President Harry S. Truman once said, “Men make history, and not the other way around.”
Well, on Derek Water’s long-running Drunk History, it’s the inebriated who make history — or at least try to remember it.
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Through 74 episodes over the last 6 years, Waters has created one of the benchmark series for Comedy Central, sometimes three historical look-backs an episode, with an intriguing mix of events we didn’t see on the timelines in high school or college, whether it’s Gloria Steinem going undercover at the Playboy Club or this past seaosn’s opener “Are You Afraid of the Drunk?” which follows a Mary Shelley sex romp party was the launch pad for her initial telling of Frankenstein. Along the way, it’s like Waters is making his own King’s Speech or The Crown episode every week, but from all vantage points of history, and he’s hooked not only burgeoning and established comedic performers for the ride, but award-lauded talent as well. In “Are You Afraid of the Drunk,” comedian Rich Fulcher is the narrator with three-time Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Evan Rachel Wood as Shelley (flexing her comedy muscle) with Elijah Wood as Percy Shelley, Jack McBrayer as Lord Byron and in double flashback, Seth Rogen as Victor Frankenstein and Will Farrell as the Monster.
This year, Drunk History is up for three Primetime Emmy noms: Variety Series Editing, Outstanding Variety Sketch show, and Water’s directing on “Are You Afraid of the Drunk?”. Here’s our latest Crew Call conversation with Waters on building the Drunk History franchise.