Derek Waters: The Emmy-Nominated Creator and Host of Drunk History

Derek Waters: The Emmy-nominated creator and Host of Drunk History

Derek Waters is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and director.

He is best known for his work on the Comedy Central series Drunk History which he created, executive produced, and hosted.

The show features celebrities and comedians getting drunk and narrating historical events, while actors reenact them in hilarious and absurd ways.

The show has been nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards and has won a Sundance Film Festival Award and a Webby Award.

In this article, we will explore his amazing life and career, from his childhood in Maryland to his comedy days in Los Angeles, to his Hollywood fame and fortune.

Derek Waters, Emmy-nominated creator and host of Drunk History, in a candid moment.
Emmy-nominated comedian and Drunk History creator, Derek Waters, bringing laughter and historical tales to life! [PHOTO: Instagram]

A Comedy Fan-Turned Performer

Derek Matthew Waters was born on July 30, 1979, in Baltimore, Maryland.

He is Jewish, dyslexic, and was in special education in school.

As a child, he aspired to be a professional baseball player, but didn’t make his high school team, and so became a Little League umpire.

He attended Towson High School in Towson, Maryland, graduating in 19983.

The following year, he went to Second City in Toronto, Canada, to study sketch and improv comedy.

A Breakthrough Role as Popeye Doyle

Waters moved to Los Angeles in 2002, where he worked at Tower Video, a job he liked since he had never been exposed to independent movies before.

He also performed sketch comedy in various venues, and formed a comedy duo with Simon Helberg, called Derek and Simon.

His big break came in 2006, when he was cast as Popeye Doyle in a TV movie that was a pilot for a proposed series.

Waters played the role in Popeye Doyle that Gene Hackman originally portrayed in the classic movie, The French Connection.

The TV movie and Waters’ performance received good reviews, but the series was not picked up.

However, the TV movie gave him exposure and credibility, and he started to get more roles in movies, TV shows, and commercials.

He appeared in movies like The Brothers Solomon, Hall Pass, and The Hangover Part III.

Also, he guest-starred on shows like The League, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and New Girl.

Also, he did voice work for animated shows like American Dad and Hot Streets.

He said that he was grateful and happy, and that he enjoyed working with different people and projects. ⁴

A Hit Show as Drunk History

In 2007, Derek Waters conceived “Drunk History,” a web series blending inebriated narrations of historical events by celebrities and comedians with comedic reenactments by actors.

Motivated by a friend’s drunken tale and his passion for history and comedy, Waters aimed for an educational yet entertaining show, emphasizing that he did not endorse excessive drinking.

He made the first episode of Drunk History with his friend Michael Cera, who played Alexander Hamilton, and posted it on YouTube.

The episode went viral and received millions of views and positive feedback.

He then made more episodes, featuring celebrities like Jack Black, Will Ferrell.

And Zooey Deschanel, and historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and Nikola Tesla.

In 2010, the Sundance Film Festival awarded the web series the jury prize in short filmmaking.

Additionally, it received a Webby Award nomination in 2011.

In 2013, Derek Waters transformed “Drunk History” into a Comedy Central TV series, serving as its creator, executive producer, and host.

The show, featuring intoxicated narrations of historical events by celebrities and comedians.

Also, alongside comedic reenactments, became a hit, running for six seasons until August 2019.

With a diverse lineup of participants and coverage of various historical events.

Therefore, the show earned Emmy nominations and won awards for Outstanding Costumes and Best Sketch/Improv Series.

A Legend and a Friend

Derek Waters, a highly regarded comedian and creator, has left an indelible mark on the industry.

Featured in major publications and honored by prestigious institutions, he has excelled in various shows and podcasts.

Beyond his professional success, Waters is known for his mentorship, advocacy for causes like ACLU and NAACP.

Also, and his passion for music and dogs, exemplified by his adorable pet Sadie.

Living in Los Angeles, California, Derek Waters, a content and fulfilled individual, finds joy in his work and life.

Grateful for family and friends, he embraces curiosity and continuous learning.

Thus, expressing hope for future ventures in creating shows and movies.



Derek Waters, an Emmy-nominated creator and host renowned for “Drunk History,”.

A comedic series blending inebriation with historical narratives.

Beyond his roles as actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and director in various media, Waters stands as an influential figure in the industry.

Recognized for his achievements, he extends friendship and mentorship to fellow comedians and actors, passionately supporting diverse causes.

A legend, a star, and a friend, Waters continues to captivate and inspire millions of fans.

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