Waiting for Guffman (1996)



Critic Consensus: This riotously deadpan mockumentary about aspiring community theater performers never stoops to ridicule oft-ridiculous characters.

Movie Info

Set in fictional Blaine, Missouri, this "mockumentary" from the makers of This Is Spinal Tap, pokes fun of small towns as it chronicles the burg's preparations and execution of its sesquicentennial anniversary, a celebration that is to be capped off by a fabulous amateur show helmed by former New Yorker Corky St. Clair. Corky has high hopes for his "Red, White and Blaine" extravaganza -- starring Ron and Sheila Albertson, the town's two travel agents who are billed as the "Lunts of Blaine" -- … More

Rating: R
Genre: Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Eugene Levey
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 21, 2001
Sony Pictures Classics


as Corky St. Clair, Cor...

as Sheila Albertson

as Libby Mae Brown

as Allan Pearl, Dr. All...

as Lloyd Miller

as Ron Albertson

as Mayor Glenn Welsch

as UFO Expert

as Johnny Savage

as Gwen Fabin-Blunt, C...

as Steve Stark, Counci...

as Tucker Livingston, ...

as Phil Burgess, Blain...

as Singing Auditioner

as Ping Pong Ball Juggl...

as Raging Bull Audition...

as UFO Abductee

as Mrs. Allan Pearl

as Red Savage

as Costume Designer

as Stage Manager

as Costume Dresser

as Not Guffman

as Reverend Cox

as Basketball Coach

as Adele Whitman

as Rita Savage

as Singing Woman

as Singing Woman

as UFO Witness

as UFO Witness

as Clifford Wooley
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Waiting for Guffman

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (13)

This 1997 comedy may be amusing if you feel a pressing need to feel superior to somebody, but the aim is too broad and scattershot to add up to much beyond an acknowledgment of small-town desperation.

Full Review… | August 12, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A madcap gem.

Full Review… | February 27, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The comedy has the slow burn of a richly nuanced and non-judgmental character study.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Where This Is Spinal Tap took rock music and the media as its focus - fat, juicy targets just asking to be lampooned - Guest's target here is small-town provincials.

Full Review… | May 14, 2004
Top Critic

A very funny, very unusual ensemble comedy that falls somewhere between slapdash and brilliant, an improvised comedy with more hits than misses.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Fab small-town spoof; subtle humor may bore kids.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for Waiting for Guffman


I just don't see it. Waiting for Guffman is considered by many to be the greatest mockumentary of all time, but I'll take a number of films (including Guest's own Spinal Tap) over this one any day. The characters, while charming, are largely disposable, and for me, it felt like the same joke templates were used over and over again -- although the Remains of the Day lunchbox in Corky St. Clair's memorabilia store was a pretty good gag.

Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer


For my money, the king of all mockumentaries. Guest is not only pitch perfect as the lovably daft Corky St. Claire, but as director he marvelously builds the mythology of Blaine, Missouri without being too over-the-top. And with a little help from his stable of choice actors, he creates one incredibly funny film.
Their skit at this year's oscars made me miss this gang and it is always great to revisit them here in top form.

Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

Christopher Guest's mockumentary about the putting on of a play in a small town doubles as a questioning of all those small town dreams of Hollywood. Entertaining.

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

Waiting for Guffman Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)
– Submitted by Mitchell R (3 years ago)

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