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Christopher Guest's Next Ensemble Comedy Will Not Take Place In The World Of Memorabilia Collectors!

Beaks here...

UPDATE (9/26/10): According to Michael McKean, the eighty-seven-year-old Grand Dame of Dish is mistaken. Per his Twitter account: "Sorry: it's nonsense. This story is about Liz Smith's meds, period." Pity. My desire for a Bobby Bittman/Lola Heatherton movie remains undiminished. Please disregard the below story.

They've lampooned community theater, dog shows, folk music and Academy Awards whoring; now, after a four-year layoff, Christopher Guest and his improv company are reuniting to have a go at the retro-collector subculture. According to the eighty-seven-year-old "Grand Dame of Dish" Liz Smith, Guest has been kicking around ideas with longtime collaborators (and Spinal Tap bandmates) Harry Shearer and Michael McKean. Smith doesn't have any specific information as to how wide a net they'll cast (i.e. whether they'll focus on movie memorabilia hounds, toy collectors or kitsch hoarders), but she does seem to think that Michael Patrick Higgins, Parker Posey and the suddenly high-profile (thanks to GLEE) Jane Lynch will return to the fold. As a fan of every movie Guest's directed (including the little-seen THE BIG PICTURE and the somewhat misunderstood FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION), I'm thrilled. Two questions, though... 1) What about Eugene Levy, who's written with Guest on every film since WAITING FOR GUFFMAN? And... 2) Wasn't Corky St. Clair a collector? I'm on board regardless, but if Guest is considering a resurrection of his most beloved big-screen character... god, that'd be amazing. And, while I'm dreaming, if they're dealing with the movie memorabilia subculture, perhaps we could see one of these guys ambush Bobby Bittman and/or Lola Heatherton for autographs. When I interviewed Levy back in 2005, he seemed open to playing Bittman once more. Here's what he had to say...
[Bobby Bittman] is a great character, and it was probably my favorite to do on the show because, unlike any of these other characters that I like to do, Bittman was a very obnoxious Vegas comic whose real life I kind of borrowed from Jerry Lewis. Very, very unlike me. When Martin Short had his talk show prior to the Jiminy Glick talk show – it was The Martin Short Show, I think – he was doing Jiminy Glick. And on the last interview, I saw Catherine O’Hara come on... as Lola Heatherton. Lola Heatherton today. And it was an amazing thing to watch because she had actually taken that character from what it was when we did [SCTV] to where it is now. There was something very Courtney Love coming through in the character now, and I said, “Man, how brilliant is what she’s doing on that show!” And I wondered what it would be like for Bobby and Lola to be in something, but today, as they are now. It’s something that we’re thinking about; we haven’t actually acted on it yet.
Act on it. Please.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 24, 2010, 6:49 p.m. CST

    I like to think that Jane Lynch was high profile before Glee

    by BetterCallSaul

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Sounds like it could be fun...

    by Fa_Tass_DinoMolester

    but will Guest ever return to the sheer genius that was "Spinal Tap"? I doubt it...

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7 p.m. CST

    There Have Been Numerous Spinal Tap Reunions

    by mrbeaks

    Just not on film. A sequel would probably play an awful lot like ANVIL. Best to leave perfection alone.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST

    Harry should be in the movie

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Playing himself, have the rest of the cast give "WTF" looks his way every time he appears and opens his mouth.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Guests films have been increasingly worse

    by MST3KPIMP

    I appreciate the improvised style he uses but it's getting a little stale. Seeing the same cast phoning it in and acting wacky is bordering on self-parody. Guffman was brillinat and Best in show was pretty good but everything after has been a regurgitation. I thinks it's time a new schtick.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:16 p.m. CST Loving

    by blackwhiteromance

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Guest's "most beloved big screen character..."

    by a_little_german

    um...wouldn't that be Nigel Tufnel?

