Brow Beat

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader Spoof Grey Gardens in the Trailer for Documentary Now!

SNL vets Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Myers have been working for more than a year on Documentary Now!, a six-episode series that spoofs documentary films from the 20th century, from Nanook of the North to The Thin Blue Line.* The first trailer for the IFC series gives us an intriguing look at the show’s use of period costumes and grainy film textures to mimic the cinema of yesteryear.

Personas the comedians adopt in the trailer include 1970s rock stars, undercover guerilla journalists, and, in a nod to Grey Gardens, mother-daughter socialites. (Armisen is cast as the Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale figure, while Hader plays a version of Little Edie.) Armisen and Hader also explore Inuit culture and investigate the “traditional” Icelandic Al Capone Festival, while joined by guest stars including Jack Black and John Slattery. Judging from the detail-oriented trailer, Documentary Now! will be a must-see for sketch comedy buffs when it premieres on Aug. 20.

Correction, June 17, 2015: This post originally misstated that the films spoofed in Documentary Now! are from the past half century. They are from the 20th century.