Drunk History brought some interesting historical accounts to life last week in “Animals.” And while the stories themselves were all ludicrous, the reenactments made the stories even more entertaining. And knowing that the stories included people dressed as animals rather than actual animals inserted into an abusive narrative made life seem a little bit brighter. Here are a summary and some of the best moments from “Animals”!
Claudia O’Doherty Recounts the Time Rats Were Put on Trial
Did you know that a dolphin’s ejaculate can blast a human head off? I am going to promptly erase this fact from my memory just like I do with any negative information about otters. There are some things that are better left unsaid, Claudia.
Anyway, Claudia told the story of when a couple of farmers decide to sue the rats who ate their barley crops, which was completely logical and possible in 1508 France. But, shockingly, those vermin didn’t show up for their trial. This happened twice, and the lawyer representing the rats managed to get them acquited, but there’s no further record of the trial. Because the rats ate the documents.
The lawyer went on to get better jobs. I mean, he represented a rooster, so he really moved up in the world.
Mae Whitman Discusses the History of the ASPCA
Mae is undeniably one of the most charismatic drunk people I have ever seen in my life. Seeing her pluck a french fry out of her drink was adorable, although I have to say it was a little weird when Derek started roleplaying as a dog and she just kind of went with it. But that’s drunk people for you, I guess.
Henry Burgh visited St. Petersburgh and witnessed a man beating a donkey in the street, which sparked his resolve to found the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. In 1866, New York State legislature officially incorporated the ASPCA. Within a year, Burgh eradicated all rat and dog fighting locations except for one. But being the crafty guy he was, Burgh was eventually able to go undercover to one of the rat fights and ensure that police were stationed outside the secret tunnel that would ordinarily allow people to escape a police raid. He managed to quell the animal cruelty in New York and now the ASPCA is the leading defense against animal cruelty. What a rad dude.
Rich Fulcher Talks About a “Smart Ass Horse”
Rarely do we see someone as drunk as Rich Fulcher was in this episode. That man was a bumbling mess who actually fell asleep on camera. But that’s just how life be sometimes. And also how you know you’re about to hear a fucking wild story.
Wilhem von Osten was a high school teacher who loved animals so much that he tried to teach animals math. Eventually he found a horse, Clever Hans, who appeared to be able to do math by stomping its hooves for different numbers and he began touring to show off his magnificent beast. But people were suspicious about Clever Hans, so Oskar Pfungst tested the horse to see if he was really able to understand math. Pfungst discovered that Clever Hans was not carrying out math equations but actually responding to facial queues from those around him. Still a clever horse in my book though.
But no one cared that Hans couldn’t do math, and Hans went on tour again. He was also featured on the front page of The New York Times. To this day, the “Clever Hans Effect” is an actual, real thing recognized the psychology community. I, for one, was not equipped to handle this information but I can honestly say it’s the best bit of psychology I have ever learned. Thank you, drunk Rich Fulcher.
Drunk History airs a new episode, “The Middle Ages,” tonight July 10, 2018, at 10/9c on Comedy Central.