Hi reddit, Derek here. You probably know me as the creator of the web series Drunk History, which got picked up by Comedy Central and the first episode is airing tonight at 10 ET. I got to combine 2 of my favorite things: getting drunk and history. And a little bit of comedy. And I am really very proud.

I like long walks on the beach, I'm a Leo, just looking to have fun. AMA!

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Comments: 930 • Responses: 86  • Date: 

marqueemoon80505 karma


DerekWaters482 karma

us too. that's all credit to our editors. When we shoot re-enactments, since there isn't any sound...we just have the drunk dialogue playing through a speaker so the actor can be hearing it as they move dem lips to it. #secretsrevealed

TEDZOR271 karma

First of all, this has to be one of the funniest show ideas EVER. The Nikola Tesla short you did a while back was unbelievable, and pretty damn accurate to my knowledge.

My question is what historical event did you not get to film, but are dying to?

DerekWaters311 karma

Thank you! Ours as well. I really wanna someday do an Edgar Allan Poe story and have John Waters play the legendary poet.

DerekWaters63 karma

Thank you! Ours as well. Too many to mention but here's hoping we get to do more.

DerekWaters53 karma

Thank you! There's so many that I can't say I have a favorite one. Excited to do an Edgar Allan Poe story someday and have John Waters play him

thelonewolflives34 karma

You should check out the Duncan Trussell Famil Hour podcast, he's hilarious and might blow your mind.

DerekWaters63 karma

I love it. And have been on it. Not to brag

Unidan238 karma

Hi Mr. Waters,

Would you be able to possibly consider doing an episode about the ridiculous story of Preston Brooks?

I enjoyed your YouTube series quite a bit, thanks for your work! If you'd like to do a collaboration on nature, possibly while drunk, feel free to let me know: I'm a biologist and I enjoy bourbon quite a bit!

DerekWaters152 karma

That's so funny! Preston Brooks was a story we almost did. I'ved loved every biologist I ever met.

DerekWaters218 karma

Howdy Reddit! Thanks for having me. Anyone out there wearing pants?

nobleshark31 karma

Go home Derek, you're drunk. Hope you find your pants, though

DerekWaters70 karma

I wish I could! But this internet cafe is my home.

2th208 karma

So in one sentence, give a drunk person a convincing reason to watch your show.

DerekWaters903 karma

You won't feel alone anymore

justdrinkthetea167 karma

I just want to thank you for creating this show and my wife would like to say she hates you for creating this show. I have watched the first episode on demand over twenty times and have giggled every time I see the dude talking about Abraham Lincoln say "he just said a line from fucking Julius Caesar", "this is fucking perfect and everyone knows what I'm doing". I can't wait for the newer episodes and the hilarity that will ensue.

My question is, how was the absinthe?

DerekWaters101 karma

Thanks justdrinkthetea! The absinte was a bit loud. Not buying any anytime soon. Thanks for your support! You're cool

MollyTamale165 karma

Is there any reason Duncan Trussell isn't involved with this season? His Tesla episode was so wonderful.

DerekWaters163 karma

We wanted him so bad, but unfortunately he wasn't feeling well when we were shooting. He'll be back someday. #promise He's a dear friend and love him so so much

marqueemoon80142 karma


DerekWaters234 karma

hahaha! Begging. She's the Queen of drunk history. Wait until you see her Boston episode. It airs July 30th and Winona Ryder, and Michael Cera move their lips to her. It's her best yet!

DerekWaters121 karma

A lotta people think I only hang out with Drunk people, cause that's what I think is funny. But that's not true. at least half my friends are boring..I mean sober.

HoraceLongwood92 karma

How hard is it for you to get the drunk guys to stay on point for the whole shoot? Does it sometimes take more than one night? Thanks! Love Drunk History and I'm stoked it's made it to Comedy Central!

DerekWaters145 karma

Thank you! It's very hard. Takes patience and the love I have for the narrator. And yes, we had to re-shoot a couple this year due to them getting too drunk.

marshalldungan84 karma


Given the nature of Drunk History, doesn't it get old when your friends puke right on the floor, rather than into the bucket?

DerekWaters90 karma

haha! Sure does.

