Mockumentaries are a blend of fiction and non-fiction where filmmakers create a parody or satire of a particular genre by presenting it in a mock-documentary format. Mockumentaries are a great way to entertain yourself while also offering a satirical commentary on our society. In this article, we will list 20 of the best mockumentaries to stream from the comfort of your couch. Make sure you get comfortable and prepare for lots of laughs.
What are mockumentaries?
Mockumentaries are made-up motion pictures or television programs that mimic real-world documentaries. They are made to mock or satirize a specific filmmaking genre or aesthetic. The goal is to present a satirical or funny perspective on a particular topic while still giving the impression that the work is a documentary.
In recent years, mockumentaries have become extremely popular. In fact, many of the hit comedies in the U.S. are mockumentaries (a full list is available further down in this post). Mockumentaries have covered a variety of topics from political campaigns to reality TV shows and continue to fascinate audiences.
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20 best mockumentaries to stream
1. This is Spinal Tap
This Is Spinal Tap is a 1984 film directed by Rob Reiner that follows the fictional heavy metal band, Spinal Tap, on their tour across the United States. The film mocks the rock music industry and features humorous situations that perfectly portray the ridiculousness of the business. This Is Spinal Tap is considered one of the most influential mockumentaries of all time and has become a cult favorite.
You can rent or buy this movie on Prime Video, Vudu, or Google Play.
2. Best in Show
Best in Show is a 2000s film directed by Christopher Guest that follows several contestants and their dogs as they compete in a national dog show. The ensemble cast, which includes Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and Michael McKean, satirises the cutthroat world of dog exhibitions. The improvised approach and sharp humour of Best in Show are well renowned.
3. Waiting for Guffman
Waiting for Guffman is a 1996 film directed by Christopher Guest that follows a small-town theatre group as they prepare for their annual show. The film is a satire on small-town life and the love that people have for the arts. The cast features Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and Fred Willard who are all known for their humor.
You can stream it now on HBO max.
4. A Mighty Wind
A Mighty Wind is a 2003 film directed by yet again, Christopher Guest, and follows several folk music groups as they prepare for a reunion concert. The film is a satire of the 1960s folk music scene. Interestingly, Christopher Guest brings back actors Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, and Michael McKean for this cast. They all wrote and performed the show’s original music, which is renowned for its clever humor.
A Mighty Wind is available to rent on Prime Video.
5. For Your Consideration
In yet another mockumentary by Christopher Guest, For Your Consideration is a 2006 film that follows several actors as they prepare for a low-budget film that they hope will win them an Oscar. The film pokes fun at the film business and features Christopher Guest’s usual choice of ensemble cast including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Harry Shearer, and Fred Willard. For Your Consideration is full of witty criticism on celebrity society.
If you’re interested in checking it out, you can rent this movie on Prime Video.
6. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Moving on from Christopher Guest’s work, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is a 2020 film directed by Jason Woliner that follows the fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev as he travels through America with his daughter. His goal is to present a gift to Vice President Mike Pence. Sacha Baron Cohen is the star, Borat, as he has played in other films. The movie continually makes fun of American politics and culture. The Borat Subsequent Feature Film has received accolades for its sharp wit and pertinent comments on the current political atmosphere.
This mockumentary is available to stream on Prime Video.
Along similar lines, Bruno was made in 2009 and was directed by Larry Charles. It follows the fictional Austrian fashion journalist, Bruno, as he travels to the United States to become a celebrity. The film features Sacha Baron Cohen in the starring role and completely makes fun of the fashion industry and celebrity culture. Bruno is known for its biting comedy and satire on America’s infatuation with celebrities.
8. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a 2016 film directed by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, and it follows the fictional pop star Conner4Real as he tries to stay relevant in the music industry. The film features actor and comedian, Andy Samberg, in the starring role. Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping has been hailed for its funny parodies of real-life music performers and its catchy original tunes.
Check it out on Hulu or HBO.
9. What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows is a TV show that aired in 2019 and follows a group of vampires who share a house on Staten Island. With witty humor and an innovative approach to the vampire legend, this mockumentary series is four seasons of mythical humor.
What We Do in the Shadows is available to stream on Hulu or Disney Plus.
10. American Vandal
American Vandal is a TV series that launched on Netflix in 2017 and it follows a high school student as he investigates a vandalism case that includes phallic graffiti on cars. The series features a cast of teenage actors and satirizes true crime documentaries. The smart writing of American Vandal has received accolades for its ability to lampoon the true crime genre while still conveying a gripping story.
It is still available to stream on Netflix with two seasons.
