SOURCE: Boston Globe
NEW YORK (AP) — To hear comedian Derek Waters tell it, the idea for ‘‘Drunk History’’ came about when ‘‘New Girl’’ actor Jake Johnson had a few drinks and was trying to tell him a passionate anecdote about the late singer Otis Redding.‘‘He was trying to tell me that Otis Redding knew he was gonna die. I didn’t really buy the story,’’ Waters said in a recent interview, ‘‘but he was so passionate about it and he wasn’t able to articulate everything. I just kept picturing Otis Redding reacting to this guy (Johnson) telling a story about how he knew he was gonna die and I thought, ‘That would be cool to reenact.'’’ (Redding was killed in a plane crash in 1967.)Soon after, Waters and director Jeremy Konner were making Internet shorts. They filmed actor Mark Gagliardi getting drunk and reciting a historical story that was a bit messy because of the alcohol. A celebrity would then act out the story, complete with hiccups, slurring or other signs of an inebriated storyteller.The videos were posted to the website FunnyorDie.com in late 2007. Celebrity participants included Johnson, Michael Cera, Nick Offerman and Ryan Gosling....
For an inebriated storyteller, enthusiasm often outpaces execution. “They have to get it out, no matter how many times they mess it up,” said Derek Waters, a creator of “Drunk History,” beginning Tuesday on Comedy Central.He would know. Since 2007, this actor (“Suburgatory,” “Married to the Kellys”) and writer has asked friends to throw back a few, then tell him their favorite historical tale as a camera rolls. The resulting videos, hits on Funny or Die, pair the sloppy narratives with self-serious re-enactments — including the drunken flubs and profanity — by famous actors. “The tone is, these are guys who are trying as hard as they can to make a history show, but it’s just not going that well,” Mr. Waters said.
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