Born on February 5, 1948 in New York City, New York, Christopher Guest is a British-American comedian, musician and writer known for producing and starring in several mockumentary films. The son of a United Nations diplomat and a network executive, Guest is of primarily Russian and British descent. Although born to Jewish parents, the family turned to atheism and did not practice any religion while Guest was growing up in England.
Christopher Guest attended The High School of Music & Art in New York City, studying classic music and clarinet. He later took on an interest in country music, playing guitar with American folk singer Arlo Guthrie who went to the same school. When his father died in 1996, Guest became the 5th Baron Haden-Guest in the County of Essex. His older brother became ineligible because he was born out of wedlock.
During the early 1970s, Guest initially contributed his work to The National Lampoon Radio Hour. When the 1980s came, he had a one-season stint on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. He went on to appear in several movies, such as The Princess Bride, The Long Riders, Mrs. Henderson Presents, and A Few Good Men.
In 1984, he appeared in the rockumentary film called This is Spinal Tap. Prompted by this, he began writing, directing and acting in his own series of improvised films, which would come to be known as mockumentaries, such as Waiting for Guffman in 1996, Best in Show in 2000, A Mighty Wind in 2003, and For Your Consideration in 2006. Throughout the years, Guest and his writing partner Eugene Levy has formed a loose group of repertory of actors who appear across several films. For his part, Guest said he disliked the term mockumentary as his intention is not to mock anyone but to explore obscure communities through his method of filmmaking. He did a guest voice-over role in Spongebob Squarepants as the main character’s cousin, Stanley.