Yet Waiting for Guffman is never mean-spirited. Its weird warmth is perfectly embodied by Guest himself, whose flamboyant, stagestruck choreographer, Corky St. Clair, could have (in less ingenious hands) been a cruel, gay-bashing caricature, but instead becomes a hallucinatory Everyman.
The movie is, from start to finish, a hoot... Both a savvy satire of smalltown boosterism and an affectionate salute to the performing spirit. [10 Feb 1987, p.66]
Thirty minutes into Waiting for Guffman, my stomach hurt from laughing.
Elvis MitchellThe New York Times
The don't quite do for "Oklahoma!" what they did for heavy metal, but they come close. [31 Jan 1997, p.C6]
Ron WellsFilm Threat
I saw this movie in a room full of San Francisco movie critics, and I haven't heard that much laughter since, well, the piano duet in "Island of Dr. Moreau" (which you must admit, was pretty funny.)
Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times
The movie doesn't bludgeon us with gags. It proceeds with a certain comic relentlessness from setup to payoff, and its deliberation is part of the fun.
Such a funny mess that it keeps you laughing even when you realize it's not much better directed than a cable-access talk show.