On the show, which was recently renewed for a second season, Waters asks tipsy guests to recount a historical event, and then enlists celebrity actors to act out the tale. It began as a web series which went viral (six webisodes earned some 16 million views), and the first season, featuring performances by Jack Black, Dave Grohl and others, aired on Comedy Central last year.
Baltimore has a special place in Waters’ heart. He proudly sports an Orioles cap, and keeps up with the team. The TV show focuses on individual cities, and Waters has wanted to do an episode on Baltimore since Comedy Central first picked up the pilot.
On a personal note, I’ve been a fan of “Drunk History” since the web series debuted in December 2007, and a couple years ago, when I became editor of b, I had Wesley Case profile Waters for a cover story. We shot Waters sitting on a cannon, holding two bottles of (fake) whiskey and wearing a colonial powdered wig, in Federal Hill Park. I was a little worried he would accidentally slip off the cannon and bounce down the steep grassy slope to his death, but thankfully he had a good sense of balance. I wanted Waters, who has a dry sense of humor, to make these comically over-the-top facial expressions, and it turned out to be one of my favorite shoots.
At the time, Waters was shopping the “Drunk History” pilot to Comedy Central. The network hadn’t committed yet, but I figured it was only a matter of time. The show, which has a specific type of humor that it does very well, averaged 1.2 million viewers in its first season.