Alibi V.28 No.40 • Oct 3-9, 2019 

Comedy Matters

Smile and Say “High”

Doug Benson comes to the 505

Doug Benson
It’s rare to see Doug not smiling.
Nick Larson

When it comes to weed-centric comedy, there aren’t many who can hold a candle (or a lighter) to Doug Benson. Beyond that, he’s just plain funny. With an impressive catalog of albums, a filmography that can put most anyone to shame and a backlog of podcasts stretching back to 2006, there’s no shortage of media to consume that he’s had his hands on. We were lucky enough to talk with Benson about his collective works and his upcoming show at The Stage at Santa Ana Star Casino.

Weekly Alibi: Getting Doug with High was a really big success. What were some of the things you found attributed to the virality of that show?

Doug Benson: Weed and comedy. It’s a great combo! Plus people like watching celebrities and comedians getting too high.

Super High Me was kind of an iconic film when it came out, because I remember us being shown Super Size Me in our health class, but no one even mentioning the results from your documentary. Obviously, public perception has changed since then, and you were on the forefront of bringing that to modern audiences. Did you think this level of progress and change in cannabis acceptance that we’re seeing today would happen back when you released the film?

I just wanted to make a comedy doc that parodied Super High Me and showed that cannabis is not the evil drug they ranted about in movies like Reefer Madness. Weed was already finding acceptance at that time—I got my medical marijuana card in Cali at the start of production—but I was hoping that, by showing how I lead a happy and productive life, it would move the ball down the field, as they say. I’m a little shocked to keep hearing from people that they watched Super High Me in school because, in addition to the pot smoking, there’s a lot of swearing. But good on those teachers!

Comedy is kind of an always changing and growing medium, so we don’t see people telling the same jokes that they were a decade before. How has your stand-up evolved, and what should people expect from the show?

I’m always adding new jokes, but I also like to bring back some classics as well. Last night I was doing a show and a guy yelled out a specific old bit he wanted me to do, so I did. And it got big laughs. So I’m glad he asked!

Currently, podcasts are one of those things that are everywhere and so ingrained in modern culture that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have at least one they listen to, but back in 2006 they were still a fairly new concept. When you launched Doug Loves Movies, what were some of the struggles you encountered early on that you feel wouldn’t apply today?

Nobody knew what a podcast was. I’m glad I started that early—13 years ago!—because now it’s so competitive but I’ve still got lots of listeners just from being one of the first.

Any current projects you're working on that you want to get people hooked on?

That makes me sound like a drug dealer. I like to think of myself as an entertainment dealer. And right now I’m traveling around, podcasting and telling jokes while trying to figure out what’s next. There’s a potential movie role I’m excited about, but it’s too early to talk about it. Don’t want to jinx it!

Lightning Round:

Favorite Hot Dog?

With bacon and cheese, please!

In a sentence, what’s the worst weed you’ve ever tried?

I’ve smoked enough good weed to completely forget about the bad.

Red or green chile?

Neither, but thanks for asking.

The Doug Benson 4:20pm Show will be at The Stage at Santa Ana Star Casino (54 Jemez Canyon Dam Rd.) on Saturday, Oct. 5. Doors open at 3:20pm, with tickets on sale starting at $23. You can get tickets and more information at holdmyticket.com or by calling 771-5353.