Think that history documentaries are too stodgy? Clearly you haven’t been watching Drunk History. On this new Comedy Central sensation, historical events are recounted to the audience by graduate students who are extremely drunk. Famous actors are cast to star in the drunken storytellers’ tales.
To me, the humorous part about Drunk History isn’t that the storytellers are drunk. It’s the juxtaposition. Drunk History is done in the format of a crusty history documentary. You know, those documentaries that are narrated by professors blazer sleeve patches and monocles? Replace the narrator with someone who’s falling down drunk, and you have humor through juxtaposition. Here’s a scene from the early days of Drunk History, before it made its way to Comedy Central:
Of course, it’s not for everybody. My mother, a former social studies teacher, watched Drunk History for about three minutes and promptly left the room.
But this makes me wonder. What if all TV were like Drunk History? Maybe Comedy Central has kicked off a new genre. Maybe we’re all so fed up with Reality TV that we’re ready for a paradigm shift to Drunk TV. Here are just a few of the many possibilities for Drunk TV.
Drunk Cable News
Filling up 24 hours with news is next to impossible, so a good deal of that time is devoted to people yelling loudly at each other about their opinions. That’s old already. Instead, why not replace the Sean Hannitys of the world with drunk commentators who say things like,
“Dude, what the f**k are we gonna do about the Middle East?”
“I know, man! We’ve been fighting one f**king war after another there since that Ayatollah sh*t!”
“It’s all about oil, dude! It’s all about f**ing oil!”
Note: this would work better with some commentators than others. Wolf “Blitzed” Blitzer would be a riot. So would Rachel Maddow. But we probably don’t want to see Sean Hannity drunk. The rage potential would be just plain dangerous.
Drunk Food Network
I know, some of the Food Network stars already seem a little drunk, like Rachael Ray, and don’t even get me started about Guy Fieri:
But wouldn’t it be more fun if the cooks on the Food Network really were drunk? “OK, dude. What was I doing here? Oh yeah, making pesto. It looks kinda like it”s missing something. Oh yeah, let’s add some parmesan cheese. Just throw it right in the blender, as much as you want, like three or four pounds or so. Now let’s press the button on the blender… OH S**T!!! @#$%!!! I forgot to put the top on the blender. That’s going to be a mother****ing mess to clean up.”
Drunk Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow is a great concept. People dig up old stuff from their attics and bring them to this travelling roadshow of stodgy appraisers. The appraisers tell them how much their junk is worth, and sometimes it’s worth quite a bit.
The problem with Antiques Roadshow is that it’s on for about 8,430 hours per day, and PBS really needs to mix things up. Why not hand out cocktails to the appraisers and the junk-wielding masses before the show?
“Dude, I found this piece of c**p chair in my attic. I didn’t think it was worth s**t, but my old lady made me bring it in.”
“Well, your old lady is one smart lady! This chair is from the Eduardo period.”
“Dude! The Eduardo period? Does that mean it’s worth, like, millions and zillions of dollars?”
“Indeed! Millions and zillions of dollars indeed… but oh dear. The value is now greatly decreased, now that you’ve vomited all over it.”
Drunk House Hunters
As I’ve written before, House Hunters is predictable and boring. Most of the people buying houses want the exact same kind of countertops, bathroom fixtures, and floors. As they walk through the houses, couples make the same “witty,” gender-stereotyped comments over and over again. “Oh, honey, look at that massive walk-in closet. it will hold all my stuff. But where will your stuff go?”
“Oh, honey, look at that big walk-in closet. It will fit all my shoes.”
“Huh. We’d have plenty of room for your shoes if you hadn’t spent half the down-payment on your f***Ing designer shoe collection.”
“What the f**k is that supposed to mean? How much f***ing money do you spend on beer?”
“I wouldn’t have to drink so much if I didn’t have to listen to you talk about your f***Ing shopping sprees all the time.”
Drunk Weather Channel
Weather TV is weird. Once in awhile, something huge like a tornado or a hurricane happens, and people are glued to their TVs. But most of the time, Weather TV is just a bunch of people talking about the weather and saying inane things like, “Well, it’s going be another scorcher out there today!” These inane things would be a whole lot more funny if the meteorologists were blasted.
Of course, this might be closer to reality than we think. Search for “drunk weatherman” on YouTube, and you get a surprising number of real weather clips:
Some of the best sports commentators out there are drunk guys. They’ve had a few beers at the ballpark and they’ve got something say to that @#$% outfielder who belongs in the Little League and that @#$% manager. Some of these guys are actually pretty funny. Maybe they ought to be covering actual broadcasts.
This would be especially effective in covering baseball games, which last on average for 4,380 hours. Even the best color commentators run out of interesting obscure statistics to discuss, so why not liven things up with some drunk guys?
Our electorate would be much more well-informed if we only watched more C-SPAN. Unfortunately, other than watching suburban city council meetings on Cable Access Channel 17, there’s nothing more dry imaginable. About the only thing that would drive up C-SPAN’s ratings would be drunkenness.
Drunken commentators, drunken Senators, it doesn’t matter. Drunk political debates would be especially cool. Especially Vice Presidential debates.
So… Drunk TV Anyone?
Of course, this is all just wild and silly speculation. Or is it? There are an awful lot of cable TV hours in need of content. Is Drunk TV any less likely than the fact that there are dozens of shows about pawn shops, prison life, redneck child pageant queens, and cupcakes? And hey, they’re already using alcohol to get reality TV contestants on shows like The Bachelor to act like idiots. Sadly, the intelligence level of so much of our TV is so low that getting everyone on TV drunk may not be that big of a change.