‘Drunk History’ is a lesson in sloshtory

Lisa Bonet is Rosa Parks in “Drunk History.” (Comedy Central)

Does “Drunk History” (10 p.m. Tuesdays, Comedy Central) trivialize history? Or is it the MOST UNEXPECTEDLY EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM ON TV?

Series creator Derek Waters aims to tell stories that make viewers go, “Why didn’t we learn this in school?” Yeah, why didn’t I learn about Claudette Colvin, the 15-year-old African- American arrested in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white lady? Some civil rights leaders thought the teen, who got pregnant after the incident, wasn’t a good role model. Rosa Parks made a better icon.

The show’s alcohol-fueled narrators are largely accurate but hey, they are drunk. Writer Amber Ruffin got too tipsy to pronounce “Birmingham” and said Colvin moved to “Burning Man.” Says Waters, “If we didn’t have moments like that, we would just be on the History Channel.”

Do educators mind? Waters’ high school history teacher told him, “You’re making it fun.”

P.S. The show’s godfather is Derek’s pal Jake “New Girl” Johnson, who once drunkenly spun a rambling story about Otis Redding. Derek thought: Let’s try this with Alexander Hamilton. The rest is (drunken) history.

Want more of Marc’s musings? Try these: 

What does paying for HBO REALLY get you?

Keep the bleeps on HBO’s ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’

‘I Wanna Marry Harry’ is no more fraudulent than ‘The Bachelorette’

Marc Silver has been watching TV since the days when people wrapped aluminum foil around TV antennae to improve reception.



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Kristen Page-Kirby · July 3, 2014