Documentary Now! is probably the niche-iest niche show on TV these days. If you’ve never heard of it (and who could blame you) -Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers write, produce, and star in the show that chooses a different documentary to retell and mock each episode. It’s weird, it’s hilarious. And last week I got to see their panel at the 92nd Street Y.
The evening included an advanced screening of season two’s premiere episode called “The Bunker” based on the 1993 political documentary The War Room. (Bill Hader plays a parody of James Carville and it’s everything.) There was a brief intermission and then the lights dimmed, and the curtain rose and Meyers, Hader, and Armisen were all sitting there. It was kinda like seeing Mickey Mouse at Disney World for the first time.
The moderator (who I’m pretty sure binged watched all of the first season the night before based on her pretty lame questions) was quickly swept aside as all three of the comedians riffed off the each other. It took them probably ten minutes to answer one question but no one cared because we were laughing so hard. Thankfully, though the magic of YouTube, you can watch the panel below.
Anyway, afterward they took a couple of pictures from the stage. From where I was sitting I couldn’t get there soon enough to get a selfie (so please enjoy these low resolution photos taken from farther away) but I did get to shake Seth Meyers’ hand which is still pretty cool.
Mockumentaries and Their Documentaries
Season 1 (on Netflix)
“Sandy Passage” — Grey Gardens (My personal favorite)
“Kunuk Uncovered” — Nanook Revisited
“DRONEZ: The Hunt of El Chignon”– VICE News
“The Eye Doesn’t Lie”– The Thin Blue Line
“A Town, A Gangster, A Festival”– Hollywood
“Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee, Parts 1 & 2” — History of the Eagles
“The Bunker” — The War Room
“Juan Likes Rice and Chicken” — Jiro Dreams of Sushi
“Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”– Swimming to Cambodia
“Final Transmission” — Stop Making Sense
“Globesman” — Salesman
“Mr. Runner Up: My Life as an Oscar Bridesmaid, Parts 1 & 2” — The Kid Stays in the Picture
Documentary Now, IFC, Wednesdays 10/9 central