Will Ferrell will do anything for a laugh — and that includes posing nude on the cover of TV Guide magazine (on sale tomorrow). But in his latest film, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the former Saturday Night Live cut-up says he attempted to peel back the emotional layers to reveal the heartache hidden beneath his title character's pompous exterior. Seriously.

"Ron enjoys the mantle of being San Diego's No. 1 news guy," Ferrell says. "But he's a little sad when he gets home, opens that refrigerator door and there are just two beers and an empty Chinese-food carton — and [only] his dog waiting for him. He's slightly pathetic but he doesn't want anyone to know."

If it sounds like Ferrell has a good handle on Burgundy, it's probably because he co-wrote Anchorman with director Adam McKay. "This whole idea kind of came about when I was watching a documentary about news people in the '70s," the 36-year-old recalls. "I saw an interview with one of these local anchors who had to work with a woman for the first time and he was basically admitting back [then] that he was a male-chauvinist pig.

"But he kept talking [in a deep newscaster voice] the whole time even though he'd probably been retired for 15 years," he continues. "Just that little soundbite made me laugh."

Surprisingly, Ferrell freely admits to sharing a few traits in common with his big-screen alter ego — including all that chauvinist-pig stuff. Not seriously. "I think sexist attitudes are obviously still out there, predominately from me," he deadpans. "I just don't like women. But we are attracted to them for some reason. I really think we should go back to the 1950s."