DerekWaters80 karma

Okay guys my time is up. Can't thank you guys enough for your awesome and smart questions here. Nice to have support from the smart people in the world. Please watch Drunk History tonight on Comedy Central @10pm. We did 8 episodes. So that's 24 new Drunk History stories coming your way. It's been my dream ever since I was a kid to have a TV show and get #drunkhistory trending on twitter. So give some tweets tonight. Thank you very much. Life Can't Get Eddie Vedder

DerekWaters70 karma

Is there anyone here who isn't sure they wanna watch the premiere of Drunk History tonight? Let me give you some reasons to help persuade you.

Trivale53 karma

I would love to, but I don't have a TV. I'll have to wait til it hits the tor... er... Til... We can watch things on our computers freely and without... er... TV shows play in the sky. Yeah.

DerekWaters113 karma

Do you have an iPhone? Free download of the first episode on there. And it's on Hulu.

Diptura28 karma

I could use some reasons

DerekWaters82 karma

Do you like laughing but have trouble learning history like me? Drunk History makes you laugh and learn.

FunnyBunny011 karma

well I don't have cable so...

DerekWaters3 karma

It's on Hulu and iTunes. Does that help?

cotton-candy68 karma

How did the idea of this show come up?

DerekWaters193 karma

I was drinking with my dear friend and actor Jake Johnson who you guys might now from movies and the TV show new girl. I knew him way before he was adorkable. We were discussing the great singer Otis Redding, who tragically died in a plane. Jake was telling me how Otis Redding knew he was gonna die before he got on the plane. I just kept picturing Otis reacting to this and looking at Jake, as if to say, "Shut up. I didn't know I was gonna die." So I wanted to re-enact that with Otis moving his lips to what Jake said, but I thought Everyone gets drunk and talks about Music. What's something people don't get Drunk and talk about..History.

paulwall4263 karma

Should I be drunk when I watch this?

DerekWaters108 karma

You CAN but you don't HAVE to. It's fun both ways. Some movies/tv shows are best when watched in an altered state. This one you can watch either way. #hopeur21

DerekWaters61 karma

Pandora is hit or miss. "any man of mine" just came on mine. #HIT

Zuultron400056 karma

Are the actors really drunk or just acting drunk?

DerekWaters190 karma

The actors aren't drunk, but the narrators are 100% drunk. They are telling true stories. This shit is real

TEDZOR57 karma

I love how absinthe seems to be a reoccurring theme.

DerekWaters51 karma

Thank you! Me too.

cport138 karma

How drunk?

DerekWaters106 karma

pretty drunk but we always have a medic there to make sure the narrators are okay. We also always shoot it in their place, so nobody has to drive.

Anspaugh52 karma

I'm so glad your webseries didn't just die. By airing Drunk History and Nathan For You, I hereby proclaim Comedy Central Cable Network of the Year.

DerekWaters32 karma

Thank you! I stand by you on this notion.



DerekWaters92 karma

notsure I like dumb things taken seriously. #hashtagsfallinthatcategory

meoschwitz37 karma

I watched the pilot on Hulu and thought it was awesome! How did the show end up on Comedy Central? Were you aiming for a different network?

DerekWaters71 karma

Thanks meoschwitz! Very cool. We wanted to take it the best place who would allow us to keep the overall tone of the show. Comedy Central was the only network that said they would. And they have. Lucky as hell to have a TV show, but it's even better when you're at a place that allows you to have things happen like a Car driving by in the 1600's.

aaron648434 karma

What event in history would you most want to drunkenly describe?

DerekWaters73 karma

Pearl Jam

grovesky31 karma

What's your connection with David Grohl and how did he become one of the actors? Anything to do with the fact that he acted with Jack Black in the Tenacious D movie? Any way you could give us a little spoiler of some of the actors you will be working with in the future?

Also, just wanted to thank you for this genius idea for comedy. My friends and I used to stream that shit from youtube to our TVs, so all of us can't wait for the show to start.

DerekWaters61 karma

Sweet Dave Grohl was a fan of the web series and wanted to do it. Been dying to meet him for a long time #everlong

grovesky14 karma

That's awesome how great minds just come together when they see something they like. Back in the day, my mother worked with Dave when she was doing experiential marketing for a Guitar Hero, and said he was just a real friendly, down-to-earth guy and great to work with. Gotta love that when there's so many big egos out there in that industry. That being said, you seem like a pretty grounded guy yourself. Solid everlong reference as well!

