Senator’s WWII service to be (drunkenly) remembered

For the second time in less than a week, the legacy of former Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) will be in the spotlight.

However, this time it will be accompanied by a large tumbler of tequila.


On Tuesday, the Comedy Central show “Drunk History,” where inebriated storytellers narrate over historical reenactments, will laud Inouye, who lost his right arm while assaulting three machine gun positions in fighting near San Terenzo, Italy, during World War II.

He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions. Then-President Clinton later awarded him the Medal of Honor. 

Inouye’s legacy has taken on renewed significance in the last several weeks as Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) slugged it out in the state’s Senate primary.

Schatz was appointed to replace Inouye after his death in late 2012, despite Inouye's deathbed request that Hanabusa replace him. Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), who appointed Schatz, lost his primary on Saturday by a 2-to-1 margin.

Tuesday’s episode focuses on the Aloha State and also includes segments on British Captain James Cook’s visits to the islands in the 1700s and surfing icon Eddie Aikau.

Inouye’s story ends with the narrator, actor Phil Hendrie, hazily recalling President Obama, who grew up in Hawaii, calling Inouye an “inspiration.” 

“To a true patriot,” host Derek Waters says, raising his glass in a preview of the episode made available to The Hill.

“Right on, man,” Hendrie replies. “Nothing wrong with that, man. Nothing wrong with that.”