Doug Benson: higher than that new building in Dubai

They say smoking pot makes you lazy, but that’s certainly not the case with Doug Benson, High Times magazine’s 2006 Stoner of the Year. This year alone he was a finalist on Last Comic Standing and a frequent panelist on Best Week Ever, and he recently wrapped the documentary Super High Me. He’s coming to Austin for the Austin Film Festival and a four-night run at Cap City Comedy starting Tuesday, October 9.

That Other Paper You do a lot of topical humor. When it comes to tragic events, how much time must pass before you feel it is acceptable to make a joke and what factors do you consider when making this decision?

Doug Benson I generally don’t make fun of tragic events. Wait, was the Holocaust tragic?

photo courtesy Doug Benson Doug and his Stoney 

TOP Has a joke or a piece of comedy ever moved to you make any important decisions?

DB Not that I can think of. But right now I’m higher than that new building in Dubai.

TOP What are some indicators of good and bad comedy?

DB Good comedy is original and smart, and bad comedy is unoriginal and unsmart.

TOP Do you think bad comedians know that they’re bad?

DB They have an inkling, but they try to ignore it so they can sleep at night.

TOP Your “potumentary,” Super High Me, has recently been picked up for distribution. Can you reveal by whom?

DB I’ll give you a hint: it’s being distributed by a company called Screen Media.

TOP What did you hope to accomplish with Super High Me?

DB Like all good experiments, I didn’t hope to accomplish anything specific, other than finding out what happens when I abstain from smoking pot for thirty days and then smoked constantly for thirty days. And living through it. Which I did. (Spoiler alert!)

TOP Have you personally participated in any marijuana-themed activism?

DB No. But I talk about weed in my act every night, so yes.

TOP What do you see as the biggest obstacle in the way of the pro-marijuana movement?

DB Lack of focus and… What was the question again?

TOP Are there any cultural artifacts that you feel most represent pot enthusiasts?

DB Reggae music is closely associated with pot, and of course there are many pot-themed movies: Dazed and Confused, Half Baked, and the Cheech & Chong ouevre. But I’ll be showing some less obvious clips in Doug Benson Presents at the Austin Film Festival. Plus I’ll screen some clips from Super High Me – if I remember to bring them.

photo / Kristin Hillery Doug displays his TOP pride at Matt Bearden’s Gameshow! (Fun trivia question: What’s TOP backwards?) 

TOP At this point in your career, do you still find yourself having to deal with the occasional heckler or bachelorette party at a show?

DB There will always be drunken hecklers and bachelorette parties in attendance to ruin your shows. Over the years I’ve learned to combat them by saying something really clever like, “Shut the fuck up.” Seriously though, drunks and partying bachelorettes are the most self-centered people in the world. After stand-up comedians, of course.

TOP Have you ever had a show end with a physical altercation?

DB No. (But many have begun with one.)

TOP Do you have any plans to release a CD in the future?

DB Plans are what people make if they want to make God laugh. And as far as I’m concerned, once you’ve figured out how to make Ant laugh, you don’t really give a shit what God thinks.

TOP Outside of Super High Me and Best Week Ever, what are some projects that you’re currently involved in or contemplating? Any plans to release a CD or perhaps taking a stab at a book length I Love Movies?

DB Since you keep asking, yes, I’ll make a CD. And a book is a possibility. I’m trying to get a live-action version of I Love Movies going on the Internet. It will likely show up on Super Deluxe. Thanks for the interview, man. I gotta go now because “Hold on” by Wilson Phillips is on the radio, and I have to dance!

“Hold on” by Wilson Phillips

Doug Benson on YouTube

From Last Comic Standing (season 4, episode 3)


Anonymous's picture

Alot of people hate this guy because he’s doing a bunch of weed jokes and has that whole pot persona going on that people try to do to get a laugh but I’ve met him and can say he is not just putting on an act. Dude loves Mary.

Jess's picture

HAHA Just saw Doug Benson last night at Tommy T’s. This dude is one funny mother fucker. Period.