DerekWaters31 karma

That's cool. Dave is seriously one of the nicest people I've ever met. No BS. And when I say "Dave" I mean Grohl, not Matthews #dave

DerekWaters33 karma

Thanks for you nice words, and supporting the show. How many spoilers would you like? Owen Wilson is good one. And I'll give you Kristen Wiig. #yesplease

shetlandshaun30 karma

Hey Derek,

When you go to film the narrators drunken dialog do you also take them food for afterwards? As any good drunk knows food is always better wasted at 2am. Pizza ideally as you can also eat it cold the next day when your too hungover to move. If you dont you really should.

DerekWaters85 karma

Great question! We do feed them. It's much like an Animal Rescue Hospital. Feed them and love them. #RESUCED

ank161327 karma

What caused the decision to switch this from web series to television. How did that process work?

DerekWaters56 karma

Jeremy Konner (director) and I game up with this idea for making a 5minute idea last for a half hour. Each episode has 3 stories that all have to do with one City. And so this doesn't get old, we're now doing stories that don't all have White Wigs. Like Elvis and Patty Hearst. Who is played by Kristen Wiig #namedrop

jonnybutler24 karma

How similar is the show to the shorts online?

DerekWaters39 karma

Great question jonnybutler. The stories are just like the shorts online but now they all have to do with one city. Except our Season Finale....That's a surprise. It's city based. It's themed based..guess what theme it is? #Icantanswerthis

fotd4223 karma

Derek! I love Drunk History but my girlfriend doesn't get it. My question is how do the narrators know the stories, do they memorize parts of it BEFORE getting hammered or are there some people who already know these stories and just wing it from memory?

DerekWaters31 karma

Thanks man! I hope your girlfriend comes around #dealbreaker

DerekWaters30 karma

These are all stories they LOVE and wanna teach me.

ilaughallthetime22 karma

Will you be making a stop in Wisconsin? If so when?

DerekWaters33 karma

Maybe next season we'll go to the Dells! Love that place. Wisconsin! Farley's home state! #madison

Tyrone_Asaurus20 karma

How does one get hired to get hammered and explain a historical event on camera?

I like to imagine you guys are doubling the career field for History majors.

DerekWaters26 karma

haha! They are all my friends or people I know in the comedy scene...who are smart...and like to drink. It's always best when the narrator knows how to tell a beginning, middle, and end do a story

elesesings19 karma

My husband and I have officially made watching Drunk Christmas our holiday tradition. We also watch it randomly throughout the year...it gets funnier every time. Will you ever have repeat drunks? We would love to see Allan again!

DerekWaters29 karma

Allan Mcleod will be on the show tonight! Just cause you were so damn sweet. You and your husband sound pretty damn cool. Thank you! #tradition

DerekWaters16 karma

Thank you! I got a little surprise for you Elesesings....!!!!

DerekWaters18 karma

30 minutes left! Ask me ANYTHING. This is a blast. You guys rock!

lavaground18 karma

How did you get such star-studded casts of reenactors, especially for the early episodes before you'd proven the concept? Great work!

DerekWaters30 karma

Craigs list. No, we got lucky. Some were friends and some were people who just believed in the idea. Trust me, I don't get it either.

Charlierex16 karma

Wanna hear my drunk story?

DerekWaters21 karma


CouchPotatoFamine16 karma

I love this series. Always wondered if the actors volunteer their talents, or are they compensated?

DerekWaters30 karma

They do get paid. Pretty cool job.

ballness1016 karma

How hot is that barista from Hall Pass in real life?

DerekWaters21 karma

I give him a 4 out of 10

shaw288516 karma

How did you get some pretty famous actors on board in the beginning on the web series, like Jack Black, Michael Cera, black guy from Ocean's 11, etc.? And what did they think of the idea?

DerekWaters42 karma

Michael Cera has been a dear friend of mine for a long time. I had told him the idea awhile before we shot it and he said he would love to be a part of it. Drunk History would not be anything without Michael. I will always be grateful to him. The Black guys from Oceans 11 is Don Cheadle . He's one of the greatest. Jack Black works with Jeremy Konner our Director and saw the first one and said he wanted to do it. Jack Black is the reason this thing had a reason to keep going. JACK BLACK IS THE KING!

