Lin-Manuel Miranda has made history—by recreating it—on the Broadway stage with his musical Hamilton, and now it’s time to raise a glass! Drunk History creator and star Derek Waters traveled to Miranda’s childhood home far uptown in Inwood, NY, for a drink (or several) with the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner. The two talked about the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr as Miranda narrated the history of the ten-dollar founding father.
“Do you want to get drunk?” Waters asks Miranda to kick off the half-hour episode. He replies, “Yeah, we should do that.”
Here are our five favorite moments from the episode:
Lin-Manuel Getting Drunk:
“Imma lean forward. Oh, sh*t, I’m drunk,” says Miranda, in the first five minutes of the Comedy Central episode. “I’m pretty drunk. I’m giggly, and there’s gaps in my memory—already.” Miranda kicks off the episode with a full glass of a dark liquor to narrate the rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr—the basis for his Broadway musical. It’s the whole point of the Comedy Central television series—get the narrator completely wasted while recounting stories that went down in the history books. “I want to order Dominos,” he admits by the middle of the episode. By the end, he was eating French fries with Waters and banging out tunes on the piano.
Within the first three minutes of Miranda’s Drunk History episode, he drops the F-bomb and gets censored by the network. (He was having trouble introducing himself to audiences at the very start, but we’ll let it slide.) If our tally is correct, in the span of 30 minutes, Miranda says the F-word 26 times, plus once in the final credits. We didn’t bother counting the other expletives he used. Cheers!
Including Women in the Sequel:
Miranda functions only as the narrator of Drunk History, whereas in his megahit Broadway musical he also starred. This time, as he narrates, the action is played out by actors lip-synching his words. The show’s leading characters, Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, are played by women (and they’re super badass, to boot). Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza plays Aaron Burr, and Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat stars as Alexander Hamilton. Even when Hamilton’s character engages in the infamous affair with Maria Reynolds, both are played by women. Hamilton is known for changing the game in colorblind casting, and this Drunk History version is no exception.
In the middle of the episode, Miranda gets a text from Questlove, frontman for The Roots and producer behind the Hamilton cast album and the soon-to-be-released Hamilton Mixtape. After learning that Miranda was filming Drunk History, Questlove FaceTimes him. (Naturally, Miranda sports a Hamilton phone case.) “My girl and I got together based on our love for Drunk History,” Questlove says, to which Miranda replies in song, “History has its eyes on you!” He also FaceTimes, in a separate segment, with his right-hand man, Tony Award nominee Christopher Jackson. “I think you’re great,” he tells Jackson. “You’re my best friend. As long as I got a job, you got a job.”
Towards the episode’s end, Miranda quotes Semisonic’s 1998 hit song “Closing Time,” saying, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” as he recounts a story about Alexander Hamilton standing on a bar singing to his friends. Before you know it, Miranda goes to the piano to play Waters his graduation song, “Closing Time.” And, the two sing, “I know who I want to take me home….” Considering how much alcohol they’ve consumed by this point, it’s pretty epic.
Over the course of the 30-minute show, Miranda tells the story he studied ever-so closely to create one of Broadway’s most popular musicals. The beauty of this special? He included a few details of the original story, like when Hamilton emigrated to the U.S. and that ship caught fire. “This is the stuff you can’t do in the play,” he says, “Like, ‘Here comes sick-ass Hamilton on a flaming ship. Your ass will never be the same!’” His words, not ours.
Michael Gioia is the Features Manager at Playbill.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.