'Grey Gardens' lives on! (in Fred Armisen and Bill Hader)
Ready to read the best news—and see the best costumes!—of the day? Well, you better be because your fave funny dudes Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are turning into Grey Gardens stars and cult favorites Little and Big Edie Bouvier Beale for Documentary Now!, their new show for IFC.
According to EW, Bill and Fred will spoofing the documentary genre in this half-hour comedy, debuting August 20, and this includes the Albert Maysles (RIP) classic Grey Gardens. In an episode perfectly titled “Sandy Passages,” the duo play a mother and a daughter living in a strangely alluring state of squalor. You know, kind of like how Jackie Kennedy relatives and Grey Gardens subjects Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale and Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier Beale did IRL? (See also: the HBO movie of the same name—starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange!—about the doc and these women who chose to withdraw to their East Hampton estate and shut out the rest of the world.)
The best part is, Documentary Now! writer and producer Seth Meyers (can you say mini SNL reunion?) tells EW that they chose to do a riff on Grey Gardens because they knew they could do it justice with Bill and Fred, who also serve as writers and producers on the show, in the main roles. Because, Meyers says, these two how to play women on screen without making it into a total farce on the gender.
Oh, and you better believe Bill and Fred will pay proper tribute to our beloved Edies in the sartorial sense. Bill says “the wardrobe department loved this episode,” particularly as they got to put sweatpants on his head, most likely in an attempt to recreate some of Little Edie’s infamous headdresses. (Who else has done this? Hands up and proud!)
From the looks of it, Grey Gardens is the only actual documentary that Documentary Now! will be directly referencing in its first, six-episode season. The other episodes Bill, Fred and Seth previewed for EW are more general mockumentaries, with one following a fictional ’70s band (“Blue Jean Committee”) and another centering on two “Vice-like” reporters trying to expose the Mexican drug trade (“Dronez”). The show itself is kind of a reference though, as its origins go back to Bill and Fred’s SNL days, when they starred in a mockumentary style skit called “Ian Rubbish and the Bizzaros: History of Punk.”
Fans of comedy can expect some real treats, too: the show will have a slew of special guests like Aidy Bryant, Paula Pell, and Tim Robinson, as well as funnyman Jack Black and John Slattery (a.k.a. Mad Men‘s John Sterling.)
But that’s all besides the point because we’re getting yet another tribute to the glorious Grey Gardens, and that is seriously worth celebrating. And when we say celebrating, we mean putting on the Grey Gardens musical soundtrack (yes, there was a musical adaptation and if you haven’t found it yet, you must) at top volume and prancing around fearlessly like only the real Edies are watching.
Documentary Now! comes to IFC starting Thursday, August 20 at 10 p.m.