A cable television show in which drunken comedians offer inebriated takes on historical events is taking on one of New Mexico’s most violent uprisings: the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.
On Comedy Central’s Drunk History, beverage-swilling performers summarize tales from such chapters of history as the Watergate scandal or the American Revolution. The stories are frequently littered with slurred words, stutters, pauses and asides. Costumed actors perform scenes, lip-syncing as the narrator provides dialogue for all the characters.
A trailer for the upcoming episode shows a bearded Jason Mantzoukas, an American actor of Greek descent, playing a headband-wearing Popé, also known as Po’Pay, the Native American religious leader who led the rebellion against Spanish colonizers.
Comedian Fortune Feimster retells the story in which the Indians rose up, killed 400 Spanish colonists and drove the remainder from the area, at least temporarily.
“Popé was like, this is my place, don’t bother us, we’re doing our Indian stuff,” she says in a scene included in an online teaser for the show, scheduled to air Tuesday night. “He’s like very charismatic,” she says. “Everyone wanted to hang out with him.”
The trailer shows Spanish colonists casually shooting several Pueblo Indians. It also shows Po’Pay listening to a brightly adorned figure of a Native American god.
The history of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 is commonly taught in New Mexico classrooms. The causes of the rebellion, the blood that was spilled and the eventual Spanish recapture of Santa Fe are a part of local history that still generates some uneasiness in contemporary New Mexico. During the most recent Fiesta de Santa Fe celebration, a group protested an annual re-enactment of the Spanish reoccupation of Santa Fe, saying it glorified violence and the subjugation of Native Americans.
In recent years, vandals have spray-painted statues of Spanish colonists with words such as “murderer” or “killer.”
City historian Ana Pacheco said she didn’t notice any serious factual flaws in the TV trailer. She said the humor seemed crude, but she didn’t find it particularly offensive.
“If it gets someone to say, ‘Hey, I should check out this Po’Pay guy,’ then maybe they’re doing something on a positive note,” Pacheco said.
A news media representative for Comedy Central didn’t immediately respond to messages from The New Mexican on Monday evening.
The same episode also features an inebriated take on the purported 1947 crash landing of a UFO near Roswell.
The program is scheduled to air at 8:30 p.m.on the Comedy Central cable network.
Contact Chris Quintana at 986-3093 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CQuintanaSF.