‘Drunk History’ Review: Booze and Some Story Telling
Comedy Central’s Drunk History , like the wine a few of the narrators like to use as their alcohol of choice, only gets better with time. The ridiculous anecdotes and dramatizations only add to the hilarity that is observing drunk people be their drunken selves.
Drunk History Season 1 & 2 DVD Review
Based on the Funny or Die web series, each episode of Drunk History, is based in a specific city and captures three drunk “storytellers” as they are known, as they attempt to give the factual accounts of historical moments in America’s past. The storytellers are never sober and actually start out pretty ‘tipsy’ before consuming more booze as they continue their wild tales of how they believe history was written. The host and co-creator Derek Waters merely acts as a facilitator to ensure the story is told in its entirety. He is very calm and helpful to his guests, never getting mad or frustrated with their lack of knowledge and sometimes attention, not even when they can make a mess. He is the ‘designated driver’ who seems to have a knack for making his drunk cast feel too comfortable and safe, leading him to some unexpected adventures. As seen in the Extras section of the DVD’s, Waters has taken a bath with JD Ryznar and done the long jump event of a Decathlon with Preston Flagg. He also doesn’t take his guest too seriously and lets them indulge in their drunken stupor-they take naps, eat pizza, speak gibberish and even fall asleep- as long as they reach the end of their story.
The real highlight of the series is the A-list dramatizations, that include some of the best and most well-known actors of the time, including Winona Ryder, Michael Cera, Jack Black and Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad) to name a few. They lip-sync to all the dialogue as told by the storyteller without fail no matter how absurd or wacky it can get. You can even catch Waters in a couple of the scenes as a supporting character. In the first episode, the storyteller is Allan McLeod who gets physically sick less than 5 minutes into his version of the Watergate Scandal, which then manifests itself in the story by one of the characters also getting nauseous as he tries to hold a conversation. Also the actors are very adept at capturing the exact mannerisms of the storyteller so that you don’t take them too seriously and at the same time are well aware these stories are being told by an unreliable narrator. The storytellers and their history will have you laughing at their silly moments and thinking about the last time you drank an excessive amount of alcohol and tried to tell a story.
By season 2, there are more stories and even crazier storytellers. The guest seem to be getting more drunk, with most of them getting sick or passing out by the end of their segment. However, the subjects are more complicated and thus even more amusing to watch. This season seems to cover historical figures – Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Sumner – instead of focusing on specific events, and even the cast for the dramatizations improved with additions such as Will Ferrell, Terry Crews, and Zoey Deschanel.
The DVDs also come with a special feature the Sober Reveal where two previous guest, Jen Kirkman and Phil Hendrie, get to watch their drunk story, while not under the influence of alcohol. They get to see themselves the way the audience saw them – a mess – and laugh at how some of their tangents were too comical not to keep in their drunken historical accounts. Of course, the guests soon realize that their story is incorrect. Now that they’re sober, hindsight is 20/20.
This DVD combo pack also includes Deleted Scenes, Drunk Outtakes and highlights of some of the best moments from a few of the cities visited in these hilarious tales. There is even a tour around New York City with Gavin McInnes and Waters as they travel from historical landmark to local watering hole. Drunk History has been renewed for a third season and will be back later this year, but in the meantime you can revisit your favorite episodes and see the content that didn’t air on DVD.
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