Derek Waters and Kyle Kinane at the Drunk History panel. Photo: Esther Merono
How did you hear about the panel?
I've been watching Drunk History since I came across it on Funny or Die a few years ago, so when I saw that the creators were part of a panel to promote their upcoming series on Comedy Central, I immediately wanted to be there. It's always nice to bring a little variety to the SXSW experience, and the comedy portion of the festival is always underrated. I just wish this had been at Esther's Follies, 'cause that venue is one of my favorites (mostly because it's mermaid themed, not so much because we share a name).
What was the crowd's reaction?
Maybe because it was made up of some stiff interactive leftovers, or maybe because they were having some technical difficulties, but the crowd was a total bummer. I thought it was all hilarious, even the awkward silence while they tried to sync up the sound. There were some pretty hearty laughs during the preview clips, though, which included Michael Cera, Winona Ryder and Chris Parnell in a reenactment of Puritan-era religious activist Mary Dyer, and my favorite, Nick Offerman, as an arsonist in a separate historical account. Also present was stand-up comedian Kyle Kinane, who is one of the drunk narrators on the upcoming series, and didn't remember most of the night he spent telling the story of the Hay Market Riots. Creators Derek Waters and Jeremy Konners played some clips of him during the "off-camera" parts, acting a fool, and the brighter red his face got as he watched it all for the first time, the more I laughed.
If you were on Drunk History, what part would you play?
I was thinking about this during the panel, because one of the cool new things the series is doing is going around the country and getting people to tell stories about their own city. I could probably come up with some really great Mormon pioneer stories, but I don't think I'd be the best person to tell them for two reasons: 1) When I get drunk, I get quiet, and I go from buzzed to puking much faster than the average person. 2) There are two people I know who tell fascinating Salt Lake history stories, Xkot Toxsik and CJ Fishburn, and I bet they would both be absolutely hilarious telling their stories after a few drinks.
Most memorable moment?
Aside from when one of the interactive geeks in the audience was asked to fix the technical issues, Nick Offerman's reenactment of the upcoming "Arsonist" episode was definitely my favorite. I mean, it's Nick Offerman, but to watch him lip sync to a drunk guy slurring through a story––well, it was gold.
If Drunk History came to Salt Lake, what kind of history would they find?
Oh wow. There are so many crazy stories in Salt Lake. I mean, the inception of the Mormon church is a pretty insane story in itself, but within that, there's tons of conspiracy theories and tall tales, from brothels over on the west side, to corrupt church leaders and dirty politicians. I'd love to see a Drunk Mormon History.