Series / Drunk History

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Drunk History is a series that originated on FunnyorDie.com, then was picked up by Comedy Central in 2013.

On Drunk History, series creator Derek Waters finds comedians, gets them really shitfaced, and has them narrate historical events to the best of their abilities. Their narration is acted out, with the actors lip-synching all the dialogue, including mild slip ups. The recreation is sometimes interrupted when the narrator needs to remember what they were saying, or puke, or lie on the ground.

The FunnyorDie episodes are one short long. The Comedy Central episodes are three shorts long, with each episode taking place in a different city and the stories related to that city's history.

The original show can be found here. Comedy Central's page for the show can be found here. Drunk History UK, an officially approved Foreign Remake (insofar as it features British comedians both drunkenly recounting and acting out British history), began airing on the UK and Ireland's Comedy Central on 2015, narrated by professional English person Jimmy Carr.


Drunk History provides examples of:

  • Alcohol Hic: Happens from time to time with some of the narrators.
    • In the "Las Vegas" episode, the narrator gets a prolonged attack of hiccups in the middle of recounting a hypothetical conversation between Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. The re-enactment shows Sinatra getting the hiccups while Martin watches with increasing concern.
  • Artistic License History: The Show, helped by heapings of liquor.
  • Aside Glance: The actors will often look directly to the camera with a confused or WTF look on their face when an especially ridiculous thing is said by the narrators.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Drunk people are easily distracted. Self-interruptions are often acted out in the recreation.
  • Bathos: The main comedic conceit of the show, and a natural result of dramatic events narrated by the totes inebriated. Often created by talented players seriously acting the shit out of stupid dialogue.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Most drunken interruptions are the narrator addressing the crew, and often the actor will deliver the line, then look confused at the words that just came out of their mouth.
  • Buffy Speak: Because it's hard to recite 19th century dialogue when you're super drunk.
    • Cluster F-Bomb: And if they can't even formulate that, just substitute "fuck" and "shit". Every other word out of Crissle West's mouth as she tells the story of Harriet Tubman's spy career is bleeped out.
  • Captain Obvious: Kyle Kinane would like you to know that Siberia is a real place.
  • Christmas Episode: The Christmas episode is a recital of Twas The Night Before Christmas by Allan McLeod with half a bottle of whiskey in him.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: While talking about Al Capone's medical history in the Chicago episode:
    Narrator: *cough*Syphilis*cough*
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: At the end of the story of Edgar Allan Poe's feud with Rufus Griswold, the storyteller gets to Griswold Dying Alone with Poe's picture hanging there, still played by the actor...
    "...watching him, like, 'Look at you, man. Where are you now? Look at Griswold, all you people out there. I don't care what you do. What'd you do? Guess what? No one's gonna remember it. Your your silly attempt to disguise a *bleep* history show, and, like, people getting drunk. It's failure. No one cares. No one's buying it, man. Forget it. We're all getting sucked into the void.'"
  • Funny Background Event: In the Boston episode, as a resident is waxing poetic in a thick Bostonian accent about how significant the city is to American history and culture, a fight breaks out in the background. He looks briefly, laughs, and continues.
  • Fun with Subtitles: If the narrator says something funny while setting the time and place of the action, like "Siberia (which is real place, by the way)" or "It's, like, two or three in the morning", this will often be echoed by the on-screen dateline caption. Likewise with the arrival in a story of someone like "F***in' President Lincoln".
  • In Case You Forgot Who Wrote It: As the opening title, the actor credits, and the increasing amount of screen time before the stories start will remind you, this is Derek Waters' show.
  • Money to Burn: Al Capone is depicted doing this in the Chicago episode.
  • Quote Mine: Mostly done out of necessity, as rambling clips from late in the recording are inserted to fill the gaps in the narrative. Also Played for Laughs in some cases, such as when BJ Porter's comments about being dizzy and disoriented are used to showcase William Jennings Bryan's sudden embarrassment during the Scopes Monkey Trial.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Frequently when the narrators try to wax philosophical while drunk.
  • Stylistic Suck: Since the dialogue is "written" extemporaneously by someone three sheets to the wind, it sucks. But it's on purpose so it's ok.
    • Played for Laughs with set pieces as well. In an episode about an Old West shootout, a scene involving a horse getting shot is played out using a giant stuffed horse.
  • Verbal Backspace: Narrators will often realise they got something wrong and correct it, while the re-enactment plays out both versions one after the other. For instance, the story of Alexander Graham Bell and the invention of the telephone has a moment where Bell's accomplice calls Bell (accomplice picks up a mobile phone) — no, wait, the phone hasn't been invented yet (accomplice swaps phone for a telegraph machine).
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens every so often. Duncan Trussell misses the toilet.
  • Vox Pops: In episodes that focus on a particular city, the three stories are interspersed with brief interviews with locals talking about their views of the city and its place in history. While drunk, naturally.
  • Wham Line: A minor one in the "Boston" episode:
    Chris Romano: (with heavy slurring) Hello. My name's Chris Romano, and we're gonna talk about Johnny Cool, who happened... to be the most famous arsist in the history of the... o' Massachusetts.
    Derek Waters: And who was he? To you?
    Chris Romano: He's my dad. (chuckles)
  • World of Ham: It's really obvious that the actors are having a lot of fun reenacting the drunk dialogue, given their over-top expressions and acting.
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