The Son of Notorious Arsonist Johnny Cool Tells His Story (feat. Nick Offerman) – Drunk History


HELLO. MY NAME’S CHRIS ROMANO, AND WE’RE GONNA TALK
ABOUT JOHNNY COOL, WHO HAPPENED TO BE
THE MOST FAMOUS ARSONIST IN THE HISTORY
OF MASSACHUSETTS. – AND WHO WAS HE…TO YOU? – HE’S MY DAD. [laughter] MY MOM SAID TO ME,
WHEN I WAS 14, YOUR DAD’S NOT
WHO HE SAID HE WAS. AND I SAID,
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? YOUR FATHER WAS AN ARSONIST
IN THE ’70s. I SAID, I DON’T REALLY KNOW
WHAT THAT IS… AT ALL. ANYTHING THAT YOU COULD GET
FOR INSURANCE, YOU BURN IT DOWN. BECAUSE OF THAT, WE WERE PUT IN
THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. NOW, I SAID, WHAT? AND SHE SAID, YOU’RE IN
THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. YOUR REAL LAST NAME’S
NOT ROMANO. IT’S SHAHEEN. YOU’RE NOT REALLY ITALIAN.
YOU’RE LEBANESE. AND I WAS LIKE,
AW, MA– AW, MAN. MY DAD IS KNOWN
FOR BURNING DOWN THE MOST AMOUNT OF PLACES IN THE HISTORY
OF NEW ENGLAND. MY DAD’S REAL NAME
WAS JOHN SHAHEEN. HE WENT BY “JOHNNY COOL.” BUT THE THING IS THEY CALLED MY DAD
AND HIS PARTNER GEORGIE THE GOLD DUST TWINS. MY PRONUNCIATION’S– I’M SORRY,
MY PRONUNCIATION’S BAD. – THAT’S FINE.
– YOU CAN UNDERSTAND ME? – I CAN UNDERSTAND YOU.
– YOU CAN UNDERSTAND? – YEAH. – GEORGIE WAS LIKE,
I GOT THIS JOB. WE SHOULD GO DO IT. WHAT DO YOU NEED ME
TO BURN DOWN? ONE OF THE BIGGEST
HOTEL CONSTRUCTIONS IN NEW ENGLAND. THIS IS PERFECT. SO THEY GO TO THE HOTEL. THEY MEET UP WITH THE GUY. THE GUY WHO HIRED HIM SAYS, I NEED YOU TO BURN THIS PLACE
TO THE [bleep] GROUND. I OWE A LOT OF MONEY ON IT. I PUT TOO MUCH MONEY
INTO THE ROOMS. I PUT TOO MUCH MONEY
INTO THE CARPETS. I PUT TOO MUCH MONEY
INTO THE KITCHENS. I PUT TOO MUCH MONEY
INTO THE– INTO THE DRAPES! AND MY DAD SAYS, NO PROBLEM.
I’M THE BEST. THAT’S WHY YOU [bleep]
HAD ME COME. [rock music] SO–SO MY DAD BURNT THAT… HOTEL DOWN. ♪ ♪ AND WHAT WAS CRAZY
ABOUT MY DAD WAS, WHILE THE PLACE WAS BURNING,
HE WOULD STICK AROUND AND WATCH IT BURN DOWN
WITH THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND EVERYBODY ELSE, AND GO, WOW!
THAT’S A FIRE, HUH? AND PEOPLE WOULD GO,
YEAH, THAT’S A [bleep]… CRAZY-LOOKIN’ FIRE. AND HE’D GO, WHOO! [bleep] THING IS–
LOOKS HOT. UM–
[drink spills] [laughing] – WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
OH! [laughs hysterically] [laughter and applause] CHRIS ROMANO. [patriotic music] – IN 1979, MY DAD WAS ARRESTED
FOR COUNTERFEIT MONEY. AND HE SAID,
COUNTERFEIT? UM, THAT’S NOTHING.
LET’S TALK ABOUT ARSON. THE AGENT’S LIKE,
OKAY. I BURNT DOWN OVER 200 HOUSES. 100 CARS, 100 BOATS,
HOTELS. LIQUOR STORES. I’MA [bleep]–I’M GOOD
AT [bleep] BURNING [bleep] DOWN. THE AGENT WAS LIKE,
EXCUSE ME. UM, THIS GUY
JUST IS [bleep] TELLING– HE JUST BROKE OPEN
THE BIGGEST ARSON CASE IN THE HISTORY
OF MASSACHUSETTS THAT WE’VE BEEN TRYING
TO SOLVE FOR TEN YEARS. I’M NOT GONNA BE HOME FOR DINNER
OR BREAKFAST OR LUNCH. THE INVESTIGATOR SAID, YOU CAN GO STRAIGHT, AND WE’RE GOING TO GIVE YOU
THAT OPPORTUNITY TO GO STRAIGHT. JUST TELL US
WHO YOU WORK WITH, AND, YOU KNOW, WE CAN MAKE THIS
VERY, VERY EASY FOR YOU. HE JUST FOUND OUT THAT MY MOTHER
WAS PREGNANT WITH ME. SO HE RATTED
ON HIS BEST FRIEND. HE RATTED ON EVERYBODY
HE EVER BURNT DOWN A HOUSE FOR. AND THAT CAUSED EVERYBODY TO GO,
WELL, I WANNA KILL YOU… BECAUSE YOU HAVE
JUST TOLD ON ME. [stammering, slurring] I DIDN’T HAVE–
AND I’M NOT LIKE I [bleep]– [soft rock music] THEY MOVED US
TO NEW HAMPSHIRE. THEY GAVE US
A NEW IDENTITY. AND THEY GAVE HIM
THE MONEY. AND THEY SAID,
YOU CAN’T– LIKE ANYBODY ELSE WHO’S IN
THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM, YOU CAN’T DO
WHAT YOU NORMALLY DID AND– WHEN YOU WEREN’T IN
THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM– ARE YOU GONNA DO THIS,
BE ABLE TO GO STRAIGHT, JOHNNY? AND HE SAID,
I THINK SO. BUT YOU KNOW ME. IF ALL ELSE FAILS, ALL I WANNA DO
IS BURN, BURN, BURN. [cheerful music] ♪ ♪ IF PEOPLE EVER HAVE THE FACT THAT PEOPLE THINK
THEY KNOW WHO PEOPLE ARE, THEY HAVE NO CLUE
WHO… REAL PEOPLE–
REAL PEOPLE KNOW WHO THEY ARE.

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