Do you remember reading the Horrible Histories books as a child? You can admit it, you most likely even read the books as an adult! But, did you know that the BBC created an entire show based on the books? Horrible Histories is a shocking, laugh-out-loud show that displays the most shocking moments in history in a very funny way. The show tackles extremely hard to talk about historical moments such as the Black Plague with surprising humor and educational substance. Think Drunk History and 100 Ways to Die, but for children! The show is an energetic blend of cartoon graphics and live action acting that merge together to teach children about histories more…questionable moments.
The show does rely a lot on slapstick, shock jock and gross-out humor. Parents might be a little sensitive to this type of humor being shown to their children, but, it should be noted that the jokes are shaped to be child appropriate. The great thing about Horrible Histories is that it is so much fun, parents are going to want to watch it right along with their child!
The books and show stirred up a bit of controversy because some viewers think that the crass humor used to explain certain events in history make light of the situations. While this is a valid complaint, the humor can be used to create a dialogue with children about why these terrible things happened and should never happen again. Some situations are extremely light-hearted such as the segment done on gross Egyptian cosmetics. There is really no lesson to be learned from that segment, it’s just yucky fun!
There was an American version of this show but it only lasted for 1 season and did not do as well as the BBC show. It can also be streamed through Hulu however, if you’re interested in watching it (and comparing it) for yourself The makers of Horrible Histories realizes that children’s attention span are very short so, each episode is 28 minutes. There are 54 episodes in total that are currently available for streaming.