In the last few years, I’ve begun to question the veracity of any of the history I’ve been taught. I’ve been finding big chunks of history that were never included in the textbooks, and it seemed to depend on the point of view of the teller what kind of history you got. The old saying is, “History belongs to the victors”. It’s that sort of thing. Now you can add Drunk History to the mix. This is where people talk about historical event, but only after they have become hopelessly debilitated by alcohol. It’s funny to watch, and, in this case, you already know for sure history is becoming garbled. I’ve already reviewed the Season One and Two sets, in case you want to go back and reread that. They really are very funny, but you wonder, first of all, how much these various comedians really know about history. Then they get drunk, so often they wind up just falling on the floor and sleeping and babbling. But on some level, I get more out of these historical retellings than the dry and serious ones. At least with Drunk History I am forced to think for myself, and if I really want to know, I should research it myself.
Drunk History: Season Three is at a point where they are running out of all the good history to tell, but they still managed to find lots of fun stories. This season deals with people like no-nonsense Harriet Tubman, super spy and future children’s author Roald Dahl, perplexed Milton Bradley, sneaky Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, little kid Louis Armstrong, and a haunted Clark Gable. The stories are told most often by relatively unknown comedians, but sometimes they up the ante with stars like Paget Brewster (Criminal Minds). But there are stars everywhere with so many stories being told. Some of them are Dennis Quaid (Lucky Luciano), Sam Rockwell (Bugsy Segal), Josh Harnett (Clark Gable), Nathan Fillion (Wernher Von Braun), Topher Grace (Milton Bradley), Kat Dennings (Kentucky Daisy), Giancarlo Esposito (Andre Pico) Ryan Phillipe (Benjamin Hayes), Jack Black (William Mullholland), Colin Hanks (Gordon Cooper and Ernest Thompson Seton), Jason Ritter (Elisha Gray and Robert Woodrow Wilson), Patton Oswalt (Mac Brazel), Henry Winkler (Zenas Fisk Wilber), Greg Kinnear (Thaddeus S.C. Lowe), Stephen Merchant (Abraham Lincoln), Michael Cera and Haley Joel Osment (Newsies), Jahel “Urkel” White (Bass Reeves), Olivia Spencer (Harriet Tubman), Johnny Knoxville (Juan Ponce de Leon), Ellie Klemper (Nellie Bly), Maya Rudolph (Grizelda Blanco), Jason Momoa (pirate Jean Lafitte), Jack McBrayer (President Andrew Jackson), Will Ferrell (Ronald Dahl), Parker Posey (Mary Phelps Jacob), Martin Starr (Alexander Graham Bell), Michael McKean (Carl Laemmle), Chris Parnell (Thomas Edison), Taran Killam (Bobby Fisher), Jake Johnson (Boris Spassky) Jason Alexander (Boss Tweed), Noah Wylie (Thomas Nash), and I’m going to stop because I’m running out of space. There are actually a lot more notable people. There are interviews with writer/directors like David Simon (The Wire) and David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) and lots of goofy extras. The motif of going to different cities to interview people on the street continues.
All in all, it’s a good way to get your kids interested in history. And you can show them how stupid and pathetic a whole lot of drunk people look.