Posts filed under ‘Waiting for Guffman’
I said I was going to do it, and I did it. I attended Unwigged and Unplugged based on this blog’s recommendation. It did not disappoint.
This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the movie “This is Spinal Tap” which is an iconic cult classic that ushered in a new genre, The Mocumentary, and IRF’s collective favorite film, the great unifier that brought us all together, Waiting for Guffman. These movies aren’t for everyone, as the humor is dry, and well, smart. Joe Miller describes this as having a high HIQ. Well, as we all know, “you find people. You FIND them” and I found people that share the same appreciation that I do. So my friend and I bought tickets to see Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, and Christopher Guest, live in the Oakland Paramount Theatre.
This is Spinal Tap is a mocumentary that chronicals the ’80’s rock band, Spinal Tap, often called the loudest band on Earth. Christopher Guest, plays lead Guitarist, Nigel Tufnel and this scene describes him better than I ever could :
Some of my favorite Spinal Tap lyrics:
You’ve still got your baby teeth.
In the show, they also showed this special youtube tribute someone else made to Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You:
Now the band didn’t only represent Spinal Tap, as they did come back in a Mocumentary about Folk Music called “A Mighty Wind”. And the threw me a bone by performing the song from the Waiting For Guffman Outtakes, “This Bulging River,” which may be one of my favorite parts of the movie . All in all the night was a success. Upon telling Joe Miller about my concert, he replied, “I don’t care about trivial things like how you’re doing, all I want to know is, did they play Hell Hole?” My response was in Joe and my common language, “Guffmanese” as I said, “ello, ow are oo? ave you been to ‘artford?” (Joe, clearly understood that this meant they opened with it).
I wish each and every one of you could have been with me for this special evening. You were in my heart.
PS – I did procure a new baseball shirt with Spinal Tap across the front and the number on the back? 11. (Because it’s one louder.)
I saw this hard hitting piece of journalism about an Adult Diaper truck turning over and littering a Houston Freeway.
Like all of you clearly did, I immediately thought of Waiting for Guffman, “Montazuma’s Revenge is nothing more than good, old-fashioned America D*******. Adult diapers should never enter the picture.”
Near disaster in church this Easter Sunday. And I blame this particular outtake from Waiting For Guffman:
The thing about Guffman, for those of you unfamiliar, is that it gets in your blood. You memorize the movie, and then when you hear things paraphrased… ie, CNN Money, it became apparent that the S&P chief economist was paraphrasing guffman when he said: “The Fed is trying, but they don’t have a magic wand to wave and make everyone confident again.” (Guffman scene: “We need you to wave your magic wand and make this town special again.”)
So, you may have noticed this little segment of the above song (a Waiting For Guffman deleted scene):
“You taught me how to be a man. How to pitch a bail of hay. How to rassle a steer to the ground and apply a firey brand to his hind quarters. And yes, you taught me how to love a woman. How she can find comfort in your strong arms. And how the gentle fragrance of her hair can drive a man wild!”
So, imagine me trying to control myself in church when the speaker was telling a heart wrenching story about his friend losing his father, and then said, “He taught him how to be a man.” Immediately my friend and I looked at each other and covered our mouths. I fought so hard to hold in my laughter that I had a coughing fit.
Economy? Church? What segment of my life WON’T Waiting For Guffman penetrate?
Even as a small child I knew that I was different from everybody else. I have always struggled with the heaviness of the mantle of my calling. It’s a burden that not many people would elect for themselves or loved one. It certainly has not been easy. You see, I have a keen perception of what is funny, and conversely what isn’t. Tragic experience has only proven that a large portion of the general public may be missing this essential skill.
Contrary to public opinion, humor is not relative. Humor is an absolute. Some movies are quite funny. Some movies, however, are not. To me, this is not even a debatable point. Some people may think that humor is much like acquired taste ~ for example, I prefer chocolate ice cream, you prefer vanilla, but humor is not like that. Humor could be measured on 10-scale. Some things measure up near the 10 mark (Waiting For Guffman, Arrested Development), while others fall somewhat short of the Mendoza line. I’m sorry this may be mind blowing to some, but it is something I have always known, and its time that you knew too.
I can distinctly remember many years ago, being a lad of only 9 or 10 years old, and hanging out with a close family friend (whose name will be withheld). After driving his mother insane for several hours, my friend’s dear mother volunteered to pay us to go and see a movie. Now to a 10 year old, you can only imagine how this proposition sounded. The only problem was that my friend began pressuring me to do something that I felt rather uncomfortable with. I would have honestly felt more comfortable if he had he pulled out a pack of his Dad’s cigarettes and invited me to ‘smoke’em or head home. My “friend” suggested that we go and see “The Burbs” starring Tom Hanks. Now, I have always known that Tom Hanks is not very funny, the exception being his roles in both Castaway and Philadelphia, so I can not explain to you how dirty I felt deep down inside when I foolishly sat through one of the worst movies I have ever seen. That is when I realized that we could no longer be friends any more.
It was only years later why I realized why we could not be friends any longer. I finally realized that my poor friend’s maximum threshold for humor might have been only a 3 or 4. It was no wonder that he found such a terrible movie so deliciously enticing. The Burbs might have peaked at its funniest moment at a solid 2.3. Well that might have been darn near hyper-overdrive for my friend’s humor capacitor. Some of you out there are now undoubtedly saying, “That is not fair, your friend simply had different taste than you.” But you unfortunately are wrong. I do attribute the fact that he enjoyed the Burbs in part to a lack of actual intelligence, but there was also another factor at play ~ HIQ! My friend simply lacked HIQ. How could I have ever befriended someone who was so humorously disadvantaged?
