Murderess Row Inspires the Musical “Chicago” – Drunk History

– Hello. I’m Mae Whitman. – I’m Jane Levy. – And today, we will
be discussing… – Murderous Row.
– Oh. – You’ll like it, though. It’s very cool and stressful
and cool. – You like murder?
Me too. – [laughs]– It’s 1924.Maurine Dallas Watkins,she’s just graduated
from Yale,
and then she was like,
“You know what?
[bleep] this.
I want to tell the truth.”
She moves to Chicago,
this town of jazz…
– Jazz.
– Drink.
– Drink.
– Crime.
And she started working
for the “Chicago Tribune.”
And she was like, “Yeah.”
– [laughs]
– “I got a job
at the ‘Chicago Tribune,’
and I’m gonna investigate
what I gotta investigate.”
– That’s what she really
wanted to do. – Hell, yeah.
– Right?– And then she comes upon
this editor, who is a man.
The editor was like, “Maurine,
I’m going to assign you
to the Cooks County Jail
Murderous Row,
which is where they keep the
women who are awaiting trial.”
And he was like,
“You’re a woman.
“Nobody else wants to report
on this shit.
“It’s a little boring
for our male reporters.
“I care about the goods.So give me the goods, baby.”– And she was like,
“I got you, bitch.
I got you.”She goes to Murderous Row
in Cooks County Jail.
She meets Sabella Nitti,
an Italian immigrant
who is accused
of murdering her husband.
She says, “He hurt me.I-I did kill him,
but because he hurt me.”
And Maurine is like,
“This is it.”
Maurine went to her editor
and was like,
“I heard about Sabella Nitti.”And he was like, “No, bitch.Like, I don’t care
about Sabella Nitti.”
The problem was, he wanted
something juicy, this editor. – Loves juice.
– He said to her, “Look.“I need you to bring me
something juicy as hell.
Really, like, get excited
about Murderous Row.”
Like, you can say
some sexy shit. Like, you can, like… Yeah, you know what I mean? – [laughs]
– [laughs]And then all of a sudden,Belva Gaertner is arrested.She was a cabaret dancer.She was like, “Yes, my lover
was found sprawled out,
dead, as hell, across
the front seat of a car.”
She was like, “Look,
I’m just a woman,
and I was basically possessed
by the devil, which is jazz.”
Meanwhile, Maurine was like,
“Oh, my God. Yes, yes, yes.
“This is exactly what I need
to make my career.
“I love goss.
I love juice.
My editor’s gonna
eat this up.”
– Yeah. So that was
her first big break.
So then, within, like, I don’t
even know how many minutes. – Not many.
– Not many. She gets this other lady,
Beulah Annan.– Mm-hmm.
– And Beulah Annan’s arrested.
She has had a lover’s spat.– And they both reach
for a pistol,
and [bleep] our babe, Beulah,
was like, “Whew! Pow!”– [laughs]– And while he was laying
on the floor,
she played “Hula-Lu,”
and she danced
around his grave, and she mademultiple cocktails,
and she drank them.
Beulah said, “I was taken
ahold of by drinking alcohol
and listening to jazz music,
and like [bleep] me, I guess.”
– It was just, like,
a bunch of bullshit.
But Maurine is like,
“Oh, my God,
I’m getting the juice
that my editor
asked me for.Hell, yes.”– The newspaper comes out,
and these women realize
right away,
“We have got to look good,
because that’s what this shit
is about, is looking good.”
And they’re like,
“If I cut my hair
and I do my mascara right,”
“And I do my eyeliner right,”
“And I move my hips right,”“And I cry
at the right moment,”
“They are not going to
convict… [hiccups] …me.”
– So they start
a beauty school
within Murderous Row.– Did they call it anything?– They called it were ahead of their time.And they’re, like,
taking these womenthat are, like, “Ha-ha,
I just [bleep] ripped
somebody’s head off
and they’re like, “I know,but, like, sit down, sweetie.”– These women are actually
incredibly intelligent,because they know
how to work their angle
and they’re like…
[hiccups] Um… I forget. [laughs] So, it’s 1924 and Maurine goes
to Murderess Rowand she interviews the girls
