There's Only One Thing That Would Make Me Get Drunk

I don't have a history of drinking, but that could be arranged.

There’s a lot for viewers to like in Ten’s Pilot Week. I’m particularly hoping for a bright future for Dave, the sitcom from the perennially funny and perennially underrated Dave O’Neil.

But for me, there is one pilot that means something more, that has struck a chord and aroused feelings of great hope and aspiration within me. That pilot is Drunk History Australia, and for this humble writer, it is not merely a show:

It is the arrival of my destiny.

Let me explain: I have never been drunk. Not once. The most alcohol I have ever consumed in a single day is one glass of champagne at my sister’s wedding. Never been tipsy. Never even come close.

When I tell people this they usually react with alarm and some suspicion, and interrogate me as to why this is. I always get the feeling they’re expecting me to reveal a deadly genetic condition, or that I’m a recovering alcoholic. They always seem slightly deflated by the actual reason: that I’ve never found an alcoholic drink I liked the taste of, and I’ve never really found being drunk an attractive proposition, therefore I’ve never been tempted to drink enough to get drunk.

Most people find this baffling, because they can’t imagine either disliking the taste of alcohol, or not wanting to be drunk. And I admit that I am in no way a normal person in this regard, but those are the facts: there are two reasons a person might get drunk, and neither of them have ever applied to me.

Except … all of a sudden now, there are three reasons to get drunk: love of alcohol, desire to be intoxicated, AND the new wild card: going on Drunk History to tell an interesting story from Australia’s past in an amusingly sloshed manner. And while the first two leave me cold, the third I find completely irresistible.

Drunk History is airing as part of Ten's Pilot Week.

Drunk History, in its American form, has been a favourite of mine for years. I’d always hoped an Australian version would come along. And as someone who not only self-identifies as a comedian (not everyone agrees with that identification, but let’s not get into that), but has written three books about Australian history -- new one out later this year, check it out Christmas shoppers! -- I feel that I am incredibly well-qualified to appear on the show.

That is IF this week’s pilot leads to a full series, which is obviously by no means certain -– it’s up against some stiff competition.

So I address myself to the powers that be at Ten: consider this not simply a heartfelt plea to put Drunk History into production, but a promise that if you do, and if you give me a chance to wax lyrical on it, you will be making history yourselves. Because if I am given a chance to go on Drunk History, I will, for the first time in my near-four decades on this planet, get drunk.

That’s right: I will break the habit of a lifetime, imbibe large amounts of substances I frankly dislike intensely, and show the entire nation the results, if you just give me -- and this excellent comedy format -- a chance.

I don’t make this pledge lightly. I am acutely aware that, having no idea just how drunkenness will affect me, allowing my first experience of it to take place in public and before an audience of thousands could prove embarrassing at best. What concerns me even more is that up untill now, the fact I’ve never been drunk is basically my only unique feature. Once I take the plunge, there’ll really be nothing to make me stand out from the crowd -- the one thing that potentially made me interesting to others will be gone.

Let's give this excellent comedy format a chance.

Yet I will do it, for Drunk History. Firstly, because I believe in this show. Secondly, because I believe in myself. But most of all, because I believe in the Great Australian Dream: appearing on television. There is no nobler aim, no more glorious fate, than to step into the harsh, beautiful spotlight cast by that happy medium. To be a TV star is not just my greatest desire; it is the apex of human achievement, the highest state to which a human can evolve. For such a prize I would suffer any pains, withstand any hardship, drain any glass.

The arrival of Drunk History Australia is the arrival of my destiny. All my years of slavering for fame and drinking Pepsi have been leading up to this. Please, Channel Ten, make a simple man’s dream come true.

If you support me in my quest, write to Ten to make your voice heard, with the subject line “MAKE HISTORY – GET BEN DRUNK”.