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The Abridged History

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We have left out the dull parts. Take, for example, the Role of the Plow in the Settlement of Nebraska. "The hell with the Role of the Plow in the Settlement of Nebraska"—that is our motto. This philosophy left us with plenty of extra room, which enabled us to provide you, the reader, with large, restful expanses of white space, as well as numerous riveting 'behind-the-scenes' historical anecdotes that you will not find in a normal history book because we made them up.
Dave Barry Slept Here, introduction

Uncle trope to The Abridged Series, which parodies history in a similar fashion. The aim of this trope is to entertain rather than educate, making plenty of Historical In Jokes and generally playing by the Rule of Funny rather than sticking to boring facts. Genuine historical facts (the stranger the better) will be mixed in with debunked legends, anachronistic absurdities and Historical Character Confusion.

In books, expect each chapter to end in a textbook-like set of ridiculous exercises. Silly footnotes are also common.



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  • Older Than Television: 1066 and All That: a Memorable History of England, Comprising All the Parts You Can Remember, Including 103 Good Things, 5 Bad Kings and 2 Genuine Dates (1930)
  • Two modern history sequels to 1066 by different authors: 1984 And All That and 1966 And All That.
  • It All Started With Columbus by Richard Armour is a deliberate American homage to 1066 and All That, written "for those who, having perused a volume of history in school, swore they would never read another."
  • Dave Barry Slept Here
  • Dave Barry did something similar with his "Year in Review" annual feature. He collected some of these into another book which also started off with an abridged history in the same style as Dave Barry Slept Here book.
  • The Decline And Fall Of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy is a hilariously snarky example.
  • A Short History Of Nearly Everything is a semi-serious take on this.
  • The Horrible Histories series.
  • The Daily Show's America: The Book
  • Scotland: A Very Peculiar History - Volume 1: With No Added Haggis and Volume 2: With No Added Bagpipes.

     Live-Action TV  

  • Cunk On Britain. A parody of sweeping history documentaries, presented by Philomena Cunk
  • Horrible Histories. Comedy sketch series, where each episode is an anthology of sketches about different historical eras



     Comic Books  

  • The Cartoon History of the Universe series by Larry Gonick. Although it does go quite a bit into actual history and facts and dates, the panels and commentary are drawn in a way that is meant to be both humorous and educational.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  


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