before they go to trial.
– They were like, “I’m sorry,
but we love jazz and drink.”
“We love ourselves.
We love to do the thing.”
And they were like,
“A woman would never
“kill a man,
because a man would never
mean enough to a woman for her
to just murder somebody.”
– Obviously!– And Maurine is like, “These
women are obviously guilty.
“The evidence is laid out
on the table.
These women are guilty.”But she didn’t care
about that.
So she’s, like, writing
these stories
that are, like,
super tabloid-y, salacious.
Anything these women
had to say
got spun into this
big juicy circus.
– Okay, so we’re at the trial,after months of covering
this story,
and the girls have
their, like, sideways capsand their nice blue
[hiccups] …eyes
and their skinny little noses.And their lawyer, etcetera,
was like,
“My client is pregnant.”They weren’t pregnant,
but they were like,“I am pregnant.My lawyer told me
to say I’m pregnant.”
And the reporters are like,
“Oh, my God,
look at these girls
and their haircuts
and their manicures.Like, they could never
commit a crime,
“and on top of that,they might be carrying
a baby.”
And Maurine is like…
[imitating keys clacking] – Typing on the computer
that’s not invented yet? [both laugh] – She’s like,
“Sexy ladies do the thingthat you think
that they never could do.”
– I mean, Maurine
got caught up. Let’s not mince words.Maurine got [bleep] caught upin the sexiness
of the whole thing.
– Like, her agenda wasn’t
necessarily to sensationalize,
but the stories were so, like,
dramatic that she had to.– At the end of the trial,
they were like,
“Look. I was very ill
because someone named
came to me
and I feel concerned
and I feel taken advantage of.I feel that I was someone
who explored the realm
too heavily and I need help,” and like, that woman was like,
“I can’t, I… etcetera,“Altadena, etcetera.Pasadena, etcetera.”– [laughs] – And the boys were like,
“You’re right. You’re right.“We don’t care
whether you did it.
“You’re so hot.
We want to [bleep] you.
We don’t care.”– Which makes sense.Juries back then, all male.And the men
were basically like,
“Okay, let me just
tell you this.
“You have spent four months
in the system.
“Four months is too long.“Get the hell out of here!You better go home
and raise some babies.
You cuties.”– And they were like,
“I can’t wait to go!”
– And they were like,
“I will go, mwah.”
And they basically,
these women got off
after four months,
after these [bleep] women
murdered their lovers
in cold blood.Maurine, after this happened,
she took a step back,
and she said to herself,
“I have been a part of freeing
“these clearly guilty women
who used
“their feminine wiles
to get free.
That was my big fault.”– Meanwhile,
Sabella Nitti… got hanged. – And it was the first time
that Maurine was like,“I’m sorry.
I did the wrong thing.
This is [bleep] up.
I [bleep] this situation up.”
So, Maurine, women’s groups,
and Sabella Nitti’s lawyers,
came together
to change the laws,
and they made it possible
for women to be on juries.
And then Maurine was like,
“I gotta talk about this,
like, thing that happened
to me,”
and she wrote a play called…[both hiccup]
– You okay? – I can’t wait to release
my hiccups. – You can let them out. – Not yet. How am I ever–
not yet! – [laughs]– So she wrote a play…
It was called “The Brave
Little Women,” which…
[hiccups] It’s hard
to understand
because it sounds like
“Little Women,” but it’s not.
[hiccups]So years and years and years
after she died,
Bob Fosse got the rights
for her play
and then made it
into “Chicago,”
which turned into
the longest-running musical
on Broadway of all time.– What is the moral
of the story? – That’s a very good question. – [laughs]– Women can be villainsjust as much
as they can be heroes.
– However…
– However… – “Chicago” went to win
best picture at the mother[bleep] Oscars! Okay? So sit down,
shut up, and appreciate that.

