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Waiting for Guffman (1996)

R | | Comedy | 31 January 1997 (USA)
2:02 | Trailer

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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.


2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James McQueen ...
Singing Auditioner (as Jim McQueen)
Ping Pong Ball Juggler


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


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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  »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,990, 2 February 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (uncredited)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed. See more »


In the Chinese dinner scene, Sheila's wine glass contains different amounts throughout the meal. At one point it's half full and then it's suddenly full. See more »


Ron Albertson: We consider ourselves bi-costal if you consider the Mississippi River one of the coasts.
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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 »


Referenced in Running with the Egg: Making a 'Seinfeld' (2005) See more »


Midnight At The Oasis
Written by David Nichtern
Courtesy of Space Potato Music, Ltd. (ASCAP)
Sung by Fred Willard (uncredited) and Catherine O'Hara (uncredited) at the audition
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 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.

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