Amazon users thought Will Ferrell parade parody show was real, and got angry

Ben Arnold

The annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, has taken place on the first day of the New Year for more than a century.

But one new tradition appears to have infuriated viewers of the celebration – and it’s thanks to Will Ferrell.

Joined by Molly Shannon, the comedian presented a spoof commentary of the event for Amazon Video, playing fictional anchors Cord Hosenbeck and Tish Cattigan.

A parody of inane local news coverage, something Ferrell is well schooled in thanks to Anchorman, perhaps his make-up was a little too transformative, because it appears to have fooled an awful lot of people.

Complaints about Hosenback and Cattigan’s presenting skills began flooding the website on New Year’s Day, with nearly 1,400 one-star reviews logged.

“Way to go, Amazon… totally RUINING the Rose Parade with 2 inane idiots who thought the event was ALL ABOUT THEM!!” wrote one woman called Sue.

“(Do you really think fear of horses and depression are fitting parade commentary?!!) First, we muted. Then we missed several bands and floats while trying desperately to find a decent live-stream. Finally landed with ultra-professional KTLA. You might review them to learn how it’s done!!!”

Indeed, Ferrell and Shannon’s two-hour commentary was at times brilliantly bizarre, discussing variously Hosenbeck’s pathological fear of horses and his potential run for the presidency.

“We’re streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and we have no idea what that is,” says Ferrell’s bald, bespectacled host on introducing themselves.

“We’ve been told people can watch it all over the world on phones and watches and shoes, and whatever. They tell me stuff, and I don’t believe it.”

But still, despite the gags, the complaints and bafflement kept rolling in.

A furious John added: “Fantastic camera work, but someone replace the two morons hosting this!!!!!!”

“Terrible,” wrote Richard. “Sophomoric. Inane banter. Switched to network coverage after 10 minutes. Amazon sure blew this one.”

Added another: “Horrible. I wanted to hear one of the local bands, but the unfunny hoses were babbling some nonsense about omega-3s and salmon…what? It wasn’t funny, it was idiots babbling to hear themselves talk. Who are these hosts? Even more telling, when the pony rescue came by dressed in steampunk style, they made fun of them and said ‘What’s steampunk? I have no idea and am not sure I want to know.’ Really? How out of touch are these unfunny fossils?”

It wasn’t just Ferrell and Shannon providing the comedy that flew over the heads of so many.

Throwing to the parade on the ground, Saturday Night Live star Tim Meadows spoke about his New Year’s resolutions, delivering deadpan amid the celebrations: “I think for 2018 I’m just gonna let the world fall apart like it seems to be doing.

“You know, racism and class warfare are tearing us apart, and I don’t see a way out of it. So, more than likely, I’ll just head off to my bunker and hope my food supply lasts.”

Whether Cord and Tish will be returning for 2019’s parade remains to be seen.

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