Watching Will Ferrell survive 48 hours in the Arctic Circle with Bear Grylls in a special episode of Discovery’s Man vs. Wild you’ll definitely want to rewind. Why? People falling in the snow is always funny, and Ferrell is always falling. Here, the Top 5 reasons you’ll want to tape the repeat Thursday, June 4 at 9 p.m. ET.
1. Will’s natural pratfalls. My personal favorite comes when he’s trying to help Grylls collect live, supple Birch branches that they can bend and make into snowshoes. The camera is focused on Bear, bent over (always a good angle), when you just hear a whoosh. It pans right and there is Ferrell, sprawled out on his side, reaching out for a branch. “No, forget that one,” he says. “That one’s too bendy and livey.” Honorable mention: when Will is trying to help Bear find tinder (material that can be used to start a fire). Bear scampers up an incline, while Will tries to take a few steps and slides backward, repeatedly. Walking back down toward the camera, Will whispers, “I think he’s crazy. I think he’s slightly crazy.” Then falls on his back.
2. Will trusts his life to two sticks in a “dead man’s anchor.” They have to descend a 100-ft. snow-covered cliff. First, Bear rigs it so Will will lower him down (watch the clip below). When it doesn’t work, he decides they’ll drop together, using a dead man’s anchor. Basically, you tie a rope around an object buried in the snow — in their case, two twigs, though Bear says he has a friend who once used a frozen Hershey bar (!). After seeing all that Grylls has done on this show, you’ve got to trust him, but Ferrell’s reaction — a nervous smile, followed by a slightly more nervous giggle as they inch backward to the edge of the cornice and Will makes the mistake of looking down — is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to scream but were trying to hold it together for the camera.
3. Will stalks Bear. You’ll think nothing will top Ferrell trying to climb a tree for a direction check, or trying to climb down: “This is a crotchbuster right here, classic crotchbuster. Beautiful,” he says, hoping that he won’t be straddling the branch he’s balanced on. But once the men are both back on the ground, Bear’s voiceover says, “One thing I learned in the army was always to expect the unexpected…” The camera focuses on Ferrell, standing perfectly still and staring at Grylls, whose back is to him. Suddenly, Will lunges — and tackles Bear in the snow. “See, I told you I was gonna attack you,” Ferrell says. “You move like a prime gazelle,” Grylls assures him. “I just wanted to see if your special forces skills would kick in,” Will explains, helping Bear up. “Obviously, they have failed you.”
4. Will impersonates Bear, or at least really, really wants to. My favorite: “I know I keep asking you this, but is there some sort of signal you can give me when it’s time to drink our urine? Some sort of high sign?” Ferrell asks. “If I hear another thing about urine…,” Grylls says. (Note: even his giggle is manly hot.) “‘Cause I feel like I’m bothering you,” Ferrell continues. Honorable mention: At the start of their journey, after rapelling from a helicopter while screaming “Mommy! Mommy!” and immediately eating their emergency food rations (a Twinkie), Ferrell tries to make himself useful while Grylls gets them ready to move. “While you work on the sticks, I’m just watching our perimeter,” Will says, placing his knife horizontally in his mouth and biting down on the handle. He looks around for a second. “Perimeter looks good, Bear. Just checking in.”
5. Will discovers a new bromance. The first time you notice it, they’re sitting in their makeshift shelter at night, by a fire that has a deer head roasting on it. Ferrell says, “Pretty crazy image for a crazy day, for me. Basically, a whole day of activity that I’ve never done in my life nor did I ever think I would. So, thank you for that.” He admits that he’s had fun testing himself. Then, the men each eat one of the deer’s eyeballs. Cut to them lying side-by-side, talking into the night camera. Will says he’s never had the kind of adrenaline rush he’s had today and has subsequently never felt more exhausted. Sleepy-eyed, he adds, “And I realize, uh, this hat makes me look just ever so slightly like a Russian Cosmonaut.” Grylls laughs. “It’s cheered me up all day,” Bear says. Ahhh. Second moment: On their second day, crossing another snowy incline, they sit and takein the view of a frozen waterfall. Will says hedidn’t expect the kind of peace you find in solitude. “You know movies,working on film, it’s very exciting. It’s great. But it’s also a lot offocus and energy at all times. So to kind of come out here, andobviously work hard and focus, but at the same time just sit in a spotlike this, with the snow falling on you…” Bear understands. “That’s kind of what it’s aboutfor me,” he says. “Yeah, I can see why,” Ferrell responds, turning to look back at him. Finally, they reach their extraction point and, well, I’ll let Will describe their final moments together: “I figured it would be pretty strenuous, pretty kind of intense. When you’re hanging from a ladder off a helicopter 600 feet in the air, that exceeds your expectation.”