[There was a video here]
I can’t imagine the clip above making sense to anyone who hasn’t seen the Maysles brothers’ iconic 1975 documentary Grey Gardens, but those who have will likely appreciate Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s attention to detail in their sendup of Big and Little Edie Bouvier Beale (here they’re called Big and Little Vivvy and the name shared by their crumbling estate and the pseudo-documentary is Sandy Passage). This is from last night’s series premiere of IFC’s Documentary Now!, a half-hour series created by Hader, Armisen, and Seth Meyers that will satirize a new doc in each weekly episode (riffs on The Thin Blue Line, Nanook of the North, History of the Eagles, and HBO’s Vice series are planned).
In Passage, Hader proves he’s not only good at playing gay, he’s good at playing gay icon, as he nails Little Edie’s New England aristocratic affect and gift for non sequitur (“That rat’s dead. There’s a dead rat over there. How sad. Hi, Barry!”). This isn’t a strict Jinx Monsoon-esque reading of Edie, but something slightly looser and interpretive. I get the feeling that a lot of this was improvised. It really breathes like a doc. I didn’t realize how much I needed a good, new mockumentary in my life.