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100 Responses

  1. Alida H says:

    anybody else get a little bit of a gay vibe?

  2. Ruth Richardson says:

    So this is what Katara did after the war ended…

  3. Olivia Thompson says:

    Mae flipping her hair "they called it Murderess Row Beauty" kills me every time

  4. Ray Williams says:

    I teach American history to Chinese students. I want to be on this show so badly.
    I also love all of you for the Chicago puns haha.

  5. John Rife says:

    Mae Whitman is beautiful.

  6. Daytime DamianTV says:

    I just have to give it up to the actors!!

  7. RobinsonMedia says:


  8. Carson Key says:

    It’s funny how the flashbacks are in black and white to match the times yet stuff before that is in color

  9. Jay Gee says:

    Can't believe they don't put the names of the narrators in the description. C'mon, CC, credit where credit is due!

  10. Jay Walt says:

    I wanna see the prep or what not for these. Absolutely love Drunk History!💯❤️

    Did anyone else search the Hula Lou song? I did lol

  11. OG1 SHINOBI says:

    I bet hes just sitting there jerkin off lol 😂🤷‍♂️

  12. Samantha Bennett says:

    Derek’s, “Aww.”

  13. Griffin Wetzel says:

    what is the moral of the story? stay away from jazz and liquor!

  14. Aunty Mammalia says:

    That fifties-style laptop, tho. LOL

  15. robert duncan says:

    Chicago is not longest running lol

  16. Mary Jane says:

    This is the plot of chicago.

  17. Juan Laris says:

    Are the first place I don't think they murdered there has been in Cold blood they did it cuz they held all the rage in them

  18. Juan Laris says:

    Oh s*** yeah you're right she f*** up stupid f**** b**

  19. Paddy L. says:

    Back off hasbien.

  20. Janean Francois says:

    They had it coooooooming allllllllll alongggggggggggggg

  21. Katie Brady says:

    They gave em the old razzle dazzle alright

  22. taticrespoarte says:

    Who are the gals telling the story tho?

  23. shawn bla says:

    They are drunk before drinking 😂

  24. Sippin' On 'Scaato Drinkin' That 'Scaato says:

    I love how this episode has literally ALL the actresses you never gave a fuck about.

  25. rochestas says:

    False! Chicago is not the longest running musical of all time… The Fantasticks is (at least it is as of the writing of this comment in 2019). Chicago originally premiered in 1975, was revived on Broadway in 1996, and the movie is based on the revival. It is the longest running revival in Broadway history, but not the longest running musical.

    Damn, I feel like Dwight now 😑

  26. This is Ajang says:

    Katara is grown-up and she's drunk as fuck

  27. Hangry Zombie says:

    It is the coolest effing thing that Katara in real life is into girls and is such a cool mf-er

  28. MGL USA says:

    Their constant hiccups and annoying voices made it soooooo hard to watch even though the story was fun to watch.

  29. Abishiree Steyne says:

    "Pasadena, etc" hahaha

  30. Alice Angel says:

    He ran into me knife…he ran into my knife ten times

  31. Toni Reyes says:

    Dude i want to party woth mae whitman so intensely I love her haha

  32. Divo2Go 2017 says:

    Always blame it on jazz! 🤣🤣🤣

  33. nicole valletta says:


  34. Claire Davis says:

    When you live in cook county-

  35. Jordan Tyler says:

    The actress’s timing on voicing is amazing

  36. Denise Pascua says:

    Is it just me or does the editor look like Colonel Sanders?

  37. iz a says:

    I see Mae, I instantly love it.

  38. Neko Motherfuker says:

    minka kelly so cute

  39. Sceaser Julius says:

    Moral of the story.
    makeovers work.

  40. lerche noire says:

    Poor Sabella Nitti…

  41. Steve Clark says:

    Again the same old bullshit. Funny to make fun of the system that let's assholes go free because they are women. Stupid shit. Hang these losers. A woman instigates a murder and serves half the time the man will because she has a vagina. This has happened throughout history! Kill her like you kill men. No mercy with shitty evidence! Tired of whores getting off with murder! Kill them like you kill the rest!

  42. Courtney Reiss says:

    Moral: women rule the world

  43. Alluring Trash says:

    I love Chicago, but I wish it had been more like the actually story

  44. Lina Rose says:

    Do yous think the actresses got drunk to be able to do what they did 😂😂

  45. Molly Hill says:

    The moral of the story is "stay away from jazz and liquor, and the guys who play for fun, that's the thought that occurred to me, when WE BOTH REACHED FOR THE GUN! OH YES OH YES OH YES THEY BOTH REACHED FOR, THE GUN THE GUN FOR THE GUN 🔫"

  46. Mazinger and Minerva says:

    Who else remembers Suborgatory ☝️

  47. Emily Luna says:

    mandy milkovich and ramona’s evil ex #4

  48. Kristine Simpson says:

    The voice of katara and tinkerbell! And many more, Mae is awesome!

