Bonus Rushmore: One-Scene Spinal Tap Characters

Earlier this year we did an episode on the Rushmore of Ensemble Comedies, and you can best believe that This Is Spinal Tap came up. One of the most amazing parts of the movie is that even after dozens of viewings, you still catch new things or are reminded of very small bits that are better than the big gags in most films.

In many cases, the person delivering the line isn’t one of the band members, or even a main supporting player (like Ian Faith or Jeanine). The Spinal Tap world is filled with scores of people who are either trying to get something from the band or deal with their nonsense. After having aTap), here’s our take on the Rushmore of One-Scene Spinal Tap Characters


Why he’s on our Rushmore:

Even for a band of minor and fading fame (not Duke Fame) such as Spinal Tap, having to deal with people wanting to take your time away to sign an autograph, take a picture or have a conversation like you are best friends must be a chore. And this is especially true if you are dealing with a limo driver who can’t take a hint.

Bruno Kirby did wounded remarkably well, so this part is tailor-made for him. His turn from “wanting to be pals” to “screw those guys” in a matter of seconds is a master class in subtle acting. Plus, maybe rock and roll really IS just a fad.

Best quote:

“You know what the title of that book should be? ‘Yes I Can if Frank Sinatra Says it’s Okay’. Cause Frank calls the shots for all of those guys.”


Why he’s on our Rushmore:

Who knew that Johnny Fever could play an oily, callous jerk so well? As the manager to the much, much bigger star Duke Fame (he did sell out the Enormodome or whatever it’s called), he barely has time for anything, much less a bunch of guys from the “Where Are They Now Files” and their manager Liam.

It’s the Bizarro World version of Spinal Tap and Ian Faith, where they are successful and everything runs smoothly. Although I’m willing to guess that the bottom fell out with grunge and rap, and Duke Fame is now touring small clubs with Slaughter as his opening act.

Best quote:

“Yeah, listen, we’d love to stand around and chat, but we’ve gotta…sit down in the lobby and wait for the limo.”

(Note: you don’t think the limo was driven by one Tommy Pischedda, do you?)


Why he’s on our Rushmore:

Because it’s Fred Willard, dummy.

Best quote:

“May I start by saying how thrilled we are to have you here, we are such fans of your music, and all of your records. I am not speaking of yours personally, but the whole genre of the rock and roll.”


Why he’s on our Rushmore:

Because at their core, the members of Spinal Tap and their entourage are a bunch of man-babies who haven’t adjusted their egos to their current standing in the world, and wind up leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Whether it’s a limo driver who just wants to talk or a craft services person who didn’t pit all of the olives, no one is immune to the consequences of the band’s imbecilic nature.

Nowhere is this truer than back in the same Memphis hotel where they encounter Duke Fame and Terry Ladd. Yes, it might be true that the hotel royally screwed up by booking one suite on the seventh floor instead of seven suites (a King Leisure!) for 14 people. But that doesn’t mean that The British Guy From The Jeffersons has to deal with being called a “twisted old fruit” by Ian Faith.

Best quote:

“I’m just as God made me, sir.”