Photo Credit: Ron Batzdorff
So… you wanna hear about, uh, the dude who killed Abrararaham Lincoln? Hiccup. Burp. Well, Comedy Central's got an inebriated narrator who's all set to mumble and slur his way through that historical account for you. And a bunch of top-shelf comedians to act it out!
In fact, you can shove aside that bulky history textbook for practically all the big historical events you need to know about. Instead, make way for Comedy Central's new show, Drunk History (premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET). Granted, it's not actually new, as millions of YouTube and Funny or Die watchers can attest. The show's creators, Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, have been producing this bitingly funny, purposely amateur-looking web series on Funny or Die for over six years. But here's what you need to know now that it's making the jump to TV:
First of all, the narrators really are drunk. When someone pauses mid-story to vomit, it's real. It's a risky way to make a TV show, sure, but according to USA Today, there's a medic on sight with an oxygen tank if needed.
But make no mistake: The events discussed are factual. "I like to think of fraternity guys loving the show, and one of them Googling the story behind it, and thinking, 'Oh, that's true!'" says Waters. Like in the Lincoln episode: John Wilkes Booth did have a rivalry with his brother, Edwin, which factored into his political radicalization. Whether or not his father actually muttered things like, "Stay back, man. Stay away, cause you're not cool" and "You're kinda weird," that might have been more of the narrator's (Allan McLeod) whoozy interpretation.
Secondly, the actors who portray the stories, expertly lip-synching the narrator's befuddled dialogue, are a veritable who's who of cutting edge comedy. Just in the first episode, you get Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) as Booth, Jack McBrayer (30 Rock) as a Nixon aide, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad) as Nixon, Jack Black as Elvis, Fred Willard as Deep Throat and Will Forte as Edwin Booth.
And lastly, for those who are already well acquainted with the online version: The TV sketches will be longer and more unified than the ones on the 'net, with each half-hour episode structured around a particular city. And there will be better production values -- not too much better, though. Says Waters, "l still want it to feel like it's shot in a backyard."
Watch a sneak peek here: