101 Funniest Screenplays

Having lampooned the hubris of a heavy metal band in This Is Spinal Tap and amateur thespian intimations of greatness in Waiting for Guffman, Christopher Guest trained his dry, satiric gaze on the Westminster Dog Show. Well, not exactly the Westminster Dog Show, but close. The film lends itself well to Guest’s pseudo-vérité and seemingly improvisational style, following five different contestants (all couples, except for Guest himself as the owner of a bloodhound) as they travel to the competition, check in at the hotel, and generally project their neuroses, hopes and dreams on this canine beauty pageant. The competition itself features Fred Willard as an over-the-top commentator. “Satires have a way of running out of steam,” critic Roger Ebert wrote of Best in Show, “but the suspense of the judging process keeps the energy high, even apart from an assist by the dog who attacks a judge.”