Where the creator of “Drunk History” travels, and why he wears a suit on the plane.
Derek Waters is the creator and star of the Comedy Central show “Drunk History,” on which comedians attempt to recount and re-enact historical events while throwing back booze. Season 4 premieres in September.
Where he goes
Waters, 37, lives in Los Angeles but loves going home to Baltimore to see his family and high school friends. ” I can play with their kids,” he says. “And then leave whenever I want.”
He also goes to Ocean City, Md., which is close to where he grew up. “It’s where everyone goes to get out of the city and be by the water and eat crabs,” he says. “There are really no words for it, it’s just somewhere you have to see. I’ve been writing a show about it that I’m going to make when ‘Drunk History’ is finished.”
He doesn’t take much vacation, but when he does he heads north.
“In 2015 I had five days off and I went to Big Sur,” he says. “I love, love, love Big Sur, it’s one of my all-time favorite places to go. I’ve only been able to afford to go there twice, but I like to stay at the Post Ranch Inn. You sleep in a treehouse and it overlooks the ocean and you can see the stars. It’s like camping, but not in a tent.
“When I was a kid, we took vacations in an RV, which is like camping for spoiled kids. At the time, of course, you hate it, but the older you get the more you think it’s nice for the whole family to be forced to be together.”
Other favorite destinations include Austin, Texas, which he says has art without arrogance.
“Maybe it’s because I’ve never lived in Austin, but people have a very laid-back way about them, but they’re also doing artistic things,” Waters says.
He’ll also go anywhere Pearl Jam is playing. He speaks about them with unbridled enthusiasm. “They’re still the best live band ever; they never play the same show,” he says.
His tip for avoiding germs in hotel rooms comes from his brother, Justin, who always puts the TV remote in a plastic bag. “Since he told me that, every time I go into a hotel room I think about doing it,” he says. “But he’s my older brother, so I’m not going to.”
What he takes
Here’s what he packs on every trip.
Disposable toothbrushes. “I just discovered these mini toothbrushes. I take a regular toothbrush for morning and night; these are just for during the day. Some people have a dentist, I have Colgate Wisp Max Fresh.”
Orioles hat. “Because I’m from Baltimore. I’m not a jock, I just love my town.”
Books. “I always take this book called ‘Addie Pray.’ It’s the book that ‘Paper Moon’ was based on. I love ‘Paper Moon’ and I love this book. I read it on the plane, mostly, because I hate flying. I guess it’s a 36-year-old’s sleep blanket, I just feel safe having it. I also listen to audiobooks and the best one, besides David Carr’s ‘The Night of the Gun,’ is David Spade’s ‘Almost Interesting.’ I’ve listened to it two times and will probably listen to it three more times on my next trip.”
Inspirational photo. “I always have a picture of Chris Farley in my wallet. He’s always been one of my inspirations. I’ve had it since I was 19, when I left Baltimore; I think I printed it off the internet. It was his first headshot and it’s him in a leather jacket, looking really cool. Not Travolta-in-‘Grease’ cool, he’s Chris Farley cool.”
Sleep mask. “Not to brag, but I wear a sleep mask, although I don’t do it unless I’m traveling with someone. I’m not putting a sleep mask on when I don’t know what’s going on around me. Whenever iPods came out, in 2003 or so, I had one on the plane and when I fell asleep it was stolen. I remember trying to explain to the stewardess what it was. ‘It plays music.’”
His suit. “I like to wear a suit when I fly, mostly because I don’t know how to fold it. And if it crashes they have something to bury me in.”