Over the past year it’s been increasingly common to see Comedy Central’s programming pointed to as among the best on cable. Key & Peele, Inside Amy Schumer, Kroll Show, Review, @Midnight, Nathan for You, and Broad City are all relatively young shows that push at the boundaries of what TV comedies can do, while still being gut-bustlingly hilarious. Throw in those venerable stalwarts The Daily Show and the soon-to-be-departed Colbert Report, and it’s not hard to look at Comedy Central’s lineup and say it’s the equal of HBO, Showtime, or FX.
Drunk History is not as ground-breaking as some of its sibling shows, but it might be the most purely enjoyable show in Comedy Central’s lineup. It’s a sketch show where host Derek Waters gets comedians blitheringly drunk and has them tell stories from American history. Waters and a wonderful cadre of guest actors then act out the stories in full costume using the drunken soundtrack recording as both dialogue and narration. It’s a goofy concept, and doesn’t always hit, but when it does the show just soars. The slurred speech and wild excitement of the speakers (especially Drunk History all-star Paget Brewster) lend the action a pleasantly loony atmosphere. The real fun, though is seeing actors like Jordan Peele, Retta, Weird Al (as Hitler!) and Charlie Day perform the loopy action described by the narrators. Nothing on TV right now is funnier than the moments where a skilled actor mouths along to a drunken digression that utterly shatters the fourth wall.