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Bunker Bluster

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

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


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…