From Funny or Die to Sundance to Comedy Central series: The history of “Drunk History”

Drunk History isn’t the first webseries to become a TV series, but it is among the more celebrated ones to make the jump.

Comedy Central announced over the weekend at the TCA press tour that it had ordered eight half-hour episodes of “Drunk History” to air this summer. UPDATED: The series debuted July 9, 2013!

Created by Derek Waters and directed by Jeremy Konner, the “Drunk History” short films — narrated by a drunken comedian and re-enacted by famous actors — are a Gary Sanchez Production and first appeared online via YouTube before becoming part of that production house’s Funny or Die site. Early episodes of the “Drunk History” series showed up as segments on HBO’s Funny or Die Presents, and one of them — narrated by Jen Kirkman and re-enacted by Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle and others — won the jury prize for best short film at the Sundance Film Festival.

Other stars taking part in previous installments included Jack Black, Jim Carrey, Michael Cera, Zooey Deschanel, Ryan Gosling, John C. Reilly, Jason Ritter and Danny McBride.

Upon learning of the series order from Comedy Central, producer Adam McKay said: “Will and I have always believed booze brings out truth. Sometimes that truth involves hitting on airport bar janitors or eating cheese fries at 4 a.m. But in this case, we hope that truth will shine on our nation’s history.”

To get you caught up on your “Drunk History,” here is a refresher course.


Vol. 1: Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, as recounted by Mark Gagliardi. With Michael Cera and Jake Johnson (now known for New Girl).


Vol. 2: Eric Falconer tells us how Ben Franklin discovered electricity. With Jack Black.

Vol. 2.5: Eric Falconer then got into more of Ben Franklin’s past.

JULY 2008

Vol. 3: Jen Kirkman talks about the favorite slave of George and Martha Washington. Featuring Danny McBride.


Vol. 4: J.D. Ryznar on the all-too-brief presidential term of William Henry Harrison. Featuring Paul Schneider and Steve Agee.


Vol. 5: Jen Kirkman on the friendship between Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Wins the Sundance Film Festival prize for best short film.

This volume and others appear on Funny or Die Presents and

Vol. 6: Duncan Trussell on the rivalry between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.

Drunk History Christmas


Comedy Central announces it has ordered Drunk History as a half-hour series.

JULY 2013

Drunk History premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Tuesday nights on Comedy Central.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →

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