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'Drunk History' recap: The movie that no one will let you see

Season 2 | Episode 6 | “Hollywood” | Aired Aug 5, 2014

Drunk History has finally taken its talents to Hollywood. With decades of famous rivalries, creative differences and political opportunists in its past, the city at the heart of show business has enough stories to fill a TV series all its own. I’ll start a crusade for The Real Drunk History of Hollywood as soon as I’m promised dinner with Tony Hale in that wig. Until then, let’s see what lessons we can learn in Tinseltown.

1. Forbidden movies are usually the coolest.

In 1938, Orson Welles (Jack Black) was a hot commodity in Hollywood, thanks to his sensational radio broadcast of War of the Worlds. Meanwhile, William Randolph Hearst (John Lithgow) spent his days in his literal castle, managing his newspaper empire. Welles knew a screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz, who had been to Hearst Castle, so they teamed up to write a movie about it. That screenplay became Citizen Kane. Worried that it trashed his name, Hearst forbade his papers from even mentioning the film, and he warned cinemas that he would pull their ads if they showed it.

Rather than give up, Welles just decided to move the party outside and show his film in tents. People flocked to see Citizen Kane, dubbed “The Movie That No One Will Let You See,” because people love doing what they’re told not to do. They also love outdoor movies. Welles and Mankiewicz won an Oscar for screenwriting, and Hearst will forever be associated with the name Kane.

drunk history jack black john lithgow2. Elevator encounters do happen.

It seems like a Hollywood cliché: You just happen to find yourself in an elevator with your biggest rival, and you think of the best possible comeback at just the right moment. Maybe it’s a cliché because in Hollywood, it’s actually happened. Welles and Hearst found themselves in the same elevator, and Welles asked Hearst if he’d seen Citizen Kane. Hearst swore he never would, but Welles got the last word by insisting that Kane would see the movie. Then again, since Hearst never wanted to be associated with Kane, maybe that’s a compliment.

3. Be careful who you ask to draw Mickey Mouse.

In Kansas City, in 1919, animator Ub Iwerks (Tony Hale) was working with Walt Disney (Michael Angarano). Iwerks had an idea for putting live-action people into animated frames, so he and Disney created a series of shorts called Alice Comedies. Disney took the comedies to the head of Universal Animation, Charles Mintz (Derek Waters), who hired Iwerks and Disney to work with him. In 1927, Mintz stole Iwerks’s creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and Disney vowed never to let that happen again.

Iwerks followed Disney out of the company, and they got to work on a new character: Mickey Mouse. In two weeks, Iwerks churned out two months’ worth of animation to bring Mickey to life. Walt loved the work, but he wanted to make it bigger, so Iwerks suggested syncing the sound and the picture. The result was Steamboat Willie. Mickey’s first full-length animated film received standing ovations for its sound work (“This mouse is whistling along with what his mouth is doing!”), but Disney started taking Iwerks for granted. When a child asked Disney to draw Mickey Mouse, he agreed and handed the paper to Iwerks, who quit right there.

4. Negotiate like you mean it.

Iwerks formed his own company, Iwerks Animation, where animation was anarchy. He drew animals that lost limbs and women whose dresses blew off. Regulations put a stop to that, and Iwerks Animation closed down. Hearing about this, Disney met Iwerks for lunch and asked him to return. Iwerks agreed, but only on the condition that he would not be an animator. He wanted to run the company’s photographic effects. Disney agreed, and Iwerks had a hand in everything from the Mary Poppins penguin dance—for which he won a technical effects Oscar—to the rides at Disneyland. Keep his success in mind next time you’re in a negotiation.

drunk history tony hale disney5. Tony Hale’s eyebrow work is strong.

Hale and Angarano have a great comedic partnership going on here. Their energy is infectious and their exaggerated laughter is perfectly synchronized; their Iwerks and Disney really do seem like they’ve known each other for decades and are just having fun. At one point, Hale starts drumming on a bunch of straws with two spoons, just because he can.

drunk history reagan nick kroll6. Getting put on a Communist blacklist is a fun way to meet singles in your area.

In 1949, actress Nancy Davis (Lindsay Sloane) was blacklisted. She contacted the president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan (Nick Kroll), to ask for his help, and he agreed to meet her for dinner. After Reagan corrected the clerical error that had landed Nancy on the list, the two were married. Nancy convinced Reagan that they wouldn’t make it as actors, but that they had a chance in politics. They could be the faces of conservatism. She basically became her husband’s manager, instructing him to present himself like an actor in a world of politicians. Reagan put himself on the map with a speech he gave for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election, and the rest—his election as governor and, eventually, as President of the United States—is history. Nancy wanted people to know her name, and she made it happen.

Hollywood is full of people like Nancy Reagan and Ub Iwerks who do the work to make others look good. Did you know their stories or the story behind Citizen Kane? And how eerily accurate is Jack Black as Orson Welles?

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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