Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  31 January 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 22,100 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 201 user | 49 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An aspiring director and the marginally talented amateur cast of a hokey small-town Missouri musical production go overboard when they learn that someone from Broadway will be in attendance.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Scott Williamson ...
James McQueen ...
Singing Auditioner (as Jim McQueen)
Jerry Turman ...


A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town's history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show. Written by Piotr Zembrowski <zembrows@astro.utoronto.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's A Good Reason Some Talent Remains Undiscovered See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 January 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Christopher Guest Project  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,990 (USA) (31 January 1997)


$2,892,582 (USA) (18 July 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (uncredited)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Writer/director Christopher Guest spent a year and a half editing almost 60 hours of footage with editor Andy Blumenthal to come up with the final cut for the film. See more »


The placement of the show posters on Corky's wall continually changes See more »


UFO Abductee: They took me off into a separate room; I seen 'em takin' different people off; different ones of us off in separate rooms and put me on a big white table and uh the guy that took me in there - to examine me I guess - he probed me and then I was in there I bet more than three or four hours, in that room, being probed and at one time or another these different ones of 'em came in, four or five or six of 'em at different times, and all of 'em probed me, uh, not all at once, you know, individually....
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits Christopher Guest's character shows us some of the fun memorabilia that he sells in his store. See more »


References Backdraft (1991) See more »


A Penny For Your Thoughts
Written by Michael McKean and Christopher Guest
Courtesy of Tuxedo Time Music / Coney Island Whitefish Music / Hazen Music (ASCAP)
Sung by Parker Posey (uncredited) and Christopher Guest (uncredited) in the show
See more »

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User Reviews

A great little film that points out a quality in all of us
30 April 2002 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

Some people might say this film's improvisational nature is dull and slow, it's the complete opposite. Just imagine a movie completely improvised? Not only does it take talent, it takes guts and charisma to stay with something so bold. While the ending was a little abrupt, this film was still one to enjoy. Christopher Guest seems to have playing a homosexual down to a hilt. If it wasn't for his role in Best in Show, I thought he would forever be typecast as an eccentric gay character. A fun film to watch if you're into alternate types of comedy.

But this film also says a little something about the human condition. We aren't all people who wait for each other to speak and are perfectly capable of leading a group of people. This is Guest's gift: he can accentuate the insecurities we have within ourselves and portray it perfectly on celluloid.

19 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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