Created by Derek Waters
Starring Derek Waters, Kristin Wiig, John Hader, David Groll, Jack Black, Winona Rider, Lisa Bonet, and COUNTLESS others
When I first become friends with someone, a lot questions come out. 1. Do you like Michael Jackson? 2. What Disney movies have you seen? 3. What’s your favorite “Drunk History?” And if they haven’t seen “Drunk History,” I am MORE than happy to enlighten them. This concept and series is absolutely brilliant and original, and when life gets a little sad for me, nothing will make me feel better than watching the original FunnyorDie.com sketches. Recently, Comedy Central took the concept and has made it into an actual series. Did it loose any of it’s original steam? Let’s find out.
Alright, if you’ve never seen the series, I weep for you. It’s seriously one of the best things out there, playing to nearly every kind of person. If you’re more intelligent, the history side will appeal to you, as these are actual historical events… just messed up a smidge since they’re retold by intoxicated narrators. And if you’re not into intelligent humor, then you’ll just love the zany antics that come from watching a drunk person talk, and having A-List actors reenact it.
So, here’s the concept in a nutshell: Derek Waters gets his friends and other victims to get WASTED. I said “wasted” in all caps, so you know it’s bad. Then, they retell an historic event, whether it be from the birth of our country, or the industrial age, or even music history from the 1960’s. After he gets the video, he gets A-List actors to retell the story, lip syncing to what the intoxicated narrator says. It’s sheer brilliance, and if you want a good example, watch one of my favorites, when fan favorite Jen Kirkman retells about the friendship of Abraham Lincoln (played by Will Ferrell) and Fredrick Douglass (played by Don Cheadle).
When Comedy Central took over the series, I was a little leery. Could they indeed keep up the hilarity of the series? Well… it’s hit and miss. They did one thing right, and that was to make sure that the stories stay in the 10 minute range… there’s only so long that you can listen to one drunk person ramble on. On the first season, the episodes feature three stories and center around an American city. I was VERY pleased to find that Nashville, my current city, was one of them. In this episode, we see a VERY drunken hipster retell the story of Dolly Parton (Casey Wilson) and Porter Wagner. It’s just ok until he tries to break out his banjo and sing “I Will Always Love You.” I nearly peed my pants when Wilson lip syncs to his off key reindition of the powerful ballad. Afterwards, the drunken narrator says, “But I wanted to sing!” And Derek replies, “You did, and it was beautiful!” HA!
All in all, season one didn’t hold up a candle to the original web series. I was much more excited for Season two. Waters pulled out all of the stops, and this time didn’t just stick to a city, but sometimes would go to stories about certain groups of people like sports stars, American music legends, or my personal favorite, the First Ladies. If you watch ANYTHING on these three discs, you must watch the “First Ladies” episode. Part of the reason why this episode works so well is because it is all women retelling. As an aside, sorry about it guys, but the funniest drunken narrators on this show are women and gay men. Maybe it’s the fact that when the male actors have to lip sync to a woman’s voice that it leaves me in tears, or maybe women and gay men are just funnier when they’re drunk. Either way, this episode is everything and more. Jen Kirkman comes back again for this one, with a glass of wine in hand that’s as big as her head complaining the whole time that “Drunk History” has become too corporate. Actually, I’m laughing now just thinking about it. But the shining star in this episode is college partier Molly McAleer. She is every girl that I partied with in college with her nasal vocal fry and Millennial slang. SHE is everything and more in this episode. Also, watch out for when Bobby Moynihan lip syncs to her talking. It makes me flee to a bathroom even thinking about it.
All in all, this series is still good, it’s just hit and miss. It’s like SNL, there’s some good sketches, some rotten sketches, and some that I will not ever stop talking about! Honestly, if you watch the sort of trailer at the beginning of each episode, you can watch each narrator and know whether or not it’s going to be a good episode because, let’s face it, the narrator makes or breaks the story. I think that the good FAR outweighs the bad.
This series has excellent video, better than the FunnyorDie.com series. The production value has also gone way up. The costuming and set dressing is fantastic… not impeccable, though, which I kind of love. You still get a bad wig or a car driving by colonial Philadelphia, but that just adds to the madcap hilarity of this show, and it harkens back to when the web series first started.
Also really great. I love that they still pipe in the overly dramatic and important sounding bed music over the stories. The juxtaposition of the of the drunken antics and the music is just perfect. Also, I am still in awe of the syncing of the stories. Really, it’s an acting thing. I’m so impressed with all of the actors being able to lip sync to all of the drunken ramblings.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
THE BEST packaging I’ve seen on a DVD box set in forever… not to be overly dramatic or anything, though. The three DVDs come in a standard DVD package with a nice flip insert that will keep your discs safe and funny. The actual sleeve/package that the case comes in, is brilliant. The series branded image is a leather bound book with the title “Drunk History.” The case comes in what looks like a leather bound book, with “Drunk History” written on it. There is not much else writing, only what is needed. This is beyond brilliant.
The bonus features are also wonderful. You get extended/deleted scenes from the actors, a couple of bloopers, and extended footage from the drunken narrators. I especially love my new favorite Molly, the silly co-ed, and her showing off her extensive mustard collection. You heard me right, mustard collection. Also on this box set, you get the sober reveals, which are awesome. A lot of the narrators on “Drunk History” are Derek Waters friends, and so with a lot of these episodes, he will sit down with his stone cold sober friends, and re-watch the episode with them, as they giggle, blush, and marvel at their own drunken antics.
Overall (Not an Average)
This is definitely worth the buy. The stories can be hit or miss, but there is more good than bad. And between the insane amounts of bonus features and the amazing packaging, this series is well worth your money. And hopefully, this will inspire you to do some “Drunk History” of your own.