If the stress of the 2016 election is making you want to pour yourself a drink, well, we can't blame you. But when it comes to boozing your way through history, Derek Waters is the expert.
Waters' show, Drunk History, in which he literally gets people drunk and has them narrate a historical anecdote, has been going strong for four seasons. On election night, the show will be airing a special election-themed episode celebrating America making it through yet another electoral cycle. The episode will feature a selection of presidential-themed stories from past episodes and new interstitials from Waters and co-host/drinking buddy Steve Berg.
Refinery29 talked to Waters about the special, his thoughts on how this year's election measures up to elections of the past, and his recommendations for people who are planning to booze their way through the balloting. See what he has to say, and check out an exclusive clip from the election special below.
There’s been some commentary on how politics used to be "more civilized." How do you think this election measures up to some of the nastier ones of the past?
"Well, it’s weird, because in the old days, they were very mean to each other. They would name-call each other, and [they] said mean things, and now it’s completely different, you know? Everyone’s so nice.
"It’s the same shit. It's been going on forever…Sometimes, people say things to hopefully just get what they want, which is to win…Jefferson and Adams were very mean to each other, they were calling each other 'hermaphrodite.' I forget which one accused the other of being dead, which is pretty amazing."
At least we haven’t gotten to that point.
"Yeah, neither Hillary or Donald have accused the other one of being dead. So I think we’re doing a lot better. We’re really improving."
The stories of history, particularly in politics, tend to be the stories of men. Where do women fit into this political history?
"It’s in this episode for a reason, the fact that Edith Wilson was running the country after Woodrow Wilson had had a stroke — I don’t think a lot of people know about that — and the fact that she did so well in a time when women weren’t allowed to do much. For her to be running a country and be making decisions was pretty remarkable.
"There’s many more women that we need to show on [Drunk History]. Damn history books like to hide the women, and my job is to find them and tell more people about them."
Why did you decide to do an election special in the first place?
"Comedy Central asked me.
"A better answer would be, 'It’s a very important election, and I feel very blessed that I’ve been given a gift to have a show on television that people can see.' It’s just a coincidence that we air on Tuesdays, and that we air on election night.
"[Berg] and I do the in-between little wraparounds throughout the episode, which are very exciting. Not to give anything away, but there is a turtle race. There’s a Hillary Turtle and a Donald Turtle. And we’ll see which turtle will become president."
Do you know which turtle wins?
"I do, but I can’t tell you. I can’t tell you the future."
You've got to be the expert on this: For those going to election night parties, what’s your best hangover cure?
"Honestly — I’m not sponsored by this company, but it’s called Motive Pure. It was designed by a guy in Baltimore for athletes to stay hydrated throughout the game. That is the best hangover cure. You put it in your water, it basically turns water into a stronger Gatorade, and I have yet to be hungover since I found this thing."
Do you have anything you want to tell America?
"No matter who wins, that we all agree to make better history together."
Drunk History's Election Special airs on Comedy Central on Tuesday, November 8 at 10:30 p.m. EST.
This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.