‘This Is Spinal Tap’ Promo Man, Artie Fufkin: ‘I Got No Timing’

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Not happy…

One of the many cringe-inducing scenes in Rob Reiner’s 1984 classic mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap is when Paul Shaffer‘s Polymer Records character Artie Fufkin excitedly shows up to an in-store appearance that he’s set up for the band in the midwest.

He meets them in their hotel room: “I’m your promo man here in Chicago. I go back with you guys. I love you guys.”

The camera cuts to the in-store and, of course, not a single customer is there. “It’s me… I did it. It’s my fault.” Michael McKean’s David St. Hubbins says: “We were told massive radio support.”

Fufkin: “We did massive. We saturated. We over-saturated. I fucked up the timing. I got no timing!

“You know what I want you to do? Will you do something for me? Do me a favor. Just kick my ass. I’m not asking… I’m telling!”

Watch the classic scene

Related: Spinal Tap members had a 35th anniversary reunion in 2019

Fast forward 33 years and Paul Shaffer & the World’s Most Dangerous Band released their first new album in 24 years. (The record featured guest appearances by Dion, Bill Murray, Darius Rucker, Shaggy and Valerie Simpson.)

Shaffer has reprised his role as Fufkin with a twist: Fufkin has set up an in-store for his latest star act… Paul Shaffer. “It’s all the stuff you got to do later… the promotion, the interviews, touring.”

The scene reprises much of the Spinal Tap original, right down to the appearance signage and with some clever contemporary twists. Fufkin: “Tell them to bring an iTune down here, he’ll sign an iTune.”

See for yourself if it ends the same way. Our Classic Video from Funny or Die…

A sequel to the classic movie begins filming in February 2024 to mark the original’s 40th anniversary.


Shaffer played keyboards in the Saturday Night Live house band during the show’s first five seasons before forming The World’s Most Dangerous Band in 1982, when Shaffer became musical director and sidekick on Late Night With David Letterman.

Related: Shaffer accompanied Bill Murray’s lounge singer in a classic SNL sketch

Shaffer, born November 28, 1949, continues to be a much-in-demand musician and band leader for events including numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. Dino Saur
    #1 Dino Saur 28 November, 2022, 17:19

    Great Rockumentary/Mockumentary – It still entertains 40 years after release.

    We try to watch it at least once a year, just to “keep young”.

    Classic scenes and dialogue throughout, for example:

    David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) on their Stonehenge Fiasco:

    ‘I do not, for one, think that the problem was that the band was down. I think that the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument on the stage, that was in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.”

    Reply this comment
  2. Mark Leviton
    #2 Mark Leviton 28 November, 2022, 18:41

    Based on a Credibility Gap in-store organized by WB’s Lou Dennis, which Harry Shearer remembered for the script.

    Reply this comment

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