Without a proper Humor Intelligence Quotient score you are likely to think that a show like Family Matters is funny while believing that Seinfeld is not. To me, that is just sad, but unfortunately it is a reality for so many people. Did you ever wonder why ABC’s TGIF programming was so enormously popular back in the early nineties? Although it certainly did not have me baffled at the time, it was certainly very disappointing at sleepovers when my 12-13 year old contemporaries had to stop playing air hockey to see what mischief DJ Tanner was up to on Full House. Oh TGIF how I hated you! Each worthless piece of programming more terrible than its predecessor.
Before signing off, let me just say that it’s okay to have a low HIQ. I certainly don’t want to be your friend, but I’m certain you would feel the same way about me. The only difference is that on Friday nights you end up watching whatever crap Adam Sandler is producing, while I am watching Spinal Tap.
It is the end of a particularly long day where I was forced to yell at two specific people (and found it requisite to yell ABOUT those self-same people to at least a baker’s dozen). Mercifully, Joe Miller’s Candy post calmed the wild beast and encouraged me to focus on the fact that my labors bring delicious joy to millions.
In this state of reflection, I can’t help but be reminded of the incredibly industrious residents of Blaine, MO. With a smile on their collective face and a song in their collective heart, they created a movement. A stool movement.
Ah yes, the inspiration of Waiting For Guffman. It’s a work ethic like this that makes me proud to be an industrious American. Please, sit back and take a moment to internalize the beautiful and moving lyrics to “Stool Boom”
By the pool, in the school, by the fires of yule, it’s the rule there’s a school there’s a stool. Stools are where, once upon a time you found a chair; A chair’s for fools, everybody wants stools!
STOOL BOOM! From the parlor to the pool room! We’re the center of a stool boom! Everyone know’s our name!
Working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, Working, making, some for selling some for keeping.
You will drool at the splendor of these magic stools. It’s the rule! Everyone has a stool! Just three legs. It’s the thing for which a monarch begs, hock your jewels, use your money for stools!
STOOL BOOM! Just three legs and watch the sales zoom! Like a fever it’s a stool boom! And it’s spreading out from Blaine!
Working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, working, making, some for selling, some for keeping, working, building, never stopping, never sleeping, working, making, some for selling, some for keeping…
So next time you yell at work, and then at happy hour tell an individual they really ought to leave before you drop kick them (might or might not be a direct quote), remember your own personal mission statment. And if you don’t have one, simply borrow it from Blaine.
I didn’t want to like it. I honestly did NOT want to enjoy the movie (it was the part of me who used to discuss our superior intellectual prowess with JL and Miller). I typically like to WORK for my humor, to have it require above average intelligence (ie. Waiting for Guffman). Typically I scoff at movies that even dumb people would enjoy.
Last night was an exception. I went to see Blades of Glory and part of me didn’t want to laugh (The part of me that loves Metropolitan and Barcelona because lesser comedic minds “dont get it.”) Last night I laughed my head off at the most sophomoric humor I have encountered since Zoolander. I laughed like I was a 15-year old boy.
This movie was ridiculous. And ridiculously hilarious. Some memorable quotes from the film:
-Chazz-“They laughed at Louis Armstrong when he said he was going to the moon, and now he’s laughing at them from up there. ”
-Chazz- “My victory in Boston was as sweet as the cream pie from the city it’s named after. ”
-Jimmy- “I’m not skating to anything with references to lady humps. I don’t even know what that means.” Chazz-“No one knows what it means, but it’s provacative.”
Will Ferrell and Jon Heder (a fellow BYU Alum) made a great team that caters to a very base humor that some of us didn’t even know we had.
3 1/2 Stars.
Somebody had to do it. Someone had to pay homage and pay it fast. Waiting for Guffman is the glue that brought us together and if it weren’t for Christopher Guest, it is more than possible that this blog wouldn’t exist today.
It is not very often that comedic genius such as that of Lord Guest comes along, and sadly it is not every person who has the intellectual capacity to grasp the brilliance. I can honestly say that my life changed for the better the day Jonathan Friedman brought that movie into my home.
The mockumentary is in the same vein as his earlier piece, “This Is Spinal Tap” and while every gem to come forth out of this man is priceless, I still think that Guffman is the flagship of the collection. His later films, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration are also worth watching. Let’s be honest–this genre is meant to get funnier and funnier with every viewing.
Guffman got under my skin, as well as the other proprietors of this blog. It became the language of our relationships. The quotations are so applicable in every day life.
For instance, at what point COULDN’T you say the following:
“It’s a zen thing… like how many babies can you fit in a tire? You know, that old joke.”
“I was fresh off a destroyer with nothing to my name but a dance belt and a tube of chapstick”
“Is it karma? Maybe. But we found him… And I got Bonnie a wonderful pantsuit.”
And what about the lyrics to the song (every epic film has a a great soundtrack). What isn’t to love about lyrics like these: “Hock your jewels, use your money for stools!”
When you view this film, please prepare ahead of time because your menu really should be thematic. Have the following items ready to consume at specific times during the film: Pigs in a Blanket. Cokes. DQ sundaes. These are all a must. If you can get your hands on a ashy chicken wing or some chinese food, you will still be on target.
The most important thing when watching this largely improvised film, is to know that you need to watch it with sardonically irreverent friends. And you need to watch it again and again. And you need to quote it to each other whenever possible. Much like I did to JL and JDon today when I told him I wanted this to be a “glossy, sweet-smelling” blog.