Drunk History – The Wizard of Menlo Park

– What are we drinking? – Vodka.
– There’s a moth. – There’s so many–
– I wasn’t swatting at you. – No, I know,
I have a moth infestation. – I see that.
– It’s terrible. [laughs]
I got to get a [bleep]ing– [laughing]
– Classic– – It’s the worst!
[smacks] There’s a–I don’t want
to kill him, though. – Why?
– ‘Cause they deserve to live. There happen to be
in the cave of a super-advanced
monkey species that wants nothing more
than to kill them just because
they don’t fit in. To inventors. Thank God for you. Let’s do this, man.
I feel so drunk. [blows] Good day. My name is Duncan Trussell… and today we’re gonna
talk about Edison. [laughs][cheerful music]This story starts in
New Jersey with Thomas Edison.
One of the great
inventors of the time.
Known as
“The Wizard of Menlo Park.”He would get poor geniuses,
gather them together,
and he’s like
Just make stuff for me. If it’s good I’m gonna say
it’s mine. Whatever. You’re gonna make money,
so just do it.An inventor
by the name of Muybridge
came to New Jersey,
shows this incredible device.
He managed to take
a bunch of pictures
of a horse running
and spin them on a cylinder
in a way
that gave it animation.
And Edison’s like
You know, great. A hor–a horse…
running. [chuckles]
Cool invention or whatever. Bye.And then he’s like
We gotta [bleep]ing figure this [bleep] out
because people are gonna wanna watch this stuff. We gotta start working
on this [bleep]… right [bleep]ing now. And then in 1893
Edison is like I figured out how to do it,
guys! I can–I can photograph and make a movie.
We can make movies now. I came up with the very first
camera, the Kinetograph and I figured out a way
to look at the strings of moving pictures–
a Kinetoscope, and it’s all my idea.
My idea! He has people–
[laughing] I’m too drunk. Why would I take another drink?So Edison needed content
for his Kinetoscopes
and everything he was putting
out was [bleep].
He’s likeLet’s get
[bleep]ing cats boxing, man, and then vaudeville scenes,
people chasing each other. Let’s film a blacksmith’s shop.
Everyone’s gonna wanna see that. Right, guys?
Right? Right!And they filmed it.People were into it, man.
Freaking out.Everyone’s likeHave you been
to the Kinetoscope parlor? Oh, you’ve got to go.
It’s incredible!So people came to Edison,
they’re like
Hey, look what we can do. We can project images
on the screen.He’s like
Wow. That’s amazing. I can’t believe
I invented that. That’s incredible.
I am so [bleep]ing smart! Let’s patent this [bleep].Movies take off.
People love it.
They went to these places
called nickelodeons.
For a nickel
you’re in a Greek theatre. Come on in!People would sit in those
theatres and be like
This is awesome.So then Edison creates
an industry town
and everyone comes to Fort Lee
to start making movies
and Edison squeezes
all of them.He was like
Join me in what we’re gonna call The Edison Trust
and all of you assholes can join together with me
and we’re gonna make it so that no other mother[bleep]ers
make movies except us. Got it?
Write it down in your notebook.And everyone’s like
Great, let’s do it. I don’t want you to sue me,
so I’ll just agree to whatever you say
because you’re super-rich and I just wanna make art.
So, great. Sounds good. They created a monopoly
on all filmmaking.There was a–a fellow
by the name of Carl Laemmle.
He went to one of Edison’s
[bleep] shows.
He’s like
That is so bad. People are paying a nickel
to watch this [bleep]? Why don’t we try to make
our own movies?And so Carl Laemmle
starts making movies.
He creates his own theatre
and Edison’s like
No. No. I’m sorry, you–
what are you doing? You’re not allowed to…
make movies. And you’re definitely
not allowed to show movies on my [bleep]ing equipment
without paying me a [bleep]ing licensing fee. How dare you? He sues Laemmle
284 times.Laemmle’s number one dream,I just wanna one day
make enough money to take my family
on a vacation in Europe.And Edison is likeI’m gonna squash you
like a [bleep]ing bug. I’m The Wizard
of Menlo Park! Take your [bleep]ing family
on a vacation up my ass! – [laughs] – [kisses]
Oh, God, he was just– he was just eating a turd
in the yard. – Elon Musk, he’s doing
the opposite of what Edison did. He’s giving away his patents and it’s no accident
that Elon Musk’s company is named after the guy
that Edison f– metaphorically
mouth [bleep]ed. – [laughs]
– Edison was a bastard! Imagine 284 lawsuits, man.But Leammle was like
[bleep] you. I’m gonna keep making
these movies.And Edison,
faced with true opposition,
started sending thugs
to Leammle’s movie theatres.People were just sitting
and enjoying movies
and all of a sudden
Edison thugs would come
crashing through the door
and be like
[bleep] off!
No one’s watching this [bleep]! This is not an Edison film!They would
go to the productions,
beat up the [bleep]ing actors,but Laemmle didn’t back down. There’s three guys
who kept making movies.Laemmle, Fox, and Zukor,
and finally they realized,
What the [bleep]
are we doing in New Jersey? We’re shooting films
in New Jersey and on a daily basis
getting sued and beaten up. Let’s get the [bleep]
outta New Jersey. How about we go to
[bleep]ing Los Angeles where it’s sunny all the time and you don’t get
your ass kicked by a dick. That’s–
[laughs] That makes great sense.
[laughing] That’s a great idea.
[laughs] [snorts]They headed to L.A.
and those three heroes
created Universal Studios,Fox, and Paramount.The United States government
that the Edison Trust
was a monopoly
and they broke it up.Uh, sorry, Edison,
you can’t have control over all film being made
in the world. If we let you have your way,
then people would be looking at cats boxing until the planet
blew up, you [bleep]. You’re trying to
ruin your species, and you don’t even realize it, you greedy, reptilian
[bleep] bag. Still people are gonna think
you’re great, though. No one’s gonna know,
so… congratulations, demon.[epic music]I’m not saying inventors
don’t–don’t deserve to be rewarded for their inventions,
but instead of suing people, you work with them
and then the end result of that is the entire planet
wakes up, we experience what’s called
the singularity, everybody gets dissolved
by nanobots, and we travel
through the universe

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