Beverly Hills, Calif. — Not long after finishing a solo musical set in the Beverly Hilton lobby, with a view of the parking circle, dressed in denim and singing songs about freeways and Catalina Island, Fred Armisen took the stage to talk about Documentary Now!, his upcoming IFC comedy that parodies documentaries such as the recent Eagles documentary.
"We just love soft rock,” Armisen said Friday during the show’s TCA summer press tour panel. “It’s so bold in its gentleness.”
Each episode of the show, debuting Thursday, Aug. 20, is shot in a different documentary style, taking on a different genre. Armisen created the series with his former Saturday Night Live castmates Bill Hader and Seth Meyers. Hader and Armisen also star in the series. They aim to parody specific documentaries, including The Thin Blue Line and Grey Gardens. The directors even talked to some of the people who created those original documentaries, getting advice on how to shoot the parodies to make them as authentic as possible
“If we did our job right, people would be flipping through their channels” and think it’s a real documentary, Hader said, “and then they’d see me and Fred.”
Meyers said they tried to stay away from typical mockumentary moves. He added that people are watching more and more documentaries now with their availability on so many streaming sites.
“If we were in an era with three networks, this would probably be a tough sell,” Meyers said. “For us it is kind of like an extension of what you do at SNL, where the thing you work on one week doesn’t have to tie in to the thing you work on the next week.
“It gives you so much more freedom.”