Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Parker Posey, who frequently stars in Christopher Guest films, stars in 'Mascots,' Guest's first film since 'For Your Consideration' in 2006.

How Christopher Guest of 'Mascots' influenced the mockumentary

'Mascots,' which will debut on Netflix in October, looks to be the newest mockumentary by Christopher Guest, who also directed such comedies as 'Best in Show' and 'Waiting for Guffman.'

Director Christopher Guest’s newest movie “Mascots,” which appears to be a mockumentary like many of his past projects, will soon arrive on Netflix, with Mr. Guest’s newest project only the latest effort in the genre that parodies film documentaries. 

“Mascots,” which will debut on Netflix on Oct. 13, stars actors including Parker Posey, Jennifer Coolidge, Fred Willard, and Zach Wood.

It is Guest’s first film he has directed since the 2006 movie awards season parody “For Your Consideration.”

Guest’s movies are often based in the mockumentary genre, with some of his past films that he has directed including “Waiting for Guffman,” which centers on a community theater production; “Best in Show,” which depicts a dog competition; and “A Mighty Wind,” which is the story of folk musicians. Guest also co-wrote the comedy “This Is Spinal Tap.”

Monitor film critic Peter Rainer called Guest’s previous film, “Consideration” (which was not a mockumentary), “hilarious … director/co-writer/actor Christopher Guest extends his perfect streak.” 

The mockumentary is a style that is associated with Guest’s work but also became popular in TV comedy in particular over the past decade or so. 

NBC’s hit comedy “The Office,” which debuted in 2005, was a sitcom about office workers who were being filmed by a documentary crew (the final season involved them finally watching the documentary), and fellow NBC comedy “Parks and Recreation” and the ABC hit show “Modern Family,” which is still running, were both based on the premise that their characters were being followed around by cameras. 

Guest himself has had a big impact on this genre, according to those at the comedy institution Second City, who write of the director and writer’s work, “[Guest is] arguably the most influential writer/director in the mockumentary genre. Eons before Sacha Baron Cohen dreamed up Borat, Guest’s films were paving the parody way. [He was] instrumental in establishing, developing and advancing the genre.”

A.V. Club staff agreed, writing of Guest, “Few have done more to advance the cause of the mock-doc … the style, format, and off-the-cuff feel of [his] projects has informed entire chapters of modern screen comedy.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to How Christopher Guest of 'Mascots' influenced the mockumentary
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today