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SPINAL TAP Vets Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr. Join Christopher Guest’s New HBO Mockumentary Series!!

I am – Hercules!!

Those hoping Christopher Guest’s eight-episode HBO mockumentary “Family Tree” would resemble Guest’s big-screen mockumentaries appear to be getting their wish.

Fred Willard, Michael McKean and Ed Begley Jr. – all veterans of Guest movies “This is Spinal Tap,” “Best In Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and “For Your Consideration” – have just signed on the the HBO project, which stars Chris O’Dowd (“Bridesmaids”) as Tom Chadwick, a fellow trying to track down his family history.

McKean will play Tom’s father, Begley will play Tom’s uncle and Willard will play the Begley character’s neighbor.

Find all of The Hollywood Reporter’s exclusive on the matter here.

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Readers Talkback
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  • SO looking forward to this!

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 9:17 a.m. CST

    At least we didn't start off with a Fred Willard joke.

    by vic twenty

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Maybe a Curb-esque weekly series of Fred Cruising the Tiki theater

    by Samuel Fulmer

    Special guest appearance by undercover cop played by Pacino in leather with colored hankies in his pockets.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 9:40 a.m. CST

    If only I had HBO.

    by zastrow

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 10:17 a.m. CST

    I'm guessing.....

    by Loosejerk

    O'Dowd isn't going to be Irish in this.....or will McKean and Begley adopt Irish accents. And why when I think of Irish accents I cringe thinking about the last act of X-men: First Class?

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    This is Spinal Tap...

    by John not Guest movie. He helped write it and was in it, but he did not direct it or produce it. He was part of a collaboration. If anything call it Reiner movie.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 10:21 a.m. CST

    No Eugene Levy, No me watching.

    by SergeantStedenko

    Also, I love Catherine O'Hara, but damn, she looks like the Joker now.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    john1976. Thanks for bring a nerd.

    by adeceasedfan

    I get it Herc, Spinal Tap is the better headline and it fits the criteria...for me anyway. I always thought of A Mighty Wind as a folk Tap. I can't wait for this.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 11:15 a.m. CST

    being. Stupid phone.

    by adeceasedfan

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Morton & Hayes needs to be on dvd!!!!!

    by Simpsonian

    Any of you remember that one?

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Morton & Hayes

    by godric

    Somewhere, buried in a closet or something, there's a VHS tape that has a random episode of that show on it. One where they're on a boat, maybe? It only ran for like six episodes, right?

  • Hope the guy didn't lose the gig because of the recent incident. But you know he did. And lets bring back Martin Mull. From wherever's he's been.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    Hey, adeceasedfan,

    by Sandy

    Using This Is Spinal Tap as a headline regarding Christopher Guest films with the intent to gain readership or simply to "make it sound better" is unethical and wrong. It may simply be that he used it without knowing it was not a Guest film. If he did know it, I'd be careful if I were him and I personally won't be reading anymore of his stuff on here if that's the case. As for, you're saying that because someone is informed and knows his film history that makes him a "nerd"? First of all, "nerd" isn't the term. It's "geek". Secondly, how do you know he doesn't work in some form or other in the industry and that knowing these things goes with his job? Third, you've proven how ignorant you are by using incorrect terminology and how insecure you are by attacking another poster for his knowledge base, a trait which should be admired. Get over yourself.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    loved morton & hayes! wish o'dowd was irish in this!

    by Barrymore

    chris without his irish accent is weird. i also have vhs tapes somewhere with morton and hayes on them. "i have a stick neff!"

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 4:16 p.m. CST

    re: "First of all, "nerd" isn't the term. It's "geek"."

    by jim

    preceded by: "If he did know it, I'd be careful if I were him and I personally won't be reading anymore of his stuff on here if that's the case. " and it all ends with: "Get over yourself." Indignant nerds are the funniest nerds of all

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    all you nerds can geek out all you want

    by Greg

    I'll just be the dork sitting in the corner.

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    More Fred Willard + Less sappy sentimentality = Better Christopher Guest projects

    by EastBayFrankenstein

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 9:10 p.m. CST

    "Lee". NOT "Kee" (why didn't spell-check catch that?)

    by EastBayFrankenstein

  • But it was probably the best of the movies and established the formula and started alot of this gang being together. I think it's fair to say he was a co-creator on that movie. It wasn't just Rob Reiner inventing what they did. It was a collaboration between the three leads and Rob Reiner. So, basically, what would have made you happy would be if he added that it was a Reiner/Guest movie? It's just kind of a ridiculous argument to make, me thinks...

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 10:52 p.m. CST

    Umm, yeah. What he said.^

    by adeceasedfan

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Hey, the_moseph,

    by adeceasedfan

    Actually the correct term is nerd for this particular instance. I knew as many other geeks here would know that Reiner directed Tap. Aaaannnnnd I also knew that someone would get all wedgied up because of Herc's phrasing. Well john1976 did not disappoint, cue stereotypical nerd voice of Captain Obvious. I didn't call our dear John a nerd because he was informed, it was merely that I seriously doubt Herc needed a lesson in Guest's or Reiner's filmography. NERRRRDSSS!!!

  • Sept. 27, 2012, 11:17 p.m. CST

    Fred Willard Is tapping something long, straight and hard...

    by kdoc13

    But it's not a spine, and it is in a porno theater in LA.

  • Think about this show which began about a year after SNL premiered (well, Saturday Night premiered). Woody Allen's ex-wife, Louise Lasser starred in a comedy soap that wasn't called "Soap". With Martin Mull, Dabney Coleman, Mary Kay Place, the late Graham Jarvis, Dody Goodman and Debralee Scott, in a daily soap. Just think of the writing! When Lasser left the show Mull was the first to strike while the iron was hot and the show morphed into Fernwood 2 Night. Now this is a little Second Cityish (yeah, I know it's not a word ... yet . . . ), but this was a comedy talk show that interspersed the fictional characters of Fernwood, Ohio with occasional celebs playing themselves and actually interviewed by Mull and his co-host Fred "I pulled a Pee-Wee in public" Willard. The mix of story and improvisation today really owes a lot to the days of Norman Lear's strange little syndicated realization. Check out this clip from the show and if you watch carefully, you'll catch an extremely youthful Ed Begley, Jr.

  • Sept. 28, 2012, 5:18 a.m. CST


    by Hercules

    Guest co-wrote and played the lead in Spinal Tap. To not call it a Christopher Guest film is like refusing to call "The Jerk" a Steve Martin film.

  • Sept. 28, 2012, 9:26 p.m. CST


    by dicbeaks

    A Mighty Wind was excellent and For Your Consideration has some great moments. I'll take that over Transformers any day.