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“I think they (documentaries) are key to the future of human sleep.”

~ Oscar Wilde on on his upcoming biographical documentary Wilde at Heart

A documentary is an important, interesting, educational film designed specifically to put students and other academics to sleep. One who makes a documentary is a documenterrier, though sometimes documentarianist is sometimes used.

Documentaries are hailed by teachers everywhere who are too lazy to design lesson plans and/or too stupid to cover course curriculum and/or were out drinking late the night before and need some time to sleep during class. They are usually reviled by those who must watch them.

Although making a documentary can be as simple as finding an old man, turning on a camera and asking him a question about anything, traditional documentaries feature reels of random film footage about an event, place, animal or scientific discovery over-dubbed with a commentary recorded by an aloof gentleman speaking snooty English. Sometimes, the over-dubbing is interrupted with short interviews of boring academics with PhDs who apparently boast some expertise in the topic of the film.

Types of Documentaries[edit]

Most documentaries can be lumped into five categories

  • Documentaries about wildlife
  • Documentaries about past or present events
  • Documentaries about past or present societies and cultures
  • Documentaries about dead people and their involvement in past events, societies and cultures
  • Documentaries about advances or discoveries, technology and science, and why no one cares about them unless they are related to mp3 players or making pigs glow in the dark.


There are also a few oddball documentaries that do not fall into these categories, and may be called fuck-you-mentaries. These usually involve someone trying to make a comment on society for the sole purpose of heckling one societal group or another. This rankling delights the documenterriers, who are well satisfied that their documentary reinforces one group's previously-held views while being completely ignored and denigrated by the group of which it is critical.

For example, working class hero Michael Moore's epic fuck-you-mentary Fahrenheit 9/11 galvanized Americans unafraid of changing the status quo by challenging American sheep and their shepherds for suggesting their own version of the truth was actually unjust and inhumane. In response, many Americans were unable to catch the spirit and instead focused on Mr. Moore being fat.

Documentaries About Wildlife[edit]

Wildlife documentaries are created using a standard formula which states that all documentaries about wildlife must include:

  • A close-up shot of the animal(s) mating
  • A close-up shot of something eating the animal, or the animal eating something else
  • An interview with an animal 'expert' telling you how exciting the animal "actually is"
  • A commentary about how the animal is endangered by human activity

There have been reports of documentaries being made about plants. This cannot be proven as nobody has managed to stay awake long enough for verification.

Documentaries about past or present events[edit]

Documentaries about past events often include a discussion about war, disease or social violence. A must have is a depiction of dead bodies and/or shots of cemeteries where people who died in the war, or the disease or during the social violence, are buried. Showing dead bodies and gravestones is the documenterrier's best proof that the past event did indeed occur.

Documentaries about present events are often more interesting and attract public attention. However, documentaries about present events soon become documentaries about past events and so the documentary becomes as dry as toast pretty darn quickly.

Documentaries about Technology and Science[edit]

Documentaries about technology and science are often filmed on subjects such as space and DNA and computers and other equally boring non-living things. The film footage in these documentaries is unoriginal and often contrived; most of what is discussed in these films is too small for a normal camera to film or too far away. In the instances where there is something physical and concrete to catch on film, camera-men take the opportunity to get as many shots of said item from as many angles as possible while musicians play ominous music and/or music with a lot of beeps and zips to give the impression that the highlighted piece of technology is thrilling, important, and futuristic as well.

Documentaries about Societies and Cultures[edit]

This type of documentary is the easiest way for documentary makers to get up close and personal shots of women wearing no shirts, and men wearing only loin cloths. If people of the society being portrayed wear ample amounts of clothing then shots of people in saunas, or in swimming pools, or exploding are present.