TV Tango Search


|              FREE: Ask a TV Expert

Documentary Now!

Documentary Now!

  • Premiered: 
    August 20, 2015
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: IFC
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader & Seth Meyers 
  • Subject Matter: Anthology
  • Tags: parody, spoof

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

  • Click a button to buy a DVD at Amazon
  • Seasons 1 & 2
    • Amazon
  • Seasons 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Hosted by Dame Helen Mirren, DOCUMENTARY NOW! parodies some of the world's best-known documentaries. Each half-hour episode, starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, is shot in a different style of documentary filmmaking, and honors some of the most important stories that didn't actually happen. Paying homage to everyone from the Maysles to Errol Morris, topics range from guerilla-style filmmakers who vastly underestimate the danger in exposing a drug cartel to a soft rock doc about a Chicago band's rise to fame with their hit album "Catalina Breeze." DOCUMENTARY NOW! features guest appearances by Jack Black, John Slattery, Irving Azoff and SNL's Aidy Bryant, Mike O'Brien, Paula Pell, and Tim Robinson. The six "documentaries" in the first season include:

Sandy Passage (a spoof of Grey Gardens): Examination of mother and daughter socialites that create a self-imposed world in a dilapidated mansion.

Dronez: Guerilla-style journalists travel to Mexico to investigate a drug cartel.

Blue Jean Committee: Classic rock n' roll story of fame, fighting and making music history.

Kunuk Uncovered: Expose on the world's first documentary about the Inuit.

Al Capone Festival in Iceland: Exploration of an Icelandic town's festival celebrating an American gangster.

Under 45 Seconds: Crime mystery about a man sentenced to life in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Season 2 -- which premiered Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on IFC -- included episodes like "Globesman," a riff on the 1969 Albert and David Maysles film "Salesman," as well "Juan Likes Chicken and Rice," which will mimic David Gelb's "Jiro Dreams of Sushi." "Juan" is entirely in Spanish. The season opener, "The Bunker," is inspired by the heart-racing 1993 political documentary "The War Room" with James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. It follows two scheming and cocky campaign managers (Hader and Armisen) working on the heated race for the Governor of Ohio. Lies will be told, death threats will be made, and questionable '90s fashion choices will surface, all in the camcorder-documented fight to get their underdog candidate to the top.

Season 3 (called "Season 52") of DOCUMENTARY NOW! premieres on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 from 11pm-Midnight ET/PT on IFC, with Dame Helen Mirren continuing to host. This season's line-up of guest stars includes Cate Blanchett, Michael Keaton, Owen Wilson, Michael C. Hall, John Mulaney, Taran Killam, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Bobby Moynihan, Natasha Lyonne, Paula Pell, Richard Kind, James Urbaniak and more.

The one-hour season opener, "Batshit Valley," is a parody of the 2018 documentary series "Wild Wild Country," starring Owen Wilson as Father Ra-Shawbard, the bearded leader of a spiritual cult taking over the Oregon town of Chinook and and Michael Keaton as FBI agent Bill Doss. The cultists appear to be well-meaning hippies who, among other things, ask permission from their fruits and vegetables before they eat them. Inevitably, conflicts and clashes with local townsfolk ensue. Necar Zadegan, plays a cultist named Ra Sharir -- a send-up of the cold-blooded lieutenant Ma Anand Sheela.

Other new episodes include:

"Original Cast Album: Co-op" (written by John Mulaney & Seth Meyers; directed by Alex Buono): Inspired by Original Cast Album: Company, the 1970 D.A. Pennebaker documentary that follows the strenuous overnight cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's hit musical. The episode follows producers Benedict Juniper (Taran Killam), Simon Sawyer (John Mulaney) and Howard Pine (James Urbaniak) overseeing the recording for the cast album of the musical Co-op. The cast of Co-op also includes Kenny (Alex Brightman), Larry (Richard Kind), Patty (Paula Pell), and Dee Dee (Goldsberry).
On Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 11pm ET/PT, IFC premiered "Any Given Saturday Afternoon," the season finale of DOCUMENTARY NOW!, which profiles life at the top of the Professional Bowling League during the 2003 tournament season. Based on the 2006 documentary A LEAGUE OF ORDINARY GENTLEMEN, the season ender features guest stars Michael C. Hall, Tim Robinson, and Bobby Moynihan playing rival bowlers Billy May "Dead Eyes" Dempsey, Rick Kenmore, and Larry Hawburger, respectively.


Other Titles

  • Previously known as: American Documentary

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by Broadway Video