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John William Ferrell
Class of 1986
Will Ferrell was born in Irvine, California, the son of Betty Kay (nÃ©e Overman), a teacher who taught at Old Mill School elementary school, and Ray Lee Ferrell, Jr., a guitarist for The Righteous Brothers. His grandfather & great-grandfather Overman were also named William. Both were from Gates County, NC where his mother was born.  He has Irish ancestry from County Kerry in Ireland. He first attended school at Turtle Rock Elementary, and later attended Rancho San Joaquin Middle School, both in Irvine, CA. He attended University High School in Irvine, CA, and was a kicker for the school's varsity football team. He told the Orange County Register that the dullness of Irvine contributed to the growth of his humor. "Growing up in suburbia, in safe, master-planned Irvine, there was no drama so we had to create it in our heads. My main form of entertainment was cracking my friends up and exploring new ways of being funny. I didn't have to have the survival mode instinct like other comics, who grew up in tough neighborhoods. I had the opposite. For me, I grew up in Mayberry, and the humor broke the boredom. And there was a lot to make fun of."
He enrolled at the University of Southern California, where he studied Sports Broadcasting and graduated with a degree in Sports Information. He is also a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. After graduating in 1990, he developed his improvisation skills as a member of the comedy group The Groundlings.