fake news at night

Fake News At Night/Facebook

‘Fake News at Night’ webseries skips Trump satire and gets weird

In the season finale, which has garnered more than 175,000 Facebook views, the series gets shut down.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Jan 24, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 8:50 pm CDT

A friend in college told me that studying film soured him on his major. Everything was too expensive to make, and he was much more interested in art that was accessible.

Today, art has the opposite problem: You can film a whole movie on your phone and enter Sundance, but poorly regulated streaming platforms offer egotistical, tone-deaf, amateur, and paranoid content at every click. Some of it damages the very societal fabric of democracy, to boot.

That’s why I liked the recent NYU film grads who made Fake News at Night, a webseries about nothing that doesn’t bother with political satire and actively avoids the T-word. Like a good post-hardcore band, they’re thrifty, well-organized, and work hard around shared goals. When I was invited to cameo on the webseries, playing myself (a person who works in the news business), the six-person team of DIY script supervisors and directors sprinted through the day’s work to maximize the meager operating budget they’d pooled. It was downright punk.

As creator Brian Baldocchi writes on Facebook, the comedy series is “news, but with no consequences” because “it’s all made up.” Watching the news, whether timelines or TVs, is so stressful these days, Baldocchi told the Daily Dot, and so the gag should be to sidestep Alec Baldwin-style impersonations and make jokes about universal punching bags like Elon Musk and energy crystals. The comedy is more loose and sketch-oriented than post-Daily Show stuff by contrast.


He told me that one of the Tangerine creators, a film famous for being shot via an iPhone, once guest-lectured his class. Baldocchi thought it was disingenuous that this person wouldn’t admit that the iPhone angle also doubled as a marketing gimmick and helped the film find an audience. As a result, the show makes absurdist Facebook statements like “Fake News at Night would like to make it public, that we are the first show in the history of the world to shoot exclusively on GoPro.”

In the season finale, which has garnered more than 175,000 Facebook views since debuting recently, the series gets shut down because its host (played with fast-talking wit by rapper Melan Salinas) runs out of money and gets buried under false promises, Fyre Fest-style.

Correction: This article previously misspelled Brian Baldocchi’s surname.


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*First Published: Jan 24, 2019, 8:37 am CST