In the storytelling trades, coherence is a virtue. When recounting history, it helps when conveying the requisite facts to remember the important bits, offer a clean chronology and make the point with vigor.
For the makers of Comedy Central's "Drunk History," now in its second season, that's all secondary. Each episode is rooted in a particular city. Tuesday at 10 p.m., the Charleston segment airs, featuring three tall tales scrupulously tucked away in the history books.
Not so scrupulously, those stories will be told by drunkards in local bars ("passionate people having complications explaining what they're passionate about," is how creator Derek Waters explained it to Entertainment Weekly) and brought to skewed life by professional actors and comedians who will lip-synch the very words issued forth by the drinkers in their frothy stupor.
Want to learn about the 1856 caning of Massachusetts Congressman Charles Sumner by his South Carolina colleague in the House, Rep. Preston Brooks? Or how about Robert Smalls' courageous theft of the Planter and his subsequent service in the Statehouse? Or perhaps you are keen to understand the intricacies of Briggs v. Elliott and the famous Judge J. Waties Waring whose dissent laid the groundwork for desegregation?
You will have your chance tonight. Well, sort of.
Johnny Knoxville plays the cane-wielding Brooks; Patton Oswalt assumes the role of Sumner.
Brandon T. Jackson is Smalls. Rich Fulcher plays Waring; Busy Phillips embodies Waring's second wife, Elizabeth Hoffman.
Co-created by Waters and Jeremy Konner, the show is based on the "Funny or Die" web series. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are executive producers. The show has featured such actors as Jack Black, Michael Cera, Owen and Luke Wilson, Lisa Bonet, Laura Dern and several veterans of Saturday Night Live.