The film blurs the line
between fiction and reality through the town council and historian characters
which add the most believable elements. When Corky asks for £100’000 for the
shows budget, they reject his request, as any council would, explaining that
they only have £15’000 for the whole town for a year. The council are thus a
relatable symbol of authority within the film and fictitious town. Additionally,
the character of Dr Allan Pearl (Eugene Levy), the Jewish dentist with the
glint of stardom in his eyes, is a relatable symbol. He describes himself as someone
who loves to make people laugh, people said to him; ‘you must have been the
class clown’, ‘No I wasn’t but I sat next to the class clown, I studied him and
saw how he made people laugh, I picked stuff up’ he replied. ‘I got an
entertaining bug from my grandfather, who was very big in Yiddish theatre in
New York, a play called ‘Dibick Smibick – I said more ham’. Pearl clearly has
no vocal talent yet at his audition Corky is mesmerised and pleased that the
dentist came as “you don’t often think to tell people like that that you are
putting on a show”. Thus, making both Pearl and Corky even more endearing. Putting
on a show whilst making a show is quite a feat but Christopher Guest, who stars
in both makes it look seemingly easy. When screened in Kansas, the towns people
said they knew the characters themselves, just by different names. Corky St.

Clair is a manifestation of the wannabe Broadway directors who seem to sniff
out these types of shows. Auditionees such as Shelia and Ron are the deluded
talentless has-been’s who cling onto the American dream. However, it is not
Guests intention to portray these people in a bad way. Royal Scanlon likes Guffman even though he had
never lived in an area like Blaine. He says he likes the film because it’s
funny and because of its tone. He explains, “Guest’s portrayal of Corky
St. Clair is done in a loving way. It’s not demeaning. It just says this is how
this character acts and reacts. When people are trying out for the play, (the
tone-deaf) Dr. Pearl is completely unaware of reality when he gets up and
sings, and Corky St. Clair loves it and thinks it’s brilliant. That
just adds to the charm of the character and the movie.” 

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