Mascots, the brand new mockumentary from comedy legend Christopher Guest, is landing on Netflix UK this week. Here's everything you need to know.
In search of something funny to get you through the darkening autumn nights? We’ve got just the thing for you. Or rather, Netflix does. The streaming giant is adding to its burgeoning list of Original movies this month with Mascots, the brainchild of comedy legend Christopher Guest.
So what’s it about, who’s in it and why should you give Mascots one hour, 29 minutes of your valuable time on 13 October? Here’s everything you need to know…
Mascots: What is it?
Mascots is, like a lot of Christopher Guest’s work, a mockumentary, focussing on the (fictitious) world of competitive mascotting – that is, the people in giant costumes you see at sporting events, product launches and theme parks.
Its plot centres around the contestants, judges and producers of the World Mascot Association’s 8th Gold Fluffy Awards, at which America’s finest be-costumed buddies try to outdo each other for gongs. And generally humiliate themselves in the process.
Mascots: Who’s in it?
Being an ensemble piece, Mascots has a huge army of comedy talent in its lineup – with stars playing big parts and tiny cameos alike – so we’ll just focus on a few here to whet your appetite.
First up is Jane Lynch, who plays Gabby Monkhouse in the film. Jane spent much of the noughties building her comedic chops in movies like Role Models and the 40 Year Old Virgin, but most people will probably know her best as Sue Sylvester in Glee, which was arguably her breakout role.
Who else? Let’s see… There’s Chris O’Dowd (forever in our hearts as Roy in the IT Crowd), starring in Mascots as a giant fist; actress and musician Parker Posey; Anchorman and This Is Spinal Tap’s Fred Willard; Harry Shearer (of The Simpsons fame) and, of course, writer/director Christopher Guest himself.
That’s alongside a laundry list of Chris’ regular collaborators, including Bob Balaban, Ed Begley, Jr, Jennifer Coolidge, John Michael Higgins, Michael Hitchcock, Don Lake and Eugene Levy.
Mascots: Who’s behind it?
Have we mentioned Christopher Guest, yet? If you’re unfamiliar with his work then you’re in dire need of a quick comedy education. Christopher has penned, been in, or been behind the camera on more than his fair share of hilarious movies over the course of his nearly 40-year career.
He has dual English-American citizenship thanks to his UK and US born parents, which shows in his comedy stylings – he’s able to mix the best of the two nations’ broad and dry styles together. That’s been evidenced time and again in movies like For Your Consideration, Best in Show and This Is Spinal Tap – all of which he also starred in.
Christopher played lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel in the mostly ad-libbed Spinal Tap, breathing life to the now immortal “these go to eleven” scene with his impeccable comedic timing:
Mascots: Other must-watch mockumentaries
Like us, Christopher Guest sure likes the improvised mockumentary format, so it’s just as well that he’s so good at crafting laugh-out-loud comedy concepts. Here’s his must-watch back catalogue…
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
One of the funniest and most quotable films of all time sees the titular hapless heavy metal band on tour in the US, as onstage mishaps, exploding drummers and more look to derail their pretensions.
Waiting for Guffman (1997)
In Waiting for Guffman the totally talentless residents of Blaine, Missouri vie to make their upcoming local musical (‘Red, White, and Blaine’) a huge, unwieldy epic unlike anything they’ve put on before, all for the benefit of a famed Broadway producer.
Best in Show (2000)
Co-written with longtime collaborator Eugene Levy, Best in Show shares Mascots’ highly-strung competition setting. It centres, however, on the surreal and deadly serious world of pedigree dog shows.
A Mighty Wind (2003)
Another effort co-scribed between Guest and Levy, A Mighty Wind’s plot revolves around a concert dedicated to a recently deceased folk music producer. The only problem? None of the three acts slated to perform have shared a stage together in decades.
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