Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
Watch On
  1. 90
    Yet Waiting for Guffman is never mean-spirited. Its weird warmth is perfectly embodied by Guest himself, whose flamboyant, stagestruck choreographer, Corky St. Clair, could have (in less ingenious hands) been a cruel, gay-bashing caricature, but instead becomes a hallucinatory Everyman.
  2. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    The movie is, from start to finish, a hoot... Both a savvy satire of smalltown boosterism and an affectionate salute to the performing spirit. [10 Feb 1987, p.66]
  3. 88
    Thirty minutes into Waiting for Guffman, my stomach hurt from laughing.
  4. 88
    I lost it just watching Corky show off such memorabilia as "My Dinner With Andre" action figures and a "Remains of the Day" lunch box. Priceless.
  5. 88
    The nonstop amusing mockumentary Waiting for Guffman does to small-town acting troupes what "This Is Spinal Tap did to heavy-metal bands."
  6. The don't quite do for "Oklahoma!" what they did for heavy metal, but they come close. [31 Jan 1997, p.C6]
  7. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    I saw this movie in a room full of San Francisco movie critics, and I haven't heard that much laughter since, well, the piano duet in "Island of Dr. Moreau" (which you must admit, was pretty funny.)
  8. A sly and gleeful comedy showcase that pokes clever fun at the American musical, amateur theatricals and anything else that's not nailed down.
  9. 75
    The movie doesn't bludgeon us with gags. It proceeds with a certain comic relentlessness from setup to payoff, and its deliberation is part of the fun.
  10. The humor is uneven and sometimes crude, but much of the mock-documentary is surprising and amusing.
  11. A very funny, very unusual ensemble comedy that falls somewhere between slapdash and brilliant, an improvised comedy with more hits than misses. It's also an oddly touching tribute to the joys of show biz.
  12. Reviewed by: Ruthe Stein
    Guest's boldest move is to present the revue in its entirety. It's as if Mel Brooks had shown the complete "Springtime for Hitler,'' the play within his 1968 movie, "The Producers.''
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Such a funny mess that it keeps you laughing even when you realize it's not much better directed than a cable-access talk show.
  14. Reviewed by: Craig Marine
    Nowhere near as funny as "Spinal Tap," but fans of this kind of deadpan humor are guaranteed to get a few chuckles out of this one. All of the actors are marvelously horrible, and in this movie, bad equals good.
  15. 50
    Feels like an overlong "SCTV" skit. Many prime gags are recycled throughout the film, and, honestly, there's only so much Eugene Levy schtick one can take (though he does get the best Yiddish lines in the film).
  16. Reviewed by: Daniel M. Kimmel
    The enterprise comes across like a bunch of talented friends making an elaborate home movie for their own amusement.
  17. 40
    The result isn't very funny: There are clever bits, sure, but they're embedded in long, painfully obvious sequences built around one-shot gags.
  18. 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--something Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis did much better back in the 20s and 30s.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Mar 14, 2014
    Featuring that lovable mockumentary style and landmark dry humor that made Christopher Guest famous, "Waiting For Guffman" is a ridiculouslyFeaturing that lovable mockumentary style and landmark dry humor that made Christopher Guest famous, "Waiting For Guffman" is a ridiculously entertaining and supremely satirical piece of filmmaking. Full Review »