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December 2nd, 2008
Best of the Best
Michael McKean on Christopher Guest

Michael McKean talks about Christopher Guest and This is Spinal Tap.

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Michael McKean: Rock and roll takes itself very seriously.  It can.  It shouldn’t.  I mean, the people I’m attracted to like you know, the songwriters, especially Tom Waits and- and They Might Be Giants and Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello, Loudon Wainwright.  These are all people who are capable of breaking your heart, but they’re also practitioners in the- in the other- in the other thing.  I think all great songwriters can do both.  Randy Newman, he can tear your heart out, but he can also write a really, really funny song.  Noel Coward, same thing.  But there is something about the self-importance of this kind of bubble mentality.  I mean, when bands are on the road and you know, doing what they do, and making money, and- and scoring chicks and- and doing all this stuff, they don’t rea- really reference anything else in the world except     themselves.  They’re living in this kind of tunnel.  And I think that Chris- the- the films that Chris has done subsequent to “Spinal Tap” all have that in common.  You know, little theatre and the dog show and the- and the you know, the- the folk concert, it- it- it’s all about people taking themselves very seriously.  You know, if you’re not riding high, then your fall’s not amusing.  You know?  That’s why I- I- I’ve always felt that the idea of getting a laugh by trashing someone who’s beneath you is- it doesn’t appeal to me.  It’s- it’s kind of easy, you know?

  • Mark Nielsen

    Some great insight here… lovin’ those musician names Michael drops above. Unfortunately, the Make ‘Em Laugh episodes I saw did not actually discuss much of this postmodern/subculture parody kind of comic approach that Guest and these musicians engage in. I critique the traditionalist bias of Make ‘Em Laugh here: .

  • DJ W

    thus sprach ‘Lenny'(whither Squiggy?)

  • Martin Schwartz

    Michael McKean is possibly the most underrated talent of this generation. Just a quick look at his body of work on shows the variety of characters he’s been able to portra from the over the top Lenny to the self-absorbed David St. Hubbins to the humble Emmet Sumner (in Chris Guest’s “The Big Picture”) to the iconic Perry White in Smallville. McKean is constantly working and consistently turning out good work. Hats off to you, Michael. You never got the breaks that Tom Hanks got, but you certainly possess the talent.

  • Officine panerai

    2 twelfth part of a foot level strike against protection cell phone
    Officine panerai

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