John Wilkes Booth Goes from Actor to Assassin (feat. Adam Scott & Will Forte) – Drunk History


– HELLO. TODAY, WE’RE GONNA TALK
ABOUT JOHN WILKES BOOTH AND HIS BROTHER,
EDWIN BOOTH– THE BOOTH BROTHERS. EDWIN BOOTH
AND JOHN WILKES BOOTH WERE BORN TO A BRITISH ACTOR NAMED JU…NIUS
BRUTUS BOOTH. [laughs] EDWIN IS A FAVORITE
OF THEIR DAD. JUNIUS WAS SO MEAN,
HE WOULDN’T EVEN LET JOHN WILKES INTO PHOTOGRAPHS WITH HIM. JOHN WILKES, STAY BACK, MAN.
STAY AWAY. BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT COOL.
STOP. YOU’RE KINDA WEIRD.
YOU’RE WEIRDING EVERYBODY OUT. JUST BACK AWAY. AND HE BECAME SAD. WHICH ESTABLISHES
THEIR RIVALRY. IN 1858, JOHN WILKES
AND EDWIN BOOTH WERE THE MOST FAMOUS ACTORS
IN THE WORLD. PERFORMANCE-WISE,
EVERYONE LOVED EDWIN BOOTH. JOHN WILKES BOOTH–
HE WAS UNTRAINED. HE WOULD KNOCK SETS DOWN.
HE WAS SO VIOLENT. SO WHEN THE CIVIL WAR
BROKE OUT, JOHN WILKES BOOTH
IS LIKE, LINCOLN?
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? SLAVERY.
I DON’T EVEN GET IT. THAT WAS THE MOMENT
HIS POLITICAL ASPIRATIONS OVERTOOK
ARTISTIC ASPIRATION. HOWEVER, ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS REQUESTING
EDWIN PERFORM SHAKESPEARE AT GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS. AM I [bleep] IT UP, GUYS? WHAT’S UP, GUYS? WHAT–IS IT [bleep] IT UP? OKAY, OKAY.
[mumbling] OKAY.
RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. AT THE FORD’S THEATRE, WHEN JOHN WILKES BOOTH
WAS GESTICULATING, ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S SISTER-IN-LAW
IS LIKE, I THINK HE’S POINTING AT YOU,
ABRAHAM. AND ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS LIKE, IT DOES SEEM LIKE
HE’S POINTING AT ME. UHH… THIS IS A LITTLE WEIRD. HE SHOULD, UH, YOU KNOW, NOT BE POINTING AT ME
DURING THIS PARTICULAR LINE BECAUSE IT’S SORT OF…
AGGRESSIVE. IN NOVEMBER 1864,
EDWIN BOOTH IS LIKE, HEY, YOU KNOW,
I WANNA GET TO KNOW YOU BETTER. WE’VE HAD SOME HARD TIMES. LET’S DO A PLAY
TOGETHER AGAIN, FOR ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY–
JULIUS CAESAR.
JOHN WILKES’ FAVORITE ROLE
WAS BRUTUS, THE MAN THAT EXECUTES
A TYRANT. AND EDWIN BOOTH IS LIKE,
I GET TO PLAY BRUTUS. [trumpets sounding] FOR ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, IN THE PRODUCTION OF
JULIUS CAESAR,
EDWIN SAID,
“SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS,”
AND EVERYONE LOVES IT. CRITICS SAID THAT IT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT SHOW
OF ALL TIME. SO JOHN WILKES BOOTH
STARTED GETTING INVOLVED WITH A SECRET
CONFEDERATE SOCIETY AND HAD MASTERMINDED A PLAN
TO KIDNAP LINCOLN. UHH… MM-MM. SO JOHN WILKES BOOTH
WENT TO THE FORD’S THEATRE TO PICK UP HIS MAIL, AND JOHN FORD’S BROTHER
IS LIKE, HEY, ARE YOU GONNA COME SEE
OUR AMERICAN COUSIN
TONIGHT?OUR AMERICAN COUSIN?YOU GUYS ARE DOING
OUR AMERICAN COUSIN
TONIGHT? YEAH. ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S
GONNA BE HERE. YOU SHOULD COME. AND JOHN WILKES BOOTH
IS LIKE, UH, WHAT? ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S GONNA BE
AT THE THEATRE TONIGHT? OH, MY GOD. I’M GONNA CHANGE MY PLAN
FROM KIDNAPPING HIM… TO ASSASSINATING HIM. [laughter] SO ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S AT THE PLAY
OUR AMERICAN COUSIN
WITH HIS WIFE, MARY TODD. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. EVERYTHING’S
GOING PERFECTLY… UNTIL JOHN WILKES BOOTH… COMES INTO THEIR BOX. – WHA–
WHERE ARE WE? JOHN WILKES BOOTH
COMES INTO THEIR BOX AND SHOOTS LINCOLN
IN THE HEAD. AFTER HE SHOT LINCOLN,
HE JUMPED FROM THE BALCONY, BREAKING HIS ANKLE. OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW. OW, OW, OW, OW, OW, OW. OH, MY–I’M HURTING! – REALLY? [laughter] – OW, OW, OW, OW, OW. IN RAISING HIS KNIFE
IN THE AIR, HE SAID,
“‘T’ PLURIBUS…UNUM.”
I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT– AH, [bleep]. I CAN’T REMEMBER
WHAT THE [bleep] IT WAS. OH, I WISH I COULD REMEMBER. WA–
WAIT, WAIT!SIC TERAMIS TEMPEST.NO MORE TYRANNY… YOU KNOW…
BASICALLY. THAT’S JOHN WILKES BOOTH. AND HE’S SAYING A LINE
FROM [bleep]JULIUS CAESAR.AND HE’S LIKE,
THIS IS [bleep] PERFECT, AND EVERYBODY GETS
WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW. AFTER ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S
ASSASSINATION, EDWIN BOOTH DECIDES TO WRITE
A LETTER TO AMERICA, SAYING,
I’M RETIRING FROM ACTING AS A PENANCE
FOR WHAT MY BROTHER DID. HIS HORRIFYING ACT,
I’M DONE. FIVE MONTHS AFTER
ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS BURIED, EDWIN BOOTH IS LIKE,
I’M BACK! EVERYBODY RELAX,
I’M DOINGOUR AMERICAN COUSIN.I KNOW THAT’S THE ONE THAT MY BROTHER ASSASSINATED
ABRAHAM LINCOLN DURING. [chuckles] BUT THAT’S WHAT I’M GONNA DO. AND EVERYONE LOVES IT. AND HE’S BACK, BECAUSE HE’S KIND OF
EGOTISTICAL. NO ONE EVER TALKS
ABOUT EDWIN BOOTH. – [laughing] [speaking indistinctly] – DO YOU GUYS WANT ME
TO PUT A PIZZA IN THE OVEN?

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