People don’t like to have fire poked, poked in their noses.

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If you are wondering about the title of this blog post, it is a quote from one of my favorite movies of all time, “Waiting for Guffman.” The movie sprouted from a 16 page outline by Christopher Guest, and the rest was improvised by an amazing cast featuring the talents of Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, David Cross, and a whole lot more. Here is the trailer:

There is a simpleness, a sweetness, an innocence, and a quirky naivete to this film. Some of the lines in this movie made me laugh harder than I think I have ever laughed again.

Because my whole life has been a conscious and subconscious bee line toward the mastery of improv, the idea that this type of film existed put me over the moon.

Is this the best of Christopher Guest’s Mockumentaries? Probably not. The winner would probably be “Best in Show”. So why is this my favorite? It happened at the perfect time in my life – 1996 – just one year before I would graduate from college and begin touring repertory theatre.

Though the cast is amazingly talented, the characters are not. The delusion that they might all get discovered by Guffman and be whisked off to Broadway for a full run of their musical “Red, White, and Blaine” is so ridiculous, you just can’t help become entangled in their misguided hopes.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to share: In the fictional small town of Blaine, Missouri, a handful of residents prepare to put on a community theater production led by eccentric director Corky St. Clair (Christopher Guest). The show, a musical chronicling the town’s history titled Red, White, and Blaine, is to be performed as part of the town’s 150th-anniversary celebration.

Cast in the leads are Ron and Sheila Albertson (Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara), a pair of married travel agents who are also regular amateur performers; Libby Mae Brown (Parker Posey), a perky Dairy Queen employee; Clifford Wooley (Lewis Arquette), a “long time Blaineian” and retired taxidermist who is Red, White and Blaines narrator; Johnny Savage (Matt Keeslar), a handsome and oblivious mechanic, who Corky goes out of his way to get into the play; and Dr. Alan Pearl (Eugene Levy), a tragically square dentist determined to discover his inner entertainer. High school teacher Lloyd Miller (Bob Balaban) is the show’s increasingly frustrated musical director.

Sadly, you cannot watch this currently on Netflix streaming so you will need to find it elsewhere to experience how wonderful and cringeworthy it is all rolled up into one gooey sweet ball. If you’ll pardon me, I have to get back to watching Guffman clips now.

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