Ferrell doesn't have the typical tortured youth that has spurred the careers of so many comic performers. His parents divorced when he was 8, but John William Ferrell's life growing up in Irvine, Calif., was happy and normal, words often used to describe Ferrell. His mom was an English professor and his father was on the road most of the time playing saxophone for the Righteous Brothers.
He knows a "normal" childhood is atypical of most comics, and says his interest in comedy is pretty straightforward. "I kind of just had something within me that wanted to explore what made me, made people laugh, and what made myself laugh, and that sort of thing," he told Walters.
His exploration has certainly brought a lot of laughs to audiences, and financial success that's nothing to laugh at. He's able to command $20 million for a feature film, and his dance card is quite full these days with a dozen or so movies in the works.
And Ferrell's home life seems as extraordinarily positive as his professional life. Ferrell, married since 2000 to art auctioneer Vivica Paulin, has a nearly year-old son, Magnus, and says he knows it's the memories he creates with his family that will stay with him when the spotlight has faded.
When Walters asked Ferrell to describe his idea of "perfect happiness," his answer had nothing to do with his film career.
"I'll tell you, Viv and I had to wash one of the dogs yesterday, 'cause she got sprayed by a skunk. And we're there at 11 at night washing our dog in the sink ... smelling like skunk, with hair all over each other and .. I remember thinking these are the moments we're gonna remember," he said.
Referring to his upcoming film "Bewitched," in which he'll be appearing opposite Nicole Kidman, Walters asked Ferrell what supernatural powers he'd like to have. As you might guess he chose some fairly wacky and mundane qualities. "Not to get too gross," he said, "but I'd like to be able to throw up on command, and not feel the ill effects, because that could get you out of a lot of situations." Anything else? "Maybe speed-read, 'cause there's so many books I need to read ... Which should be the name of my book, "Throw Up and Speed-Read." That should be my autobiography."
Teri Hatcher seems most proud of two things in her life: her daughter, Emerson, and her 1978 VW camper van -- you get the sense she prefers the van to her house. Hatcher's early Hollywood career was anything but extraordinary. She landed a starring role as Lois, on the moderately successful series "Lois & Clark." The series was canceled years ago, and that's where her career looked likely to end. Hatcher, pushing 40, was twice-divorced and a single mom.
Hatcher was a self-described "has-been." She couldn't find work. "The reality is I guess very different than what the perception is because your agent cannot get you an audition. I mean you can't even get in the door to try to change somebody's mind," she said.
The lowest point, Hatcher said, was deciding to leave her marriage. She wanted her daughter to have two parents at home. She said, "It was really painful when I finally decided that I was gonna have to make this choice to get out of this marriage or you know life was just not gonna be anything."