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Was'nt this already explored in Guffman?

    by MST3KPIMP

    Hate to sound like a Guest-basher but did'nt he cover the whole memorabilia thing well enough at the end of Guffman? What with the "My dinner w/Andre" action figures. Now he wants to expand that singular gag into an entire film? Seems like he's leeching from his old stuff too much. I think the Simpsons has explored this subject better than anyone will or needs to. I can see it now.. Eugene Levy with some type of speech affect and his trademark "zany-eyes" guiding us through his H.R. Pufnstuf collection takeing lots of long beats looking into the camera and using silence to garner laughs. let's try something else gang!

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:24 p.m. CST

    Am I the only one who realizes CONSIDERATION wasn't a mockumenta

    by ROBRAM89

    I hope that fits in the topic line...

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:25 p.m. CST


    by ROBRAM89

    Damn it, so close.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Remember when they ran SCTV after Conan?

    by MST3KPIMP

    now it's that no good Carson Daily! One night I was watching Hall & Oates in "Chariots of Eggs" and the next it was that smarmy prick talking to P-Diddy.. SCREW THAT!

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:39 p.m. CST


    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Mock something better fuckhead. Like talkbackers

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:41 p.m. CST


    by MST3KPIMP

    I hear where your comming from but I still was'nt too wild about FYC.. And BTW when I say FYC I don't mean 80's pop veterans "Fine Young Canibals" who I loathe!. But the film seemd unessacery after "The Big Picture" which lampooned the hollywood system so thoroughly. I guess I want Chris to explore new styles and subjects. I admit this is partly because Guffman seemed so fresh on release even though it used the blueprint of Tap.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Hopefully he's rejuvenated - "Consideration" sucked

    by Behemoth

    Guffman and BIS were tremendous, but Mighty Wind was weak and FYC was stink poop. Way too precious, too "insidey" with the jokes. The Lynch/Fred Willard characters were about the only thing eliciting a laugh. Maybe laughs weren't intended. If so, good job. <p>Hope this one's a return to form. It's a great setup, that's for sure. Plenty of potential. And props to the SCTV mentions!

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 7:58 p.m. CST

    I expected Harry to be the one posting this

    by Adelai Niska

    Just because it's collecters (collectors?)

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST


    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:30 p.m. CST

    Who is...

    by Uncle Pooky

    Michael Patrick Higgins?

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST

    hell yeah...

    by talby

    i wish the remaining sctv cast would do an sctv movie. it'd be fantastic to riff off all the little bits from the tv series - i've always wanted to see what "starheads" would actually be like (even though that wasn't technically a "cast" project; something guy cabellarro bought when he banned larou for "polynesiantown"). lots of little bits like that... levy doing "phil's nails" again. the kids these days, they only think of levy (or of moranis or ohara for that matter) as the goofy dads and moms usually from much too limited roles. fuck it... for that matter, a movie wouldn't be anywhere near long enough to show off these genius people again. BRING BACK SCTV!

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:48 p.m. CST


    by talby

    just pictured levy doing some updated "phil's nails" routine: "and now we're online!" as he madly mouses around the screen. (the character has "crazy arms" in the style of a sincere yet completely inept "passion profit and power" style.)

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Teh Suk

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    I absolutely agree with your assessment of Levy and O'Hara's work in "A Mighty Wind." I think it's Levy's best work ever. He is so completely off and burnt out and weird and funny, yet he somehow makes you care about his character. Amazing.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    Mitch is such a great character

    by ROBRAM89

    That performance practically makes the movie.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9 p.m. CST

    Best in Show...

    by WeylandYutani

    was the one I liked best. when I was a kid, my subdivision backed onto farms and the woman who had the farm directly behind us bred and showed dogs. I would go over with my sister when the had new pups and there were often other competitive dog people there that were EXACTLY like the people in Best in Show... they were always very nice, but in that odd off kilter kind of way. Anyway, Guest captured them perfectly.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Well, if it's about collectors...

    by SifoDyasJr.

    There's another Guest creation that had a large collection of beach balls...

