When actress Jamie Lee Curtis shared her tribute to Fred Willard, she included a hilarious clip from the Christopher Guest mockumentary Best In Show, which took a comical look at the men and women who enter their dogs into prestigious dog shows. Willard frequently worked with Guest, starring in Waiting for Guffman, A Might Wind and For Your Consideration as well. Curtis' followers loved seeing the clip from Best in Show, which originally hit theaters in 2000.
"How lucky that we all got to enjoy Fred Willard's gifts. He is with his missed Mary now. Thanks for the deep belly laughs Mr. Willard," Curtis wrote on Twitter. Curtis' message came as a shock, as she published it before Willard's publicist and daughter Hope announced the actor's death. Hope and her father's rep later confirmed Willard died of natural causes late Friday night at age 86. His wife Mary died in 2018.
Best in Show was released to critical acclaim in 2000 and has become a beloved cult classic, alongside Guest's other mockumentaries. The film follows five owners and handlers or dogs leading up to the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show in Philadelphia. The owners are played by Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Parker Posey, Michael Hitchcock, Guest, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Cranshaw, John Michael Higgins and Michael McKean. Although they all come from different backgrounds, Guest and Levy's script highlights the similarities among them as well.
The film culminates in the dog show itself. Willard stars as color commentator Buck Laughlin, whose complete lack of knowledge of dog shows stumps his co-host, Trevor Beckwith (Jim Piddock). The scene Curtis shared in her tweet came from this segment, with Buck pestering Trevor with some very strange observations. At one point, Buck suggested the Bloodhound be dressed up to look like Sherlock Holmes. "Are they ever allowed to do anything like that? Dress up the dog in a funny way?" Buck asked. "No, that's not quite the purpose of these shows," Trevor replied.
I love him and that scene. Also @realjimpiddock. So funny!— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) May 16, 2020
"I think it would really get the crowd going! You know what I mean, the Sherlock Holmes hat with a pipe? I don't know if you could make it look like smoke is coming out of the pipe," Buck continued. "I think that would be a little dangerous," Trevor reminded him. "I'd get a kick out of it," Buck added.
Apparently, he was told to learn nothing about dogs, and was turned loose.— Lane O'Hayer (@col7q) May 16, 2020
Willard starred in more than 300 movies and television shows, often showing off his skills at comic timing and improvisation. His last role was in Space Force, a new Netflix series starring Steve Carell as the fictional leader of the U.S.' new military branch. The series hits Netflix on May 29.
In honor of Fred Willard, I will watch Best in Show today. He was truly a comic genius. 💔🐶— Denise Sampson (@dams40ish) May 16, 2020
Oh No :-( The laughs he always brought to my family, especially in this movie, will be missed and always rememebered!— AlwynHamilton (@AlwynFJH) May 16, 2020
The clip is great. I remember Joe Garagiola doing the Westminster and it made Fred's performance even funnier.— nick spinelli (@ndspinelli) May 16, 2020