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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Funny or does Drunk History

Funny or Die is a website that is affiliated with HBO. They do sketch comedy and collect funny videos. They are similar in nature to other websites like College Humor, but they use rather big name comedy stars. While browsing I came across something called Drunk History, which has, at the moment, 6 short sketches in total. They were created by Derek Waters, and they deal with early American history. The premise is that someone, I presume Derek Waters, gets his friends drunk and then has them discuss an historical event. Then he takes that tape and has actors act out the historical event as narrated by the drunk friend.

Is it inaccurate? I'm sure it is, though I have to admit I am not as familiar with American History. Are people going to think that these are accurate portrayals of these events? Lets face it, probably. But at the same time, these are supposedly famous historical events, at least according to the website. They certainly involve the most famous figures,including Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and other 'founding fathers.' It is implied that many people will know something, correct or incorrect, about this subject already.

Regardless of the perceived accuracy of the sketches, the videos discuss history in a way that is appealing to people who have absolutely no interest in history, and they are not devoid of historical relevance.

I think they are hilarious, though I am sure not everyone agrees. From a Public History perspective I think it is rather an ingenious way to make history appealing to a different audience. From a comedic perspective, I think it is hilarious because you make something mundane ridiculous, and you draw on the shared experience of trying to explain something important when you are drunk. In this way it is funnier to use history, than say, to have your drunk friends rehash their favourite books or movies.

This one is my favourite, though the Benjamin Franklin ones are also hilarious, if also probably the most off-based historically.

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