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST


    by BurnedNotice_Dude

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:39 p.m. CST

    A very special collection of Harlan Pepper's

    by SifoDyasJr.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    So, so tired

    by hauntedbygorf

    Christopher Guest's artistic decline- from genius to self-parody- is one of the most dramatic in film, rivaled only by M.Night Shamaladingdong. "Spinal Tap" is the standard by which all other mockumentaries- save the British Office- will be found wanting. "Waiting for Guffman" was a moderately funny exercise- mostly carried on the hilarity of Corky St. Clair's flaming homosessuality. "Best In Show" was anything but. "A Mighty Wind" truly blew. And "For Your Consideration" literally slid out of Guest's colon and splattered on screen. The worst part of it all is what an insufferably pretentious prat Christopher Guest is- in every damn interview. He acts as if he and his cadre of c-grade SCTV fossils and Hollywood Squares veterans are improvising Mozart's Symphony 41 "Jupiter" in C Major when they stand in front of cameras and do the same old schticks they did in the last three movies but in different outfits and hairpieces. Hey! It's Eugene Levy being soooooooo nebbish and eccentric! Hey, it's Parker Posey, overacting her once endearing little heart out! Hey, there's Fred Willard- mugging his hammy way through every scene, still playing the same oily goofball he played in "Spinal Tap"! Read his own words. Watch him willfully attempt to contradict the interviewer at every turn- choosing to quibble along arbitrary lines of argument at any and every opportunity.,27321 He is an odious, contemptible shadow of his former self. How on earth Jamie Lee Curtis (who seems by all accounts to be as down-to-earth and decent-hearted as any Hollywood celebrity could be) can put up with his prickishness absolutely amazes me. Why his fans continue to keep coming back for the same old warmed up swill shocks me all the more. I can understand why Woody Allen fans might attend his every film dutifully- despite his decline into mediocrity-and-frequent-awfulness. THAT man was a true genius- who had one of the greatest artistic streaks in film history. Christopher Guest starred in and co-wrote one brilliant film (Spinal Tap). He directed and co-wrote one 'goodish' film (Guffman). He was a supporting actor in an American comedy classic (Princess Bride). That is the extent of his contribution to the comedy genre. Everything else he's done is disposable to execrable. The fact that he's ALSO Hollywood's most pretentious bore just makes his continued ability to get films made an absolute mystery to me. And mark my words... Tumbleweeds will be rolling down the aisles of theaters when his next comedy hits screens. It was suck so bad even M. Night will be sitting in theaters saying, "Wow- now THAT'S a crappy movie!" HauntedByGorf- signing out.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Bravo, this subject was due for satirizing

    by amrisharmpit

    And nobody better to do it. I hope they do something about the world of sports memorabilia collectors.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 9:48 p.m. CST

    That's cool.

    by Juggernaut125

    What's Christopher Lloyd up to?

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Jane Lynch...the queer who won't shut up

    by alienindisguise

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Why do people ignore Almost Heroes?

    by slone13

    It's better than Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration by a long shot. Sure, every scene with Matthew Perry is nigh unwatchable, but it's got some truly hilarious bits from Farley.

  • Sept. 24, 2010, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Every Talkback Now...

    by Rebeck2

    Some asshole writes ZZZZZZZZZZZ. You know, to show us all how bored he is by this news. How about doing us a favor, clicking to another article that DOESN'T bore you and SHUTTING THE FUCK UP.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 12:27 a.m. CST

    Almost Heroes is almost genius

    by Futureman2681

    because of Levy as Guy Fontenot but Matthew Perry just about ruined the movie for me. And yes, Corky St Clair ran a memorabilia store at the end of Guffman with My Dinner With Andre action figures, Andrew McCarthy big head dolls, and Remains of the Day lunch boxes. I think it is a world that can be mined for comedic gold.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Movie Prop Whores

