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Waiting for Guffman

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Image credit: Waiting for Guffman, 1996

I seriously cannot contain my excitement for the new Christopher Guest film Mascots (releasing this week on Netflix). What has me even more excited is that fact that Guest is reviving his greatest character, Corky St. Clair from this week’s film Waiting for Guffman (DVD/Download). I thought I knew funny when I saw Best in Show….. but then I saw Guffman. To this day, no other movie has made me laugh as hard. I think it’s high time for a repeat viewing. Everybody Dance!

Being someone who personally cringes at the idea of musical theater, it’s always a joy for me to see a movie that mocks those who take it so seriously. No theater troupe is quite as pathetic as the local group seen in this movie. Uncoordinated, cross-eyed, delusional, they still believe that a hot shot producer will see their play Red, White, and Blaine and bring them to Broadway. Because that’s what every New Yorker wants to see- a musical about a crappy town in Missouri (literally- their claim to fame is a stool boom).The casting session is not to be missed, nor the choreography work in Corky’s apartment. And as the cherry on this absurd crown, Red, White, and Blaine toes that perfect line between absolutely ridiculous and surprisingly kind of…. good (even if there is no swimming in the show).

Legend has it that town founder Blaine Fabin was looking for California, but after detecting the scent of salt water he mistakenly settled in Missouri. Obviously, there was a lot of hubbub over this salt water. Salt has become a trendy ingredient in cocktails, balancing out the bitter flavors of some drinks in a really interesting way. While watching Waiting for Guffman, I recommend drinking a Salt Water cocktail.

Salt Water

1 oz Gin

¼ oz Amaretto

½ oz lemon juice

1 tbsp apples, diced into small pieces (+ 1 slice for garnish)

Pinch of Fleur de Sal seasalt

Prosecco, chilled

Muddle apples and salt together in the bottom of a champagne flute. Then add lemon juice and muddle further. Add the gin and amaretto. Top with prosecco, and garnish with an apple slice.


Guffman was the start of Guest’s collaboration with many of his now-regulars (such as Parker Posey, Fred Willard, Catherine O’Hara, Bob Balaban, Eugene Levy, etc.) and I’m so happy to see most of them returning for Mascots. If Corky hasn’t found Broadway success yet, well I’m just goin’ home and I’m gonna bite my pillow. Cheers!

Home Alone

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Image credit 20th Century Fox, 1990, Home Alone

Image credit 20th Century Fox, 1990, Home Alone

Now that the Thanksgiving leftovers have been totally consumed, I can move on to more pressing matters- Christmas movies! And even more importantly, Christmas cocktails!! This week, I’m featuring one of my favorite childhood movies, Home Alone (DVD/Download). I have to admit, I watched this with some trepidation, worried that it would no longer appeal to my adult brain. I’m here to say, worry not- it’s still funny. Yes, Macaulay Culkin is pretty corny, but the chance to see Joe Pesci again in, well, anything, plus the late, great John Candy, PLUS comedic genius Catherine O’Hara outweighs the massive eye roll I have for Culkin’s trademark scream.

For anyone who has been living under a rock for the last twenty years, Home Alone tells the story of a young boy (played by Macaulay Culkin) who accidentally gets left behind at home while his family travels to Paris for the Christmas holiday. At first he revels in the freedom he has to eat junk food, watch violent films, and go through his siblings’ personal belongings. But eventually, loneliness sets in right around the time some petty thieves try to rob his home. He cleverly booby traps the house against the bumbling burglars, but in the end, it takes the help of an unlikely friend to really save him (like George Costanza, the old man gets to me too).

For my pairing, I’m going to pretend to be Kevin McCallister for a day. That’s right, I’m drinking sugary/chocolate-y cocktails and watching Home Alone, thus rotting my teeth and my brain. While watching Home Alone, I recommend drinking a Chocolate Peppermint Martini.

Chocolate Peppermint Martini

2 oz Godiva chocolate liqueur

2 oz vodka

1/2 oz peppermint schnapps

1 tablespoon half-and-half

Candy Cane and red decorating sugar

Combine liquid ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake until chilled.  Meanwhile, rim your martini glass with a little bit of the peppermint schnapps, and dip into the red sugar.  Strain your cocktail into the prepared glass, and garnish with a candy cane.


As we decorate our homes for Christmas, buy the presents, and make the travel plans, it can be tempting to throw our hands up and say, “Forget all of it, I’m staying home this year.”   This movie reminds me that despite the enormous headache that is Holiday Travel, I would really miss my family if I didn’t get to see them on Christmas.  However, if you are traveling this season, remember to come up with a plan of defense for your home- you never know when Joe Pesci will stick his head through the doggie door.  Cheers!