Variety scored an interview with Chloe Arbiture, the Emmy-nominated production designer, wherein she gave everyone some insight into the making of the Comedy Central series, Drunk History.
For those who don’t know, Drunk History is the sketch series which builds a recreation of history as told by drunken actors, comedians, and barflies. The cast within the sketches rotates, with names like Alia Shawkat, Chris Parnell, Jake Johnson, Weird Al Yankovic, Jack Black, Ron Funches, Kyle Kinane, and Stephen Merchant having taken part in the series. The sketches themselves are muted with a score playing over them and dialogue being voiced by the inebriated folks narrating the story. The comedians and actors overact every scene in a vaudeville style to make up for the lack of dialogue.
It was created by Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, the former of whom often takes part in the sketches himself and interviews the drunken subjects.
It’s been a hit, having hit five seasons.
This apparently hasn’t made it an easy task for the people in charge of creating the sets for the series, according to Ms. Arbiture:
“There’s 10 episodes, and we shoot three stories per episode and one a day,” says Arbiture. “Each story has its own time period and up to 14 different sets. On top of that, we have no prep. Everything has to be shot in a single day.”
She continues with the following:
“The call is at 7 a.m. every day, but the art departments arrives at 5 a.m…. By 7:45 a.m. we’re busy shooting, and by 11 a.m. we’re done and the set is already broken down.”
Needless to say, this does very much sound like a rough work schedule. Having to build this many sets on that timetable sounds like a challenge for even the most seasoned production crews.
Drunk History will be arriving at some point this year, with Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton and Moana fame participating in the liquor-fueled shenanigans this season. This season will have 14 episodes.