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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.

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?

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