As “Drunk History” enters its third season on Comedy Central tonight, it’s a landmark that Derek Waters probably hadn’t planned for when he sent out the first installment, back when it existed solely as a fledgling web series.
“It was just a one-time thing,” Waters said on this week’s episode of Indiewire Influencers. But now, after a number of iterations, the show has gone from a single online video (“when the front page of YouTube was cool,” in Waters’ words) to primetime on basic cable.
“I love frustrated passion, when someone’s trying so hard to do something but they just, for whatever reason, can’t achieve it,” Waters said. Fitting, given the nature of the show, which features celebrities reenacting events from American history, as told by inebriated comedians and ordinary citizens alike. Waters explained, “They really want to tell the story and you really want them to get it right. You gotta have empathy for someone who’s in un-mint condition.”
READ MORE: A Drinking Game Interview With ‘Drunk History’ Creator Derek Waters
Waters also talked about how the show has preserved its spirit through all the various incarnations, particularly since Comedy Central hasn’t overridden any creative decisions, from the name of the show to having the occasional instance of male nudity. The main difference over that evolution from online to television? “I guess the biggest transition is just that now more people know about it. It makes me proud doing something that more people can see and that they like it,” Waters said.
Listen to the full episode (enhanced by a sip or two of whiskey, if you’d like) above.
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