Documentary Now Is The Funniest New Series For Non-Fiction Nerds


Love depressing documentaries, but wish they were 30 minutes long and starred some of the best SNL performers? Bill Hader and Fred Armisen have just the series…

God damn do I love documentaries. When I’m not hosting Cape Crisis (via the support on the Laser Time Patreon), I can often be found watching true life tales of how fucked the world is. Whether it’s Werner Herzog examining the hopelessness of the death penalty or a couple of bad filmmakers trying their damnedest to make an American Movie, I revel in the true life tales seen in documentaries like Grey Gardens or Thin Blue Line. And clearly Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers do as well, because they’ve got a whole new parody series of the genre called Documentary Now, which you can see on IFC real soon. Or, you can skip that whole “waiting” bullshit, and watch the second episode right now…

Two minutes in and you’ve already got Jack Black AND Helen Mirren, and it only gets better from there. Each show in the seven episode long season will parody a different famous documentary style, with Hader and Armisen finding a way to skewer topics that aren’t always that funny. In case it wasn’t obvious, this early episode “Dronez” is a pretty scathing parody of Vice and its investigations. Bill and Fred play the parts of the insufferable, smug, yet-kinda-well-meaning pricks out to do guerrilla journalism on what really matters.

As it turns out, the Dronez guys might be more into hipster mustaches and drugs than actually, ya know, reporting, which I’m sure is VERY different from how Vice operates. As first episodes go, this is a great one, and Lucha Underground fans should keep an eye out for Luis Fernandez-Gil (aka Dario Cueto). And Documentary Now will send up many more folks than just Vice, as this clip of a later music doc parody will attest.

The show airs on IFC Thursdays at 10pm, and it seems like will do some limited streaming as well. Meanwhile, before you go, maybe you’re looking for a more direct attack on the surface-level, douchey style of Vice and its journalists. For that I direct you to the late David Carr tearing them to ribbons. It’s an incredibly real moment that’s as hilarious as just about anything Bill Hader and Fred Armisen do.

If you’re in the mood for more SNL and funny business, check out the ranking of every Saturday Night Live film from worst to best and the best SNL super hero sketches.

One thought on “Documentary Now Is The Funniest New Series For Non-Fiction Nerds

  1. XD
    oh wow! thanks for letting us know this existed.
    I love those guys.
    I seriously wish I could just watch every episode right now.
    that el chigon episode was great. Dronez.

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