Waiting for Guffman

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Waiting for Guffman is a 1997 film about an aspiring director and the marginally-talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production who go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.

Directed by Christopher Guest. Written by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy.
There's A Good Reason Some Talent Remains Undiscovered.taglines

Corky St Clair

  • It's like in a Hitchcock movie, you know, where they tie you up in a rubber bag and throw you in the trunk of a car. You find people.
  • It's a Zen thing, like "how many babies fit in a tire," you know, the old joke.
  • Well, then, I just HATE you... and I hate your... ass... FACE!
  • My first show was Barefoot in the Park, which was an absolute smash, but my production on the stage of Backdraft was what really got them excited. This whole idea of 'In Your Face' theatre really affected them. The conceptualization, the whole abstraction, the obtuseness of this production to me was what was interesting. I wanted the audience to feel the heat from the fire—the fear—because people don't like fire, poked, poked in their noses. You know, when you get a cinder from a barbeque right on the end of your nose, and you kind of make that face, you know? That's not a good thing. And I wanted them to have the sense memory of that. So during the show I had someone burn newspapers and send it through the vents in the theatre. And well, they freaked out, and 'course the fire marshall came over, and they shut us down for a couple of days.
  • So what I'm understanding here - correct me, if I'm wrong - is that you're not givin' me any money. So now I'm left basically with nothin'. I'm left with zero, in which, in which, what can I do with zero, you know? What can I - I can't do anythin' with it! I need to, this is my life here we're talking about! We're not just talkin' about, you know, somethin' else. We're talking about my life, you know? And it's forcing me to do somethin' I don't wanna do. To leave. To, to go out and just leave and go home and say, make a clean cut here and say: 'No way, Corky, you're not puttin' up with these people!' And I'll tell you why I can't put up with you people - because you're bastard people! That's what you are! You're just bastard people! And I'm goin' home and I'm gonna, I'm gonna bite my pillow, is what I'm gonna do!
  • Me, you know, right out of the navy, you know, fresh off a destroyer, with a dance belt and a tube of chapstick, basically, you know, not really much to call my own, and then basically being slammed down for ten or so years off off off off Broadway, and then, enough is enough, OK, I get the joke.
  • I think that the elements, as Dr. Watson said to Sherlock, "are coming together, sir." I was shopping for my wife, Bonnie (I buy most of her clothes). And Mrs. Pearl was in the same shop, and it just was an accident. Y'know, we started talking... about pantyhose. She was saying—w-whatever, that's not the point of the story, but what the point is was that through this accidental meeting—it's like, y'know, it's like a Hitchcock movie, where, you know, you're thrown into a rubber bag and put in the trunk of a car. You find people; you find them. Something... It—is it karma? Maybe. But we found him; that's the important thing—and I got Bonnie a wonderful pantsuit.
  • What the city council did was really... give me a challenge, and it's a challenge that I am going to accept. It's like in the olden days, in the days of France, when men would slap each other with their gloves say, y'know..."D'Artagnan!"... y'know, "how dare you talk to me like that, you!," and smack 'em.

Libby Mae Brown

  • I been workin' here at the DQ for about, um, eight months...seven? I dunno, something like that. It's fun. Y'just do the cones, make sundaes, make Blizzards, 'n' put stuff on 'em, 'n'... See a lot of people come in; a lot of people come to the DQ—burgers, ice cream. Anything, y'know? Cokes. Just drive in and get a Coke, 'f yer thirsty.
  • My aunt brought out her atlas that I look at a lot—this big, blue book, 'n' opened up to New York, 'n' it's an island, is really what it is. It's this island full of people of different colors 'n' different ideas, 'n' I can't—it sounds like a lot of fun to me. Y'know we don't see much of that in Blaine. I'd like t' maybe meet some guys—some Italian guys, 'r y'know—watch TV, 'n' stuff.


  • Dr. Allan Pearl: People say, You must have been the class clown. And I say, No, I wasn't. But I sat next to the class clown, and I studied him.
  • UFO Expert: I've been coming to this circle for about five years, and measuring it. The diameter and the circumference are constantly changing, but the radius stays the same. Which brings me to the number 5. There are five letters in the word Blaine. Now, if you mix up the letters in the word Blaine, mix 'em around, eventually, you'll come up with Nebali. Nebali. The name of a planet in a galaxy way, way, way... way far away. And another thing. Once you go into that circle, the weather never changes. It is always 67 degrees with a 40% chance of rain.
  • Ron Albertson: If there's an empty space, just fill it with a line, that's what I like to do. Even if it's from another show.
  • Mrs. Pearl: We don't associate with the creative types. We have a Scrabble club. We associate with people with babies.
  • Mayor Glenn Welsch: There's a saying in Missouri, if you don't like the weather just wait five minutes. In Blaine, with hard work, I think we can get that down to three or four minutes.
  • Steve Stark, Councilman: He can act and he can sing and he can dance. There's only one other person in the world who can do all that, and that's Barbra Streisand.


Lloyd Miller: [whispering] I don't want to interfere, but I think it would be... I think we have to work on...
Corky St. Clair: I can't hear you!
Lloyd Miller: [normal voice] I think we have to work on the music a little bit more. But I don't want to make trouble. So, [whispering again] and I don't really want to do this in front of them...
Corky St. Clair: Well, where do you want to do it?
Lloyd Miller: [whispering] Well, I think we have to sit down and make a schedule that includes some music time, because I think Jane and I have to work...
Corky St. Clair: Why are you whispering? I'm right here, you know?
Lloyd Miller: [raising voice considerably] Oh I'm sorry, do you want me to talk louder? Because I think that that it would be...
Corky St. Clair: Well now it's too loud! You know, just talk like a normal person, OK?


  • There's A Good Reason Some Talent Remains Undiscovered.
  • A New Comedy from the lead guitarist of 'Spinal Tap'


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