Release date, trailer and everything we know

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The mockumentary format has become an essential subgenre for comedy cinema. Filmmakers love Christopher Guest are considered to be at the forefront of this style of comedy, with projects like Best of Show (2000), Waiting for Guffman (1996), and A mighty wind (2003) all being considered modern comedy classics. Just like in the cinema, the format of the mockumentary has also found its place in the world of television. There are almost too many examples to count, but certainly some of the most popular examples include the vampire television adaptation of What we do in the shadows (2019-2022), and we’d be remiss not to mention hit sitcoms like Office (2005-2013), Parks and recreation (2009-2015), and Abbott Elementary School (2021-2022).

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The comedy sketches also used this concept extensively, and when they worked on the sketch “The History of Punk” for Saturday Night Live (1975-2022), former members Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Bill Hader (barry), and Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers) came up with a concept for a surefire hit series. Thereby, Documentary now! was born; a satire on the nose of documentary cinema that took a more anthological approach to the genre. Not only does each episode tell a different story with different characters, but they’re also stylistically completely unique and range from lighthearted antics to full-blown horror satires.

Now, Documentary now! should return for its fourth season, although in the universe of the series, Documentary now! will actually enter its fifty-third season. With it come new stories and characters, but will still feature performances from Fred Armisen and Bill Hader as well as the show’s regular host, Helen Mirren (The Queen). To prepare for the senseless satirical mayhem that awaits us in the new season, here’s everything we know so far about season 4 (53) of Documentary now!

Related: “Documentary Now!” The team reveals how they put on the show and teases what’s to come in season 4


The short but sweet teaser for the next season of Documentary now! begins as always with the show’s host, Helen Mirren, playing herself. It features the show’s 53rd season, after which we see a brief sizzle of episodes in store. We’ll feature an episode guide below, but the trailer also shows that just like previous seasons, Season 4 will also feature a star-studded guest cast.

When and where will the documentary be now! Season 4 premiere?

Documentary now! will bring audiences a new batch of satirical documentaries starting Wednesday, October 19, 2022, with a two-part season premiere lasting around an hour. The remaining five episodes air each following Wednesday. As with previous seasons, the show will premiere on IFC, with its streaming home being AMC+.

Watch on AMC+

Who is starring in the documentary now! Season 4?

In addition to creating and producing the series, Fred Armisen will star in at least a few episodes next season. However, his co-star Bill Hader doesn’t seem to have such a big acting role this time around, despite still serving as an executive producer on the show. This may be because Hader is busy with other projects like his other hit comedy series, barry.

Armisen, as with other seasons of the series, will be joined by an impressive cast of special guest stars who will lend their talents to the satirical mockumentary anthology. These names include Cate Blanchett (Tar), Alexander Skarsgard (big little lies), Liliane Rovere (Call my agent!), Harriet Walter (Kill Eve), Nicholas Brown (Succession), Jamie Demetriou (Flea bag), and Jonathan Price (The crown). Blanchett in particular will be a returning cast member on the show, as she debuted as Izabella Barta in Season 3, Episode 4, where she played a Hungarian artist trying to reconnect with her past and to create his masterpiece.

Related:7 Best “Documentary Now!” Episodes, all approved by Helen Mirren

Documentary now! Season 4 episode guide

The next season of Documentary now! will be slightly shorter than previous seasons. Instead of seven episodes in total, Season 4 will only have six, but that hardly means the quality will be lower. On the contrary, it means that Armisen, Hader, Meyers and the rest of the team put more emphasis on quality than quantity. Anyway, in case you’re curious what the six episodes have in store for you, here’s a brief guide to the episodes:

October 19: “The soldier of illusion parts 1 and 2”

The two-part season premiere follows Alexander Skarsgård as a German independent filmmaker trying to construct the ultimate masterpiece. The result is likely a very tumultuous shoot where cast and crew struggle to understand and sympathize with the unique vision of a genius director.

October 26: “Two hairdressers in Bagglyport”

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett returns to Documentary now! for the final season with a parody of Three lounges by the sea (1994), a little-known documentary of which Blanchett herself is a fan. It’s obvious that Blanchett is actually the one who came up with the idea, giving her probably the most creative input on the show to date. Blanchett previously showed off his comedic prowess in the “Waiting for the Artist” episode of Documentary now!so his return here is more than welcome.

November 2: “How they threw stones”

Jonathan Pryce narrates the coverage of a sport where two participants relentlessly throw rocks at each other. Yeah…pretty self-explanatory.

November 9: “My Monkey Grifter”

In what appears to be a clear parody of the Best Documentary Oscar, My octopus teacher (2020), “My Monkey Grifter” shows another filmmaker forming a remarkably close bond with a friendly primate. Only instead of a sincere bond between a man and an animal, it looks like an unlikely union in nature that might be a little too far.

November 16: “Find Thrill”

The fourth season finale of Documentary now! seems to be a tribute to the legendary French filmmaker Agnes Varda and his famous documentary, Varda by Agnes (2019). The episode will follow an artist who bears a striking resemblance to Varda, as she tries to show that she can still create challenging and compelling art despite her age.

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