  49. eve cruz says:

    The hiccups lmao

  50. Yasmine Vine says:

    Wow I never knew Chicago was based on a true story!!

  51. adischickl says:

    Love you Mae 😍

  52. Ascended Ninja says:

    Drunk Katara is funny!

  53. Megan Slone says:

    I frickin love this!

  54. Bliss Treble says:

    Whitman looking highly bankable here

  55. Emma Tamai says:

    3:40 . Yes.

  56. Christie C says:

    They were annoying

  57. Lazy Starz says:

    wow the actresses who lip synced r gorgeous and talented AF

  58. Sammy zuko says:

    Listening to Mae Whitman aka tinker bell curse gave me whiplash

  59. Sierra Smith says:


  60. rrrusty49 says:

    Lake Bell as Belva, yaasss!

  61. Hobbes 779 says:

    I THINK THE ACTRESS WAS 'NORTH' IN "Detroit become human" AWWWWW

  62. Justine Njeim says:

    The drunk blond girl who’s narrating the story is that girl from The DUFF movie my movie culture is mindblowing I know

  63. Urza. says:

    Please I need a Marie Antoinette episode I'll even do it myself lmao

  64. Emily Harfst says:

    I thought the phantom of the opera was the longest running broadway show???

  65. ettanasf says:


  66. x.Lexie Jewel.x says:


  67. Hey, I'mValarie says:

    All I hear is a drunk katara…

  68. Jack AndTheBeanstalk says:

    Definitely one of the best episodes 😂

  69. crispy noodle says:

    I live… in Chicago…in cook county…. OWO.

  70. GyroMurphy says:

    If only I could have drank during high school history class…I would have paid more attention.

  71. Rosa Vasquez says:


  72. Kitty LeMeu says:

    Maurine is acted by North from Detroit become human!!!

  73. pmalone4 says:

    7:35 She actually lived. Another lawyer managed to get her off.

  74. Shima G says:

    So, basically, blaming jazz in 1924 is no different than blaming video games in 2019.

  75. Lana Emory says:

    fun fact: Mae Whitman, the narrator, plays tinkerbell in the tinker bell franchise

  76. Billie Trump says:

    I’m confused about this show , are they actually drunk or are they just acting

  77. Dunebuggie Jones says:

    That’s that lady from Amazon’s “The Boys”. 😊😊

  78. Laura Perez says:

    The play was called Chicago! Lol not Brave Little Women!

  79. Diana Akata says:

    Was this the inspiration for the musical “ Chicago” it’s so similar

  80. Henry Pires says:

    Ok but why is no one talking about the actress's Os that she blows at 8:54 though like that girl FUXXX

  81. Jessica Luffman says:

    I want to do a drunk history lesson on WWII so damn bad…….

  82. Nicole Montana says:

    I love hearing Katara say fuck it’s hilarious

  83. Nicko741 says:

    8:19 Love what they did

  84. The bat t says:

    7,14 that is a really bad sexist comment also I wanna be naughty with minka

  85. Soaked Pantsu says:


  86. Exterioris-vallem says:

    1:36 Minka should try a comedy film!

  87. Atukunda Audrey says:

    They're not going to [hic] convict me 😂

  88. DEATHLY hollows says:

    I love how the actors even take in account the hiccups 😂😂

  89. Teviell Channel says:

    The hiccups though 😂😂😂

  90. Bela Garcia says:


    Is she funny or something?

  91. Lavender Sky says:

    As a currently drunk individual I can appreciate this

  92. Clif Dickens says:

    Drunk History should make reaction videos of the narrators watching their re-enactments.

  93. misskristinyoo says:

    If you told me Malin Akerman was Emily Osmet's sister or mom I'd believe you.

  94. Jason Jrake says:

    Lake Bell is soooooo underated as an actor.

  95. Greg Benson says:

    I’m new to this show and I feel like the host guy is unnecessary and not funny.

  96. mvdaking says:

    This episode made my pants super TYTE in the front 🙌🏿🙌🏿👌🏿

  97. Kelsey Morgan says:

    *immediately watches Chicago after this*

  98. PanRace says:

    “he loves juice”

  99. Brenduh says:

    "Altadena etc… Pasadena etc .."😭🤣

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