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'Drunk History' recap: All I have is this stick

Season 2 | Episode 2 | “New York City” | Aired July 8, 2014

Drunk History has finally made its midnight ride to New York City. I assume that this show only rides at midnight, and as it turns out, not all of those rides are remembered by the history books. What other lessons are on tap tonight in the city that never sleeps?

1. You can Kickstart national monuments if you want.

In 1865, French sculptor Frederic Bartholdi (Taran Killam) had an idea, which is to say that his friend had an idea. (Pour one for all of the forgotten best friends of famous people.) Bartholdi’s friend pointed out that someone was sure to give the United States a 100th birthday gift, and it might as well be France. With that in mind, Bartholdi designed a statue of a woman who would light the way with her golden torch. He presented a model to Congress, but they weren’t interested in accepting anything from anyone French. (“The French are kinda not Americans.”) Bartholdi went ahead and built it anyway. He couldn’t worry about whether the United States would take his gift or leave it. He could only worry about making a 300-foot copper statue, which is a pretty significant worry as it is.

Frederic Bartholdi Drunk HistoryBy 1876, Bartholdi had only finished the statue’s arm, but his craftsmanship was so on point that Congress agreed to accept the gift after all. Their budget was firm: They would pay for nothing. Even the statue’s base was too much of an expense. Fortunately, American journalist Joseph Pulitzer (Brett Gelman) took up the cause, asking people to donate in exchange for recognition in the newspaper. Pulitzer was flooded with more than enough change to secure a base for the statue. Bartholdi’s work was finally unveiled in 1886, with Bartholdi standing proudly on the torch balcony, while his best friend probably sat at home alone. And that’s the story of how the Statue of Liberty was basically a Kickstarter project.

2. Always carry a tree branch.

Sybil Ludington (Juno Temple) was a 16-year-old girl living in New York at the start of the American Revolution. Her father, Henry (Paul Scheer), head of the local militia, received word one night that the British were burning the town of Danbury, Connecticut. He needed to stay close to home and formulate a plan, but he also needed to gather his troops, some of whom lived as many as 40 miles away. (“It’s not like you can send an Evite out.”) Sybil volunteered to make the trip, and Henry didn’t have any choice but to let her go. Through rain and into the night, she alerted the militia, grabbing a tree branch to hit people’s doors as she went.

Henry Ludington Drunk HistoryAs she rounded a corner, a man jumped out and tried to get her off of the horse, so Sybil beat him with her branch and kept right on riding. A militia of 400 men followed her back home, and together they fought back against the British. George Washington later showed up at the Ludingtons’ door to personally congratulate Sybil on her 40-mile ride. A teenage girl did twice as much work as Paul Revere, and no one remembers her. Carry a big stick in her honor.

3. Make them underestimate you.

In the 1880s, journalist Nellie Bly (Laura Dern) tired of reading the usual sexist articles and went to New York City to write something real. She knocked on the door of every newspaper she could think of before meeting Joseph Pulitzer (Matt Walsh), who didn’t take her seriously, but did have an idea. Pulitzer offered Bly a job that most of his journalists had probably been too afraid to accept: He wanted her to fake mental illness in order to go undercover at Blackwell’s Island, the women’s insane asylum. Bly agreed. After a night practicing her craziest faces in the mirror, she went to a boarding house and feigned insanity so well that the headmistress had her committed. (“Yes. This is working. This is super-working for me. I’m super-happy.”)

Nellie Bly Drunk HistoryThe treatment Bly uncovered was brutal. Nurses (Michaela Watkins) beat people, and doctors (Derek Waters) deemed women crazy who were perfectly sane but couldn’t speak English. Conditions were cold and unsanitary. After 10 days, Pulitzer revealed his scheme, and Bly wrote an article exposing the misconduct at Blackwell’s Island. Her work was instrumental in getting more funding for the nation’s mental health institutions. Tell that to the next person who catches you making faces in the mirror.

Were you familiar with these stories before this episode? What else about New York hasn’t made the history books? And exactly how much better would history be if it always involved Laura Dern barking like a dog?

Drunk History, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on Comedy Central.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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