11. The Office
One of the finest sitcoms and mockumentaries ever is the American version of The Office. The program follows the regular business activities of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Office has realistic characters, cringe-worthy humor, and awkward boss-employee dynamics.
The Office is on Peacock TV.
12. Parks and Recreation
Another US comedy TV show that ran from 2009 to 2015 is called Parks and Recreation. It follows the Parks and Recreation division of the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Like The Office, Parks and Recreation uses the mockumentary style to ask serious questions but undercover hilarious realities from the main characters played by comedic actors. The show is known for its smart writing, poignant moments, and its ability to blend humor with social critique.
Parks and Recreation is available on Peacock TV.
13. The Comeback
The HBO series The Comeback, which debuted in 2005, follows Valerie Cherish’s attempts to resurrect her acting career. The show is presented as a mockumentary-style reality show, and stars Lisa Kudrow in the starring role. The dark humor and examination of the entertainment industry in The Comeback made this show very popular.
The show is still on HBO, but you can also watch on Hulu right now.
14. Trailer Park Boys
A group of people who live in a trailer park in Nova Scotia are the subject of the Canadian sitcom Trailer Park Boys, which debuted in 2001. The show is noted for its crass humor and endearing characters and is presented in a mockumentary format. Trailer Park Boys has gained a cult following and has received accolades for its original perspective and captivating characters.
15. People Just Do Nothing
A group of West Londoners who establish a pirated radio station are the subjects of the UK sitcom People Just Do Nothing, which ran from 2014 to 2018. The show features a cast of mostly unheard-of performers and is presented in a mockumentary format. People Just Do Nothing is recognized for its amusing characters and accurate depiction of British adolescent culture.
It is available to watch on Disney Plus.
16. I’m Sorry
I’m Sorry is a US sitcom that first premiered in 2017 and follows the life of Andrea Warren, a comedy writer, wife, and mother. The show, which is presented in a mockumentary style, has received positive reviews for its shrewd writing, likeable characters, and sincere comedy. Both critics and audiences have appreciated I’m Sorry for its realistic depiction of the difficulties of marriage and parenthood.
As one of the best mockumentaries to stream, I’m Sorry is available on HBO.
17. Nathan for You
Nathan for You is TV show hosted by comedian Nathan Fielder. The program follows Fielder as he counsels struggling small businesses on marketing and business matters. Nathan for You is noted for its brilliant writing, deadpan humor, and its ability to reveal the follies of capitalism.
You can stream Nathan for You on HBO and Hulu.
18. Documentary Now!
Documentary Now! says it all in the title. It mimics well-known documentary films and TV shows. The show premiered in 2015 and features a different mockumentary-style in each episode. Documentary Now! has been hailed for its ability to lovingly imitate the style and tone of numerous documentaries, while still delivering true satire.
Review is a mockumentary-style TV show, which follows the life of Forrest MacNeil, a critic who evaluates actual experiences regardless of how risky or absurd they may be. This show is full of dark humor as Forrest breaks rules and investigates of the absurdity of contemporary life.
20. Death to 2020
Our final pick on the list of the best mockumentaries to stream is Death to 2020. This mockumentary-style TV special premiered on Netflix in 2020 with super relevant topics. The COVID-19 epidemic, the US presidential election, and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations are just a few of the 2020 events that are mocked in the show. Death to 2020 features a brilliant cast of comedians and performers and is commended for its ability to find humor in what was otherwise a painful year for many.
If you have yet to stream it, you can do so right now on Netflix.
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Why should you watch mockumentaries?
There is a unique viewing experience when it comes to mockumentaries. They focus on a reality, but pull out the sarcastic or humorous point of view from the interviews and camera perspective. They offer satirical criticism and can open our eyes to a particular part of society. It’s a welcome break from reality that will give you a good laugh.
Q. What is a mockumentary?
A mockumentary is a movie or TV show that tells a story through a made-up plot and mocks these events using a documentary-style approach.
Q. Are mockumentaries popular?
Indeed, mockumentaries have been extremely popular in recent years due to their unique approach to storytelling and satirical comedy.
Q. Can mockumentaries be serious?
Mockumentaries can be serious and thought-provoking, even though they are typically comedic in nature.
Q. Where can I watch these mockumentaries?
Most of these mockumentaries may be accessed on popular platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max.
Mockumentaries offer a unique and enjoyable method to investigate many genres and topics. They provide a different angle on storytelling and frequently take comic liberties with serious subjects. Whether you’re a fan of humor or documentary-style filmmaking, there’s a mockumentary out there for everyone.