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Waiting for Guffman (1996)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 49 | Rotten: 5

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


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 41,114

My Rating

Movie Info

The city of Blaine, Missouri is celebrating its sesquicentennial, and what better reason could there be to put on a show? Corky St. Claire (Christopher Guest), current leader of Blaine's community theater group and creator of a stage musical version of Backdraft that led to the unfortunate destruction of the theater, has been commissioned to put together a musical about the city's noble history, "Red, White and Blaine," which stars a variety of the town's theatrical talent. Corky's cast includes



Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy

Aug 21, 2001

Sony Pictures Classics

Watch It Now


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All Critics (56) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (5) | DVD (15)

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.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A madcap gem.

February 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

May 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic


May 11, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The songs (co-written by Guest and Tapster Harry Shearer) are suitably ridiculous and the deadpan gags come thick, fast and too numerous to mention, all delivered with knuckle-gnawing subtlety by the C-list cast with A-list style.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Frequently funny -- sometimes very funny indeed.

August 12, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Raucous, outrageously funny, and filled with many zany scenes.

September 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

One of the funniest movies ever made, 'Waiting for Guffman' spoofs everything from documentaries and talent shows to local politics and alien abductions.

June 10, 2007 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Trabalhando em um subgênero que praticamente ajudou a crier (o do pseudocumentário), Guest cria mais um filme que diverte por compreender tão bem seu tema e seus personagens.

December 23, 2006
Cinema em Cena

A sly, gleeful and subtle comedy that pokes fun at American musicals, amateur theatricals, and the culture of celebrity-the universal wish to be famous--set in the small, provincial town of Blaine about to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

September 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Screendaily

It's Corky's movie.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Guest's satire of small-town America and amateur actors has a sly edge, it's not mean, and Guest never strips his characters of their dignity.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

It keeps you laughing from beginning to end.

March 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Everyone will think it's funny; people who've actually done community theatre will laugh themselves into a coma.

February 4, 2004

The characters and scenario are memorable, the film rather less so.

August 16, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

The humor is implied but never over-explained, imparting a sense of intelligence rarely achieved in movie comedies.

May 14, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

Hilariously satirical yet affectionate and upbeat about its rosy-cheeked, anti-hip characters.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

It's smart, witty, goofy and hugely entertaining.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

One of the greatest comedies of all time, a perfect satire.

August 2, 2002 Full Review Source:

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.
March 31, 2012
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.
March 2, 2012
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.
June 4, 2011

Super Reviewer

Another great Christopher Guest film. It was short and sweet, getting to the comically rich center point in the nick of time.
August 24, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Allan Pearl: Medicine Man not go near Dances With Stumpy.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. UFO Expert: It happened on a Sunday and every Sunday, about the time I was taken on board that ship, I find I have no feelings in my buttocks.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. Libby Mae Brown: Corky has a vision!
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
    1. Corky St. Claire: Everybody dance!
    – Submitted by Mitchell R (2 years ago)
    1. Corky St. Claire: You are bastard people.
    – Submitted by Blair B (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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