"Saturday Night Live" compatriots Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers serve as creators, executive producers and writers of this IFC original series, using their love of documentary films and combining it with comedy to present a unique take on the form. Hosted by Dame Helen Mirren and starring Armisen and Hader, each episode is shot in a different documentary film style, paying tribute to some of the most important stories that didn't actually happen. "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels also executive produces "Documentary Now!", and guest stars include Jack Black and John Slattery.
Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Fred Armisen and rock 'n' roll guitarist Carrie Brownstein first cracked up audiences as the internet sketch-comedy duo ThunderAnt. That led to this absurdist series set in Portland, Ore., that gently pokes fun at the laid-back Pacific Northwest city and the many eccentric characters that call it home. Among the many recurring guest stars on the series are Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Goldblum, Natasha Lyonne, Kumail Nanjiani and Kyle MacLachlan, who plays Portlandia's mayor.
Upon first look, "Comedy Bang! Bang!" is like any late-night talk show... until the guests sit down and the interviews commence. Then it veers off in all sorts of directions, most of which include unfiltered and improvised dialogue. The show is based on host Scott Aukerman's popular podcast of the same name (and most certainly influenced by the Internet mock-talk show "Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis," which Aukerman produced and directed). In each episode, Aukerman reinvents the traditional celebrity interview by engaging his guests in ad-libbed banter, all of which is punctuated by beats from "bandleader" Reggie Watts or, in later episodes, "Weird Al" Yankovic.
Executive produced by Bob Odenkirk ("Breaking Bad") and Ben Stiller, "The Birthday Boys" is a scripted original sketch show starring the Los Angeles comedy group of the same name. The Birthday Boys are Jefferson Dutton, Dave Ferguson, Mike Hanford, Tim Kalpakis, Matt Kowalick, Mike Mitchell and Chris VanArtsdalen, whose collective credits include "Parks and Recreation," "The Office," "Portlandia," "Funny or Die," "Comedy Bang! Bang!" and "Conan." Episodes combine a mix of stand-alone and multiact sketches that twist real-life situations and cultural touchstones, taking a page from absurd yet intelligent classic sketch shows "Monty Python," "Kids in the Hall" and Odenkirk's "Mr. Show With Bob and David."
After being on the air for more than three decades, the essential format of this show hasn't changed: Get an A-list guest host (or reasonable facsimile) and throw him or her into sketches with the ensemble players, which have included such heavy hitters as Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, Jane Curtin, John Belushi, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Mike Myers. Each week's show also offers two musical numbers from someone at, or aspiring to reach, the top of the charts.