A word about “Drunk History’s” format: Derek Waters and crew choose a topic and three drunken narrators tell three different stories. Until last Tuesday. Riding his immense popularity to the telling of tales, Lin-Manuel Miranda took the ENTIRE half hour to give us the real Hamilton deal.
*Lin-Manuel vehemently denying his Monkees adoration*
-Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis
-Ham’s mom died when he was 12; he was a legit poor orphan
-Hurricane helped Hamilton get to the colonies. He wrote a letter that got published and people gave him money
-He sailed to America and his ship caught fire
-Got to NY and joined The Revolutionary War under Gen. Washington
-After the war, became President Washington’s Treasury Secretary
-Had a torrid affair while married; published a long pamphlet about it
-Died in a duel at the hand of his former friend, Aaron Burr
*Lin, feeling the effects of Kool-Aid sized glasses of whiskey*
This episode had it all. From two actresses playing Hamilton and Burr (Alia Shawkat and Aubrey Plaza), to the Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl making a cameo. It was amazing and hilarious and fun. Let’s hope busy bee Lin makes another stop on the “Drunk History” train soon.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and former star of Broadway’s smash hit, will narrate an entire season four episode of Drunk History, and, of course, the episode is themed all about Alexander Hamilton. It’s a big get for the Comedy Central series, and creator/star Derek Waters knows it.
But how did he get one of the most popular (and busiest) figures in pop culture to agree to get drunk and narrate an entire episode of television about the same man he just finished playing on Broadway?
“Craigslist. I do it all with Craigslist,” Waters tells The Hollywood Reporter with a laugh. “I had heard that he liked the show. I had heard that he was writing Hamilton when he saw our first story ever of Hamilton [on Drunk History]. He liked it and always wanted to do it. I reached out to him and we had a nice conversation over the phone about what would be different about the musical than what would be in this and why we would do a story we’ve already done. That’s why his episode is just one story.”
Normally each episode of Drunk History contains three different stories narrated by three different people, but the Hamilton-themed episode, airing Nov. 29, is a special case in season four.
“He does the whole thing and there are some parts in there that he didn’t get to fit into the musical,” Waters says. “I’m really thankful he wanted to do it. We had a blast. And I made it a point not to see the musical until after we filmed because I didn’t want to fan out on him. But after I saw it I was like, ‘Oh my God, that was amazing.’”
The Hollywood Reporter also spoke with Waters about what other changes he made to his web series turned TV show for season four, if Miranda got drunk enough to barf on camera during filming, and more.
[. . .]
*Did you always want to tell Hamilton’s story with Miranda or did that come about after Hamilton blew up?*
“It organically happened with Lin liking the show and the success of the musical. It just felt like it would be a really cool thing to try and bring the whole show full circle since it started on YouTube with Michael Cera playing Hamilton.”
*What was it like having him as the drunk narrator?*
“It was really cool. I wanted to make sure, like I do for every narrator, that they’re comfortable and they’re in a safe place. He wanted to film at his parents’ house which was really funny. I had seen that house when he got interviewed on 60 Minutes. (Laughs.) I was interviewing him but I’m not from 60 Minutes so that was surreal. I was just honored because this man is wanted by everybody. It was so sweet that he took the time and wanted to do it.”
*What was his drink of choice?*
“He got drunk off of Tennessee Whiskey. (Pause.) I know, I know.”
*Please tell me that we’re going to get to see Lin-Manuel Miranda barf on TV … and is it weird that seeing the narrators barf is my favorite part of Drunk History?*
“I think it might be weird that that’s your favorite because that’s my least favorite. (Laughs.) I have to spoiler alert: He does not barf in the episode. But I’m fascinated that that’s your favorite part. I like that you like that. They don’t puke as much anymore. Well, okay they do, but it’s usually the next day or after filming.”