Comedic genius Christopher Guest celebrates his birthday on February 5.

He’s written some of the most celebrated comedies of the past few decades. (Waiting For Guffman, Best In Show, A Mighty Wind.) His most iconic creation/role is Nigel Tufnel, lead guitarist of Spinal Tap from the 1984 classic This Is Spinal Tap.

In honor of Guest’s birthday, we’ve ranked Nigel Tufnel’s best moments from the film.

But First, Details on the Spinal Tap Sequel

News of a long-awaited sequel to This is Spinal Tap was confirmed in May 2022 by Deadline. At that time, Spinal Tap II was slated for release in March 2024. Of course, the release has since been pushed back to an unknown date.

Reiner confirmed he’d be reprising his role of Marty DiBergi. Additionally, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest are on board as David St. Hubbins, Derek Smalls and Nigel Tufnel, respectively. (No word yet on who has the unfortunate task of playing the drummer.)

As for the premise of the film, Reiner said it centers around a final concert of sorts. Spinal Tap’s manager, Ian Faith, passed away. His wife inherited a contract that stated the band still owed Faith one more concert. (In real life, actor Tony Hendra, who played Faith, died in March 2021 at age 79.)

Reiner’s DiBergi character documents the final concert, which is reportedly being shot in the style of Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz. In May 2022, Reiner told Deadline that DiBergi feels he owes it to Spinal Tap to capture this concert. He says the band was upset with the first film.

“When I heard they might get back together, I was a visiting adjunct teacher’s helper at the Ed Wood School of Cinematic Arts,” said Reiner. “I drop everything to document this final concert.”

In November 2023, Reiner confirmed Paul McCartney, Elton John and Garth Brooks would be making cameos in the sequel film.

  • Honorable Mention – 'Lick My Love Pump'

    This clip was SO close to making the cut at number five.  Honestly, the use of the word “globule” was really the deciding factor that put “He exploded on stage” over the edge. (Oops! Spoiler alert!) Anyway, we still have no idea how either Guest or Reiner were able to keep a straight face during this scene. We’ve seen the movie countless times, and it still makes us laugh.

  • 5. 'He exploded on stage.'

    Poor Peter James Bond! Just a flash of green light, a “globule” on his drum seat, and that was it. And it was during a blues/jazz festival, no less! Truly one of rock’s most tragic moments. (Please note the sarcasm.)

  • 4. 'None more black'

    True, the answer really is “none.” We have to side with manager Ian Faith on this one. The cover is “simple, beautiful, classic.” Sure, it might not be what the band was hoping for with a title like Smell the Glove, but what a statement.

  • 3. 'This miniature bread…'

    Nigel just wants bigger bread. Is that so much to ask?! He had been working with it for half an hour, and he just couldn’t figure it out. It’s truly outrageous when you think about it.

  • 2. 'My solos are my trademark.'

    What an icon! Nigel’s “guitar face” alone makes this a classic moment. Add in all of his solo elements — from playing with his feet to utilizing a violin —  and it’s just perfection. 10/10, no notes.

  • 1. 'These go to eleven!'

    Could there be any other number one than this “one louder” moment?!  Considering how much a part this moment is in the rock lexicon, it’s hard to disagree with its placement. Sure, it’s obvious, but it’s also undeniable. Rockers the world over have truly embraced this moment as if it’s a true reality. It’s amazing how one movie has had such an impact one an entire genre of music. 

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