Taking ‘Drunk History’ formula from Web to TV

Bob Odenkirk as President Nixon and Jack Black as Elvis Presley in an episode of “Drunk History.”
Bob Odenkirk as President Nixon and Jack Black as Elvis Presley in an episode of “Drunk History.”Credit: Ron Batzdorff

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In the world of “Drunk History,” Nixon’s response to Watergate follows the actual history — to a point. “I am not a crook,” he says, his voice slurred. “Hand me some cookies.”

The star-studded new show, which premieres Tuesday on Comedy Central, is based on the popular Internet series of the same name. Comedian Derek Waters and filmmaker Jeremy Konner began making the five-minute online videos on a lark in 2007.

Other than improved production values, the new show does not stray far from the formula that made Drunk History popular: Heavily inebriated narrators relate well-known historical incidents, and famous actors in period costume portray the events exactly as told, lip-syncing the words. One important innovation differentiates the half-hour version: Each episode focuses on a particular place.

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