ATXthrowz15 karma

How/where can I audition to be a narrator?

DerekWaters26 karma

There's no auditions. Just when I meet people and can tell they know how to tell a story well..and that they have a story they're dying to tell! Oh, and you have to be okay with a film crew coming to your place and filming you while you're drunk. That's all. :)

inallthecomics14 karma

Just thank you. Your drunk history has been a conversation starter, an icebreaker with my now-boyfriend, and a way to get my little brother (who hates school) to care about history again, and pass his course.

DerekWaters34 karma

Amen! Wow that's so nice to hear. I was in special ed through most of my life. So I know how your little brother feels. Tell him he's smart. he is. Paying attention is hard.

kcons1513 karma

Are we going to see a Drunk History episode retelling Cal Ripken's 2131 game?

DerekWaters29 karma

God, I surely hope so. #GoO's!

ryeclifton11 karma

Saw you at SXSW... how drunk were you guys on stage?

DerekWaters22 karma

Sober as hell. Thanks for coming!

Bac0nLegs10 karma

Oh my goodness! My mom and I watch (and rewatch) drunk history together when she visits. It's our favorite, and it's actually brought us closer together, so thank you!

DerekWaters33 karma

Thank you! That's so nice. Maybe it should also be shown on ABC Family?

The_Prince15138 karma

Just watched it, hella funny!

How was meeting Dave Grohl?

DerekWaters23 karma

Best day of my life. No joke, he's the nicest dude I've ever met. #theregoesmyhero

Head4ZHills6 karma

Just wanted to say thanks. My wife and I watched it, and thought it was one of the most creatively hilarious things we've seen in a long time.

DerekWaters6 karma

I like you and your wife. Thank you!

iamwilderness6 karma

Hey Derek, cousin Arlo here. Are you stoked as all hell?

DerekWaters9 karma

ARLO! Beyond excited! I can't use that other adjective though. #neversaidstoked

guitarpicker553 karma

I love you.

DerekWaters3 karma

Wanna get married?

picnic_ants3 karma

What historical figure would you most like to get drunk with?

DerekWaters15 karma

Eddie Vedder

Zomgzombehz3 karma

Any thoughts on a different topic, such as drunk philosophy or drunk science?

jargoon3 karma

Drunk Philosophy would be awesome. I already do my own version of Drunk Science at the bar. :)

DerekWaters5 karma

Yeah, we should shoot that at the genius bar #applestore

chooter2 karma

Have you ever been to http://www.bumwine.com/ and do the narrators drink it?

DerekWaters2 karma

No. Do tell

the_fanciest_pj2 karma

Which budget was larger for this show, the travel budget, or the booze budget? Also, will we be seeing an episode on your fair city of Baltimore this season?

DerekWaters2 karma

10 bucks for travel and 5 bucks for booze. No Baltimore this Season..fingers crossed for next time.

the_fanciest_pj2 karma

By the way Derek, you're hashtagging almost as much during this AMA as you did verbally during the Instagrammy's... #pointlesshashtag

DerekWaters1 karma

You came to my Instagrammys show at UCB in LA? Thank you!

DerekWaters2 karma

One last thing I wanna mention all 3 narrators will be live tweeting during the show tonight you can ask them any questions you like. They're really great guys. I promise. bye bye for now. - Derek

kylestarmsa2 karma

Mr. Waters is a genius, along with his cohort, Jeremy Konner, and it was an absolute fucking pleasure working alongside them on this show. My question is, what is your historical alcoholic beverage of choice?

DerekWaters2 karma

Thank you! I like a whiskey that rhymes with Damieson

Panentheist2 karma

I really love this series. Keep it up please !

DerekWaters2 karma

Thank you. Is this my mom?

injoid2 karma

One more question! Drunk History, can it be turned into a drinking gaming while watching? If so, let me know I'm thirsty!

DerekWaters3 karma

Drink to the bleeps. If you're last of your friends you have to drink until you hear another bleep. Don't worry, it won't be long

Dayzed881 karma

Excited about the Orioles recent success?

DerekWaters1 karma

You betcha! #crushdavis

ec_on_wc1 karma

I had no idea you're from Baltimore. We've got a surprisingly strong presence in LA.

