While appearing at The A.V. Club Comedy Festival in 2017 at The Modern School of Film in Chicago, the great Christopher Guest responded to a guest’s question about any autobiographical characters he might have. Guest joked around a bit with his answer before sharing that many of his characters came from observation.
He then recalled observing an English band that was checking in at a Los Angeles hotel. The manager noticed that the bass player didn’t have his instrument and the ensuing discussion became the inspiration for his iconic Spinal Tap character Nigel Tufnel.
It went on for 15 minutes I don’t think I’ve ever been happier, except for the night that I met my wife.