Great Job, Internet!: Let’s explore Adam McKay’s secretly brilliant brand of satire

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Nearly every actor that has worked with Adam McKay is quick to acknowledge the fact that he’s brilliant. This isn’t just meant in the comedic sense, but also in the sense that he’s book-smart and has a deep knowledge of complex subjects like international banking, which is why it’s so striking that the characters in his films are all so incredibly stupid. In a new video essay, Patrick Willems examines the smart dumb comedy of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell’s films, in which impressively idiotic characters subvert the audiences’ expectations and embrace lunacy.

What makes McKay’s films, and the characters that inhabit them, so distinct from other comedies of the past 15 years is the absurd world in which they firmly plant themselves. No one bats an eye in Anchorman when a street brawl breaks out between rival news crews. Ricky Bobby, a grown …