    by TheJudger

    This theme is already being explored in the Arthur remake. I know these people and they do not suck. The collectors are great the people who make the fan made stuff are great as well. Sometime you will have fall out between artist who make the same thing, because obviously one of the attempts has to trump the other, so some of these prop replica makers have gynormous egos. Some are outright annoying to listen to or deal with. But the collectors, they are well modst of them good people, although sometimes they will do some crazy shit to get things. They will buy recasts of an artists fan made work from another person. Oh god recasters are scum of the earth. Thinking about it. I could see a horror movie plot play out with prop collectors and fan made prop creators. Both of the more obsessive types doing damage to get what they want, be it making the best fan made recreation. Trying to obtain an actual copy of the real thing or fucking over the guy who made the fanner replica or a collector who traded it and got nothing back from the other person who promised something. The C&D's the ego. Fuck yeah make this movie, but um Arthur is already playing with this film prop obsessive theme.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Here's an idea...

    by DookieMercury

    Do a mocumentary of a sports channel a la Sports Night or those "This is Sportcenter" commercials.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 9:23 a.m. CST

    Haunted By Gorf

    by Bubba Gillman

    Bravo, sir.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST


    by mortsleam

    That is still the funniest deleted scene I've ever watched, and possibly funnier than the rest of Best in Show. I remember stumbling across it on the DVD and laughing til I had tears streaming down my face. And not Harry's post-Spider-Man Urinal Tears.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST

    I've always found Catherine O'Hara to be very attractive.

    by SnootyBoots

    Would've enjoyed seeing her play some seriously sexy characters along the way during her career. But she's a comedienne, so I guess most people don't see her that way.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 11:58 a.m. CST

    O'Hara was a babe.

    by OutsideChance

    She's obviously well into grandmother territory now but you can still tell she was a very attractive woman in the day.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Lynch has been high profile

    by MeMyselfAndNy_aaan

    before glee. dumbass.

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Nothing ever happens on Mars..

    by BookhouseBoy

  • Sept. 25, 2010, 2:40 p.m. CST

    Dear Christopher Guest,

    by Jim_Kirks_Crunchy_Delicious_Chair_Apple

    If you guys are kicking around ideas for your next ensemble project, my dream would be to see you guys playing the aging cast of a 1950s cult sci-fi movie that has reunited to record the special edition Blueray/DVD commentary -- complete with extended scenes (with commentary) from the "original" 1950s movie.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST

    Jim Kirk - That is a GREAT idea.

    by vic twenty

    Guest and Co. could really do something with that concept. <p> And I loved A Mighty Wind, the main knock against it was that it was too reverential to the source material.

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 10:43 a.m. CST

    McKean debunked this story yesterday to me on Twitter

    by Swoz_MK

    "Sorry: it's nonsense. This story is about Liz Smith's meds, period."

  • Sept. 26, 2010, 8:46 p.m. CST

    Michael McKean Twitters?

    by MST3KPIMP

    that depresses me more than anything.

  • Sept. 29, 2010, 4:29 p.m. CST

    FUCK BEAKS!!! Ninety (90) days, it is, gentlemen!!!

    by The Bicycle Sharer

    I'm gonna repost this in a few other talkbacks. Please be kind enough to help me out. In honor of D.Vader and in response to Harry Knowles's email in which Harry threatened to permanently ban D. Vader if **WE** became annoying in our protests ("Chris will have a 90 day ban, unless he and his friends get annoying, in which case his ban will become perm.") Ain't it cool, guys? Threatening to ban someone for a protest initiated by OTHERS? And remember - this is from the fat liberal protest-worshiping toad himself! Guess "peace" and "love" and "power to the people" ain't exactly all that when it's directed at the capricious whims of you, your contributors and your site. For purposes of solidarity and protest, I'm taking Ain't It Cool out of my drop down menu, set my Outlook Reminder, and am avoiding this site for ninety (90) days - I'll return 12/28/10. If Vader's back, cool. If not, well, like others have said, there are plenty of OTHER sites to get this shit from. The one redeeming grace of this site has been the talkbacks and the people (smart, stupid, crazy, fun, insane, wild, angry people) in the talkbacks. But it looks like Harry et al. have decided to behave in a dictatorial and willfully impulsive manner, alienating many talkbackers. I'm done. See you in ninety!