolish, news anchorman. After that throwaway silly joke I knew it would quickly become an essential part of my weekly listening schedule. And it has. You could say it's kind of a big deal.
As a character Burgundy is extremely well-suited to the podcast format. His voice alone, that deep velvety newsreader tone, can coax belly laughs out of a single word. Before
realising the podcast is taping Burgundy does his voice exercises.
"Mic-ro-nes-ia," he intones, eking maximum lols out of his wide-mouthed OTT pronunciation. Later he'll mangle 'meme', obliviously pronouncing it with a Parisian twist, "meh-meh,' he says repeatedly, with it getting side-splittingly funnier each time.
Ok, reading that, it doesn't sound too funny. But if you've seen Ferrell's classic comedy movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - and you really should have - then you'll know that it's the way he says 'em that gets you laughing.
Burgundy's schtick is all clueless arrogance and hubristic ego and that's in full effect here. The format of the show is Burgundy being Burgundy while his producer Carolina struggles to not only understand his outdated views, but also keep him on track, keep him comprehensible and, hardest of all, keep him factual. It's a classic, albeit potentially tired, set-up; the blundering male and the ever-suffering intelligent female, but it works here because its funny.
"Welcome on this journey," Burgundy says as way of introduction, "A journey I think you'll find fascinating. I hope informative and at times terrifying. Right now I'm a little terrified because I don't know what a podcast is. It's just you and me and a whole butt load of time to discuss anything. And I mean anything. Every episode will be an adventure that I will rip into like a juicy porterhouse steak."
Each episode tackles a different topic, with the first one based around True Crime.
"True crime is white hot," Burgundy explains with typical zeal. "It's molten white hot. It's like a bucket full of lava. Everyone wants to know about the sickos out there. That's the bottom line."
But before getting to the crime there's time for a quick review of the "Lady Goo-goo Gaga" film A Star is Born.
"There aren't enough stories out there about straight, white, red-blooded males and when I saw that my story was finally being told, I tell ya, I was shaking in my boots," he enthuses to his bewildered producer. "That being said I did leave as soon as I finished my popcorn, so I didn't quite see the whole thing."
"Wait, is that how you see movies?" Carolina asks.
"Once, I'm done with my popcorn," he answers, "I bounce."
The pair finally get into the True Crime, a genre which despite Burgundy's enthusiasm for he clearly has no knowledge of. He discusses solved cases, rehashes an internet conspiracy about the Zodiac Killer and weaves a horrifying narrative around "The Colonoscopy Killer," which is eventually debunked as being only a nightmarish entry in his dream diary during the shows Fact Check segment at the end of the episode.
Like all good podcasts he brings in a guest, a forensic psychiatrist named Dr. Scott who he peppers with mostly nonsensical questions, mostly surrounding his qualifications as a doctor, but occasionally on topic.
"Prisons. Bad as they say it is or a good place for some alone time?" he asks.
Burgundy is patently absurd and extremely funny. Which makes him the perfect character for the podcast format where the stakes are lower than film and audience time investment much shorter.
The gags here are very funny, especially when Burgundy gets on a random ramble, like when he insists he's the picture of health by detailing his morning routine of "waking at 6:30am, drinkin' two raw eggs, gargling two fingers of scotch and hitting the heavy bag."
This elicits the concerned response from Carolina, "you say your teeth hurt all the time".
Funny, but perhaps not funny enough to carry another full Anchorman movie. But Burgundy's low-key silliness is more than funny enough to cover your commute.