Study Guide

This Is Spinal Tap David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean)

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David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean)

"Here lies David St. Hubbins…and why not?"

David St. Hubbins is the resident Yoda of the group. (If we're sticking with Star Wars references, that would probably make Nigel Han Solo and Derek Chewbacca, but that's neither here nor there.)

While there may be two fellas on Lead Guitar, David is the heart and soul (and hair) of Spinal Tap. He's the experienced, rock solid, wise one. Although let's be honest. Next to those other guys, Shia LaBeouf might look like the "wise one." The film likes to spoof the earnest philosophic pronouncement of guys who are dressing up in Spandex and screaming on stage for a living, and David is often the mouthpiece:

REPORTER: So tonight's the last show of the tour. How's that feel? You know, is like this your last waltz, are we talkin' the end of Spinal Tap, or are you gonna try to milk it for a few more years in Europe, I mean....

DAVID: Well, I don't, I don't really think that the end can be assesse, uh, as of itself as being the end because what does the end feel like, it's like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe you say the...if the universe is indeed infinite then how what does that mean? How far is, is all the way and then if it stops what's stoppin' it and what's behind what's stoppin' it, so what's the end, you know, is my question to you.

But while Nigel is consumed with Nigel, and Derek is just muddling through life happy to be in the company of two such "visionaries," David actually seems quasi-normal, all things considered. He tells Nigel not to store his used chewing gum on his finger. He knows the black album cover is a disaster. You get the sense he's behind most of the group's music and lyrics, probably has a lot to do with their look, and—second only to the band manager, likely contributes quite a bit to the business decisions as well.

He's more of a grown-up than Nigel.

And while he certainly has had his share of boneheaded comments, and will occasionally fly off the handle with little provocation (See: his big fight with Nigel), in general he seems able to keep a level head and maintain some semblance of order. He's the glue. Without him, the band probably would have broken up long ago. (Okay, so we know that's not exactly how glue works. Just humor us.)

Yes, Dear

David is committed to the band, has a clear idea of its direction and would do anything for his dear friends Nigel and Derek.

Unless, you know, Jeanine instructs him otherwise.

Yeah. When it comes to his main squeeze, David has quite a few stars in his eyes. He pretty much defers to Jeanine on any and all matters, either assuming she knows better than he does, or terrified of the repercussions should he ever disagree or cross her. However, considering David's personality, it definitely feels like the former. David wouldn't hand the band over to Jeanine just to make her happy. But he certainly does seem to believe that she's a wizard when it comes to booking gigs, sketching animal costumes, or "arranging a whole load of charts."

DAVID: Before I met Jeanine, my life was cosmically a shambles, it was ah, I was using bits and pieces of whatever Eastern philosophies happened to drift through my transom and she sort of sorted it out for me, straightened it out for me, gave me a path, you know, a path to follow.

And there you have it. He owes her for his spiritual transformation, sure, but only because he honestly believes she's got it all figured out.

So what if her management decisions ultimately send Spinal Tap the way of the dodo? At least David would still have a good-looking meditation partner to help him get through it. It's almost a win-win.

"I remember about the rabbits, George."

Okay. Wrong Lenny/Lennie.

Michael McKean, who plays David St. Hubbins, was no one-trick pony. In his pre-Spinal Tap years, he played Lenny on the hit TV show Laverne & Shirley (not as cool a name as Squiggy, unfortunately). Later, he joined forces with his old pal Christopher Guest (Nigel) in other mockumentary projects, including Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.

More recently, he's been knocking it out of the park as Saul Goodman's brother Chuck McGill on the Breaking Bad spinoff prequel Better Call Saul, playing a character who believes he has an unusual condition in which he's hypersensitive to electric fields. Sounds like something David St. Hubbins would say.

Big Picture Guy

As the tour nears its end, there's lots of mixed feelings flying around. But David's not freaking out. He appreciates the journey and looks to the future:

DAVID: I've always, I've always wanted to do a collection of my acoustic numbers with, the London Philharmonic as you know.

DEREK: We're lucky.

DAVID: Yeah.

DEREK: I mean people...people should be envying us. You know.

DAVID: I envy us.

David's a rocker at heart, though. Those screaming Japanese fans beat the London Philharmonic hands down.

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