Have you ever been to The Parlor on Melrose? That place is packed with purple jerseys during football season.

DerekWaters1 karma

yep! I go there a lot! West Wing. Go Ravens!

genmgr1 karma

Thanks for doing this IAmA! Do you think Drunk History should be shown in classrooms?

DerekWaters1 karma

Thank you for having me. Depends on the school and the teacher. What do you think?

GSpess1 karma

The Drunk History shorts are truly some of my favorite things ever. They are true classics, "This is a nightmare, I'm in hell, this is hell", too great and way too quotable.

My question would be, was there anytime on set that anyone thought that things were going to go downhill, or things just got a bit too out of hand? Perhaps on the other side of it, it ended up too fun?

Also, can you get me a job? I'd give you my resume, but I threw up all over it.

DerekWaters1 karma

Haha! Nothing has ever gotten too out of hand since we have the best medic in town. Anna Baltimore. yep that's her name. She's the mother of this show. Would love to get you a job! clean that puke up and send it over

bobjones501 karma

Derek, who is the funniest Canadian improviser you know?

DerekWaters1 karma

Peter Oldring.

fredwarner1 karma

Welcome to reddit Derek. Time for a drink.

DerekWaters1 karma

Now? Okay, but I'm not sure this internet cafe allows alcohol

injoid1 karma

Derek, Im FREAKING excited about watching your show! And thanks for doing this AMA! Question 1: What's your favorite beer? Question 2: Which historical figure would you like to share it with? Cheers!

DerekWaters4 karma

Thank you! Natty Boh. Eddie Vedder

BNick1251 karma

Big fan of Hall Pass!

DerekWaters1 karma

Snow Patrol!

trisgeminus1 karma

Baltimore represent! Thanks for showcasing the best things about our fair city: the drinking and the history. You should do an episode about the war of 1812!

DerekWaters1 karma

B-more! I rather do one about Billy Ripken and his error baseball card

Chalky_Studebaker1 karma

Hi Derek. You're cool. I love you.

DerekWaters2 karma

awwww Chalky. I love you too! #seriously

xazerbation1 karma

What's your favorite color?

DerekWaters1 karma

Not sure, I'm color blind.

lazyquestions #getlazyanswers #purpleandblack #orangeandblack #ravensorioles

Youre_Government1 karma

I found the pilot on hulu about a week ago, and loved it! I actually found the Booth brothers story quite fascinating... to the point where I started having trouble believing it. Who are the people that are drunk and telling these stories?

DerekWaters1 karma

Thank you! They're all my comedy friends. That story is crazy huh? 100 percent true. Except Abe wearing glasses :)

jamesthedolphin1 karma

Derek, is Michael Cera as loud and rambunxious in person as he is on screen?

DerekWaters1 karma

He is sweet, and kind in every way.

lookiammikey1 karma

Just wanted to say that I love this series, you guys execute it perfectly. Is anyone ever too drunk to finish the story, or so incoherent that you have to stop filming?

DerekWaters1 karma

Thank you! Yes that tends to happen from time to time. But we somehow make it "work out"

CaliKelly1 karma

I love you. AND I'm a Leo, too.

DerekWaters1 karma

I love you too! #july30th #lions

Spare3Parts1 karma

Hey! You have kept me and my staff at the movie theater entertained on really late, slow nights. Congrats on the show! Did you expect it to explode like it has when you first thought of it?

DerekWaters2 karma

Thanks! Never ever thought this would happen. The first one was just made for fun and to show in my show at the Upright citizens brigade theater in Los Angeles. Tell your staff I like their sense of humor

archaeologist4hire1 karma

Archaeologist here. Thank you SO much for making Drunk History! Now people actually get excited when I want to discuss exciting moments in Roman history after having too much wine! Can't wait to see the first episode tonight!

DerekWaters1 karma

Thank you! #indianjones Hope you enjoy it!

moseses1 karma

I have a brilliant friend who happens to be an alcoholic history major, any room for him on the show?

DerekWaters1 karma

What would he talk about?

themalaise1 karma

JD Ryznar strikes me as one of the funniest yet most under-appreciated comedic producers out there. How does he stand up as a drunk historian for you?

DerekWaters2 karma

One of the best! he's funny, smart, likes to drink and has a fucking amazing Voice!