Documentary Now The Bunker Bill Hader Fred Armisen Conference Room

Bunker Bluster

How “The Bunker” Captures the Political Insanity of 1992 and 2016

Watch "The Bunker" now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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An unqualified candidate runs for office on a platform of slander, smear tactics and other underhanded methods. No, we’re not talking about a certain creamsicle-skinned former reality show host. That’s the plot of “The Bunker,” the season premiere episode of Documentary Now! that offers up a dead-on, era-appropriate send-up of the 1993 political documentary The War Room.

If you remove the giant cellphones and colorful ’90s fashions, the political shenanigans depicted by stars Fred Armisen and Bill Hader aren’t too far off from what is currently happening in the 2016 election season.

Bunker Slaves

As depicted in “The Bunker,” Teddy Redbones (Hader) and Alvin Panagoulious (Armisen) are cutthroat political strategists who utilize attack ads, outright lies and even culturally insensitive lawn jockeys to destroy the reputation of a sitting governor and secure a win for a schlubby, unqualified outsider in the 1992 Ohio gubernatorial election. While absurd, one needs only look at the tweets of a current presidential candidate to see similarly gasp-inducing, “Is this actually happening in 2016?” political moves playing out on a daily basis.

Take for example, the scene in “The Bunker” where Redbones and Panagoulious screen a Happy Birthday “message” to Governor Lester that expresses their candidate Councilman Herndon’s wish that “it’s his last.” Despite the blood-dripping font, the diabolical duo insist the TV spot actually means “his last birthday as governor” — while, in the same breath, Redbones requests the addition of creepy kids singing “Happy Birthday” all spooky-like. It’s a funny moment, but not too far off from the time Trump pondered a method in which “Second Amendment people” could potentially prevent a Clinton presidency and later claimed he meant “through voting.” No need to read between the lines there.

And that’s not to say the other side is completely innocent of the sort of dubious tactics depicted in “The Bunker.” Hillary Clinton, who is said to have been the one to coin the term “The War Room” during her husband’s first presidential run, has earned the reputation of running a cold and calculated campaign. Similar to when Teddy Redbones takes extreme measures to paint Gov. Lester’s supporters as violent (it must be seen to be believed), “Bernie Bros” (also a term invented by the Clinton team) were painted as violent bullies who threw chairs and physically attacked those “With Her” — a move that has proved to be controversial.

When you watch “The Bunker,” take note that isn’t just an homage to The War Room. Despite being set in 1992, it presents how a political campaign would eventually be run once candidates abandoned all sense of decency, journalism called it quits and the electorate lost its collective mind. We’re just lucky we have “The Bunker” and Documentary Now! to help us laugh at all the madness as we head towards November 8th.

Watch the season premiere of Documentary Now! right now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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