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Best in Show

Award-worthy comedy struts onto Blu-ray.

Rod Lott March 8th, 2013

My favorite of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries is easily 2000’s Best in Show. While I think it helps to be a theater nerd to appreciate 1996’s Waiting for Guffman in full or a folk nut to opt for 2003’s A Mighty Wind, “must love dogs” is no requirement here. Love man’s best friend or hate him, the humor in Best in Show is less inside-baseball than its brothers.


Although set amid the fictional Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philadelphia, the comedy is really concerned with five sets of the contestants’ owners, including — but not limited to — a longtime married couple (Catherine O’Hara and co-writer Eugene Levy), two gay men (Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins) and a lonely woodsman (Guest).   

As individually idiosyncratic and entertaining as they are (and are they ever!) the show that is Show is stolen by Fred Willard as Mayflower co-host Buck Laughlin, irritating his fellow commentator Jim Piddock (The Dictator) with inane questions, like how much a dog could bench press, and who-asked-you observations, i.e. “He went for her like she's made outta ham.”

Even on my fifth viewing, but my first via Warner Home Video’s brand-new Blu-ray, his clueless and inappropriate patter never gets old. Willard truly deserved a nomination from Oscar; ditto the screenplay, although no telling how much of it was improvised. —Rod Lott

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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