Great Characters: Nigel Tufnel (“This Is Spinal Tap”)

November 11th, 2011 by

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s louder? Is it any louder?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it? It’s not ten.

Today being November 11, 2011 (11/11/11), there has been a movement to name it Nigel Tufnel Day.



Therefore today’s Great Character can only be the lead guitarist from the legendary heavy metal band Spinal Tap — Nigel Tufnel!

The 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap [written by Christopher Guest & Michael McKean & Harry Shearer & Rob Reiner] has a simple plot. Per IMDB: “Spinal Tap, the world’s loudest band, is chronicled by hack documentarian Marti DeBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.”

There’s the music:

And the offstage banter:

And the pièce de résistance, the full “One Louder / These Go To 11” clip:

Nigel Tufnel — today’s Great Character!

For Nigel’s fascinating (?) biography, go here

How will you celebrate Nigel at 11:11AM today?

One thought on “Great Characters: Nigel Tufnel (“This Is Spinal Tap”)

  1. Of all the movie lines that have entered the public vernacular, “These go to eleven.” is my personal favorite. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “Crank it up to eleven!” Thanks for featuring this, Scott.

    Actually, that might be a good theme for Daily Dialogue: movie lines that have entered the public vernacular.

    “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
    “I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
    “Show me the money!”
    “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
    “Go ahead. Make my day.”
    “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
    “Houston, we have a problem.”
    “If you build it, he will come.”

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