Two days ago I wrote a post about a Drunken History episode, in which comedian Duncan Trussell tried to explain the significance of Nikola Tesla astride a toilet bowl. It was gross, it was funny, it was weirdly educational. Mainly, I posted a feature on it because I find the entire concept highly creative and original. Would any of us (okay, most of us) care about the history of electricity if it were presented with less… flair (or alcoholic influence)?
The video was removed owing to copyright claims, which rendered my original post useless; currency being vital online, I quickly pulled the post, entirely bummed out. Trussell was trying to explain the history of Nikola Tesla and his stormy relationship with Thomas Edison. I loved Crispin Glover‘s glaring Edison, and John C. Reilly‘s whole-hearted earnestness. (The video was over at Inquisitr but alas, has been pulled there, too.)
Following my original post, I was surprised to see I’d lost a follower here. I don’t know who, and I don’t know why, but it made me wonder: why? Surely there’s far more offensive material on the internet than a sloshed Trussell explaining the foundations of electricity.Created by Derek Waters (who worked on The Sarah Silverman Program as well as Funny Or Die), the series’ premise is to get a celebrity inebriated before having them expound on a particular point in history. Past episodes have featured Jack Black, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, Don Cheadle, and Will Farrell, talking about Benjamin Franklin, William Henry Harrison, Frederick Douglass, and other important American historical figures.
Drunk History may not be your textbook history, but it is very funny, and it’s also weirdly informative. What with American history being re-written lately anyway, who’s to say Drunk History isn’t a better -and more approachable -information source than textbooks? Somehow, the drunken lessons have an indisputable kernel of truth that combine with a youthful spark of fire and ingenuity. That’s what inspires curiosity and creates a thirst for more. Score one in the education column for Drunk History: smart, sarcastic, and slurringly educational. Somewhere, somehow, I can hear Charles Bukowski cackling.