'Slightly Altered' Past: A Comedy Cocktail From Derek Waters | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

'Slightly Altered' Past: A Comedy Cocktail From Derek Waters

Play associated audio

When Derek Waters went out with a buddy for a few beers one night, little did he know his friend's drunken storytelling would turn into a years-long project, and now TV show on Comedy Central.

"Jake was telling me this story that Otis Redding knew he was going to die, and before he left that day he had this long conversation with his wife," remembers Waters. "The whole time secretly I was just picturing Otis Redding looking at Jake and saying, 'Shut up, man, that didn't happen!'"

That gave Waters the idea for his popular weekly series, Drunk History (Warning: The videos contain language that some may find offensive). Give a narrator — usually one of Waters' friends — a few drinks, and have him or her recount a favorite historical event. Then, have well known actors in period costumes lip-sync and act out the completely wrong history.

Waters has no problem getting people on board for the project, either. "As an actor, you have so much in your head when you're thinking about delivering a line ... so you actually get to do more because you don't have to worry about how to deliver a line, because it's already done."

Sometimes, narrators forget the story line, make up ridiculous dialogue, or even vomit or fall asleep while describing Abraham Lincoln's assassination, for example. But, says Waters, "They're trying as hard as they can to make a history show; it just happens to be slightly altered."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."
NPR

Author And His Daughter Cook Around The World And You Can Too

Kelly McEvers talks to food writer Mark Kurlansky and his daughter Talia about their cookbook International Night, based on their tradition of cooking a meal every week from a different country.
NPR

Outside Group Mirrors Successful Strategies Of Political Parties

A U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs in Iowa, and the GOP has opened 11 field offices statewide. But there's also a new team working the state, the Virginia-based group Americans for Prosperity.
NPR

Who Owns A Monkey's Selfie? No One Can, U.S. Says

The U.S. Copyright Office says a monkey's photo can't be copyrighted — by the person who owns the camera or by anyone else — because it wasn't taken by a human.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.