1. Your weekly streaming recommendation: Drunk History

    Amazon recently added a number of HBO TV shows to its Instant Streaming service, giving subscribers who haven’t seen The Sopranos or The Wire a chance to see what they’ve been missing out on. But what about the TV shows that were already exclusive to Amazon Prime? All month, we’ll be counting down some of Amazon Prime’s non-HBO exclusives. This week: Drunk History.

    Drunk History's concept is so simple and so endearing that it's amazing that it took so long for someone to invent it. After consuming large quantities of the tipple of their choice, the narrator attempts to coherently recount the story of a major historical event. The audio is then recreated by a wide range of talented comedic actors — including Kristen Wiig, Jack Black, Jason Schwartzmann, and dozens of others — who don costumes and act the entire story out, word-for-word, down to every boozy digression. 

    Though the actors remain completely straight-faced in their recreations, the goal is less “let’s learn something about history” than “let’s have a wacky time telling stories” — so any facts you end up “learning” should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

    Drunk History began life as a web series on Funny or Die, where entries were usually around five minutes long — but the concepts works perfectly in the 30-minute chunks of a Comedy Central series. Each episode features three drunken narrators who work under a consistent theme. One episode might tackle notable events in Atlanta’s history, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s meeting with J. Edgar Hoover or the invention of Coca-Cola; another might focus on highlights from the peak of the Wild West era, including the exploits of Billy the Kid or the legendary battle at the Alamo.

    By the time you’ve seen a few segments, the fun of Drunk History is so infectious that you’ll probably want to join in — so grab a couple bottles of wine, invite some of your funniest friends over, and use the series as an entry point to your own evening of boozy storytelling.

     


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  3. In 1860, an 11-year-old girl wrote to Abe Lincoln, suggesting he grow a beard. He not only responded, he obliged.

    "Hon A B Lincoln…

    Dear Sir

    My father has just home from the fair and brought home your picture and Mr. Hamlin’s. I am a little girl only 11 years old, but want you should be President of the United States very much so I hope you wont think me very bold to write to such a great man as you are. Have you any little girls about as large as I am if so give them my love and tell her to write to me if you cannot answer this letter. I have got 4 brothers and part of them will vote for you any way and if you let your whiskers grow I will try and get the rest of them to vote for you you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin. All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you and then you would be President. My father is going to vote for you and if I was a man I would vote for you to but I will try to get every one to vote for you that I can I think that rail fence around your picture makes it look very pretty I have got a little baby sister she is nine weeks old and is just as cunning as can be. When you direct your letter direct to Grace Bedell Westfield Chautauqua County New York. 

    I must not write any more answer this letter right off Good bye

    Grace Bedell”

    Lincoln responded a few days later: 

    "Miss Grace Bedell

    My dear little Miss 

    Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is received — I regret the necessity of saying I have no daughters — I have three sons — one seventeen, one nine, and one seven years of age — They, with their mother, constitute my whole family — As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin it now? 

    Your very sincere well wisher,

    A. Lincoln”

    While he made no promises about the beard to Bedell, he stopped shaving and allowed the beard to grow not long after their exchange and was elected as the 16th president of the United States a few weeks later. On his inaugural train ride from Illinois to Washington, D.C., the president-elect stopped in Bedell’s hometown of Westfield, N.Y., and asked to meet her.

    (Source: theweek.com)