Last week we received the very sad news that the great Fred Willard had passed away at age 86. You may not know him by name, he was never really a leading man. But for sure you’ll recognize him. He’s the tall guy with the kindly smile and square head that is incapable of saying something that isn’t absolutely hilarious. He appeared in countless films and TV shows. We’ll see him again in Space Force, his very last credit before he passed.
To honor his legacy, today we’ve decided to watch Best In Show. Christopher Guest basically invented this form of mockumentary, and the experienced improv cast absolutely thrives in it. Michael McKean, Parker Posey, Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Bob Balaban, Christopher Guest himself, Jennifer Collidge, Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., John Michael Higgins, and of course Fred Willard. Fred doesn’t appear in the film until more than halfway in, but his performance was so memorable and so funny that it earned him two awards and four more nominations.
Best In Show follows several dogs and their owners who have been invited to participate in a national dog show. By all accounts the dog show goes off without a hitch. The main conflicts unravel around the characters and their dogs. Everyone is such a caricature, but they’re presented in such a believable fashion. Even Eugene Levy’s character’s two literal left feet passes without scrutiny. The dialog is largely improvised and the caliber of the actors is highlighted by just how funny they are even without a script.
It’s always hard to describe Christopher Guest’s movies because they are so people-focused. But trust us when we say that the 90 minutes you spend watching Best in Show will be well worth it. It’s so weird but is super sharp and wildly entertaining. What do you think of Christopher Guest’s movies? Let us know over on Twitter! Until then though, make your way to the arena, make EXTRA sure you have your bee toy, and settle in for today’s episode of So…I’m Watching This Show!
BEST IN SHOW SHOWNOTES!
Husband/Editor Will here, reminding you that Fred Willard makes everything amazing.