Not everyone who consumes superhuman amounts of alcohol and spends the evening talking gibberish with soused friends can turn that skill into a profitable franchise, but that’s Derek Waters’s forte. Drunk History, which launched as a web series in 2007 on Funny or Die, is the brainchild of comedian and writer Waters and his pal Jeremy Konner.
Every episode features a dramatic reenactment of a tableau from American history—while an intoxicated narrator provides the slurred voiceover. Imagine being three sheets to the wind while trying to explain how Al Capone went mad (“*cough* syphilis.”) or why Mary Dyer was hanged for defying Puritan law (“I’m going to deal with these laws… In their face!”).
Drunk History – Season 1 & 2 comes out on DVD tomorrow, so pour yourself a cocktail (or three) and check out our favorite moments from the show.
Remember the Alamo? Writer/actor Matt Gourley sorta does, and he’s here to tell you about it—while holding a rifle. Actor Derek Waters stars as Davie Crockett while Chris Parnell makes a convincing Jim Bowie. History books won’t tell you that “General Santa Ana was pissed off!” but Drunk History will.
Al Capone Was A Syphilitic Moron
“He’s a big weird fucking mook.” Rich with profanity, this retelling of the life of America’s most famous bootlegger is not for delicate ears. Joe Lo Truglio from Brooklyn Nine-Nine stars as the Chicago mobster, who suffered a long, slow decline and died at age 48 from an untreated case of syphilis. Capone’s consistent refusal to seek out treatment left him a blathering idiot in his final years, which works for an inebriated biography.
Invention of Coca Cola
Narrated by comedian and former SNL cast member Jenny Slate, this bit is about soda inventor John Pemberton. Before buying the world a Coke, Pemberton was a quack pharmacist selling fake tonics and mixtures that would “make women think they’ll never be nervous or have farts again,” as Slate explains. Did we mention Bill Hader plays Pemberton?
James Cook Returns to Hawaii
Party Down alum Dan Marino plays the unfortunate explorer Captain Cook, who was killed in Hawaii in 1779 after running afoul of the locals. Cook was supposedly killed on the beach after detaining a local chief and ordering his son killed. In this sloshed retelling, Cook’s final moments are imagine as a giant mosh pit at a concert.
Edgar Allan Poe Feuds with Rufus Griswold
“He is a vile holographic piece of shit. I’m calling him a hologram and those don’t even exist yet.” Those famous words were not spoken by great American poet Edgar Allan Poe, but they were spoken by blitzed standup comic Duncan Trussell. They refer to an episode when Poe was “hornswoggled” by publisher Rufus Griswold, who included only three of Poe’s poems in an otherwise terrible anthology. Jesse Plemons—whose disturbing performance in Breaking Bad still gives us the chills—dons a black wig and a stylish Baltimore moustache for this one.