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Ready for another round of Comedy Central's 'Drunk History'

The third time I watched the first episode of Comedy Central's new series "Drunk History" (Tuesday, 10 p.m.), I laughed even more than I did the first two times. At least for two thirds of the show (more on that later).

The way "Drunk History" works is that co-creators Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner get comedian friends plastered and film them telling famous stories from American history. Which is funny. But then, Waters and Konner enlist well-known actors to act out the stories, perfectly lip-synching the drunken ramblings of the narrators. Which is hilarious.

(Note: You may already be familiar with "Drunk History" from the FunnyOrDie website where the sketches attracted stars like Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling. If not, you'll want to get over there right away and start catching up.)

The first episode for Comedy Central, which is already available online, focuses on events that happened in Washington, D.C.: Woodward and Bernstein break the Watergate story, narrated by Matt Gourley; the sibling rivalry of John Wilkes Booth (Lincoln's assassin) and his brother Edwin, narrated by Allan McLeod; and Elvis meets Nixon, narrated by Eric Edelstein.

Gourley is a charming, almost dignified drunk -- at least up until the point he vomits mid-story. But even that's kinda cute. Gourley's Watergate story is acted out by Nathan Fielder (as Bob Woodward -- or as Gourley calls him, Robert Woodward), Fred Willard (Deep Throat) and Bob Odenkirk (Richard Nixon). All great, but Gourley is the star of this segment.

McLeod is even funnier, though, trying to get through the story of the events that led John Wilkes Booth to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. In that story, Will Forte plays Edwin Booth, Stephen Merchant plays Abraham Lincoln (quite funny in his one speaking scene) and Adam Scott (pictured above with Forte) is John Wilkes Booth. I'm starting an Emmy campaign now for Scott, who is laugh-out-loud perfection miming McLeod's drunken rants and mutterings.

Not as funny is the third story, Edelstein recounting the time Elvis (horribly overplayed here by Jack Black) met Nixon (Odenkirk again). The least said about that, the better.

Some of the other narrators of "Drunk History" will include Kyle Kinane, Jen Kirkman and Jenny Slate. The actors lined up to act out the stories of Patty Hearst, Al Capone, the Scopes Monkey Trial and many others include Jake Johnson, Kevin Nealon, Kristen Wiig, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Parnell and Luke and Owen Wilson.

The eight episodes ordered up by Comedy Central (or at least the segments within the episodes) could very well be hit-and-miss (see Jack Black above), but if even a handful of the stories capture the magic of McLeod and Scott -- or offer a moment like Gourley's clumsy attempt to cuddle mid-story with his freaked-out cat -- "Drunk History" will be one of the most solid half-hour TV bets on the schedule.

Tenacious D: The little boys understand

As I occasionally do when I'm about to interview somebody (in)famous, I put out the word on my Facebook page soliciting questions shortly before getting on the phone with the satirical-rock duo Tenacious D. As usual, I got a few suggestions I actually used (including, "How rare is friendship," a reference to one of their songs) and a lot more gags ("What exactly are you Tenacious about?" "Ever hear from Tenacious E and F?") -- and also a surprising amount of vitriol. Let's just say that Jack Black has some high negatives out there.

But I can only submit that my 13-year-old son was more impressed at me interviewing Black than anyone else I've spoken to lately; and as another Facebook friend reminded me, Black was also kind enough to donate a guitar to North Carolina tornado relief in 2011.

So haters gonna hate, but the interview turned out to be some pretty good, stupid fun. See that here, along with details about their Friday night show in Raleigh.

Scotty talks about 'snubbing' Jack Black, dance numbers, Hollywood Week

Did Scotty McCreery really mean to snub comedian Jack Black on the night of the "American Idol" finale? What did Scotty really think about those group song-and-dance numbers the finalists had to do? And was Hollywood Week really as dramatic as it looked on TV?

Here are some more tidbits from our recent interview with Scotty. For our story on how he is balancing his new fame and being a teen, go here.

Buy a guitar, help out

Kudos to Jack Black, who is pitching in by auctioning off some of his guitars to raise money for disaster relief in Japan, New Zealand -- and North Carolina. The guitar earmarked for North Carolina tornado relief is an instrument that Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder gave to Black's group Tenacious D after smashing it onstage in Los Angeles in 1998 (Vedder also autographed it). Bidding ends Saturday. For details, go here.

'Survivor': Should I stay or should I go?

Fresh from last week's rather dull clip show, we get what may be the most bizarro episode of "Survivor" ever. No one is voted out, but by the end of the hour, two of the nine contestants have left the game.

There is no Immunity Challenge, but we get a tense Tribal Council in which host Jeff Probst sharply questions contestants like some sort of Island Judge Judy.

Swim coach Holly, who earlier this season was a nut job who threw a fellow contestant's shoes in the water and wanted to quit the game, somehow emerges as a motivational voice of reason.

Plus, there's a Reward Challenge that features what may be the single most blatant product placement in the 21 seasons of "Survivor."

What to Watch on Thursday: Royal Pains still a pleasure

Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night (8pm, ABC) - Kimmel's NBA Finals special tonight features Jack Black and Michael Cera (left), stars of the upcoming movie "Year One." Game 4 between the Lakers and Magic to follow at 9pm.

Burn Notice (9pm, USA) - A detective finds Michael's stash of explosives, so he has to scramble to hide it all before she gets a search warrant. We're pretty sure Michael has a clever trick for hiding weapons in a hurry. All of this while Sam and Fi help him locate a kidnapping victim. 

Royal Pains (10pm, USA) - This is a fun new summer series, so if you missed the premiere last week just read Adrienne's review and jump in tonight. Hank (right) treats a retired ballerina who eats till she collapses, and Jill loses funding for her free clinic. 

Naked Science (10pm, NGC) - National Geographic Channel's "Twister Outbreak" examines an off-season outbreak of tornados in February 2008 when 87 twisters swept across nine states killing 57 people.

Late Show with David Letterman (11:35pm, CBS) - Letterman isn't rolling over for Conan. Tonight he has Denzel Washington, the Jonas Brothers, and Regis Philbin doing the Top Ten List. 

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