From Middle Managers to Idiotic Internationals – The 5 Best ‘mockumentary’ characters

Ricky Gervais last week confirmed that his both loved and loathed character, David Brent, would be returning next year to star in his very own motion picture. Shot in a documentary style like Brent’s original series The Office, Life on The Road will follow Brent’s trials and tribulations as he tries to ignite a career in the music industry.

Renowned for being awkward in almost all situations, an overconfident man manager and possessing dance moves to rival few others, David Brent is certainly one of the greatest ‘mockumentary’ characters to have graced our screens in recent years, but with The Office a distant memory in the fast paced world of TV, who are some of the other characters we can’t get enough of?


1. Borat – Film: Borat – Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

It wouldn’t be a true ‘mockumentary’ list without giving a nod to Sacha Baron Cohen. The master of disguise hit our screens back in 2006 with the idiotic Kazakhstan national Borat. Borat, or to give it it’s full title; ‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan‘ sees Borat go on a fact finding mission to learn about American culture and the ways of western life. Instead of enlightenment however, the Kazakh shocks the unaware American public with his misogyny, anti-semitism and all round offensive ways. Borat is certainly a controversial character but memorable to say the least.

2. Kenny – Film: Kenny

Kenny, follows the everyday life of your average plumber, working for a ‘portaloo’ rental company. Aside from all the toilet humour and portable toilet jargon, Kenny is actually quite an interesting character. Yes, he is very open, happy to discuss his bowel movements as much as his love for plumbing, but in terms of documentary spoof characters, he is actually rather three dimensional. Aside from his obsession with his job, he is seen as an outcast by his father and ex-wife who regard him as a ‘tramp’ due to his occupation and refuse to let his child see him incase ‘he becomes a s**t shover too’ . Kenny is a rare character in ‘mockumentaries’ that actually has a bit of heart and someone the viewer can actually have sympathy for.


3: Jonah Takalua – TV: Summer Heights High/ Jonah From Tonga/ Angry Boys

Chris Lilley

Chris Lilley. Rights; Eva Rinaldi

BBC3’s Summer Heights High and it’s respective spin-off’s were certainly a surprise hit. And with the 3 characters portrayed by Chris Lilley, choosing a favourite was certainly hard to do; an overly camp music teacher, a pretentious public school girl or a troubled Tongan? But of course it had to be the latter. Jonah Takalua, the underachieving class clown and all round idiot never stops creating laugh after laugh. Whether it’s his obsessive hatred towards ‘rangers’ (people with ginger hair) or constant use of the word d**k his ‘documented’ school life is certainly worth a watch.

4: Jim Lahey – TV: Trailer Park Boys

The hit Canadian series takes place in Sunnyvale trailer park and follows the lives of drug dealing friends Julian, Ricky and Bubbles. The best character by far however is the park supervisor and raging alcoholic Jim Lahey. The constant thorn in the side of the protagonists is rarely seen sober and is arguably the wrong man to prevent any misdemeanours in the trailer park. His drunken rants, falls and will they won’t they relationship with topless sidekick Randy are what had viewers returning for 6 series.

5: Jay Pritchett – TV: Modern Family

Best known for his role as Al in the American Sitcom Married…with Children, Ed O’Neil takes up a similarly ‘grumpy old man’ role in Sky One’s Modern Family. Married to someone young enough to be his daughter, Jay is the quintessential family man. For all his typical American masculinity, his love for football or model planes, it’s his disapproval of his son’s sexuality that sums up the character. He may not approve, but family is family. The fact Jay remains grounded and honest throughout is something you don’t really see in a genre full of extraverts and extreme character traits. Jay is the grounded 60 something year old man that we all can know and that is why he is well regarded.


That’s our list, what about yours? Start the conversation below.


About the author

Dom D'Angelillo

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Dom is an English Language graduate. He loves superheroes, gaming, and that expensive kid's toy called Lego!