Taking the high road

Comic Doug Benson is stoned, and laughing all the way to the bank

Doug Benson gets high in Paradise on 4/20.

Doug Benson gets high in Paradise on 4/20.

Photo by Bruce Smith

Doug Benson’s 4/20 show, Friday, April 20, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 at ticketmaster.com
Paradise Performing Arts Center
777 Nunneley Road

Probably not since Cheech and Chong in the late-1970s and early ’80s has a comedian fully embraced, and fully capitalized on, weed consumption quite like Doug Benson. Interestingly enough, he didn’t first toke until he was 28.

The 55-year-old stand-up comedian, actor and podcaster has been riding the Orient Express since starring in the 2007 film Super High Me, a play on Super Size Me in which Benson got thoroughly loaded for 30 days straight and examined the effects (most notable takeaway—both his SAT score and his sperm-count increased).

Over the past decade, Benson has also appeared on shows like Last Comic Standing and VH1’s Best Week Ever, and has done his own popular podcasts Doug Loves Movies and Getting Doug With High. He’s currently the judge on Comedy Central’s The High Court, where he decides real small claims court cases … on weed. Chances are you’ve seen his face or heard his voice somewhere, and there’s a really good chance he was high at the time.

Benson took some time to address the Chico News & Review’s burning questions in advance of his upcoming performance on … you guessed it: 4/20.

Are you high right now?

A little.

Before you became a comedian you were an extra in Blade Runner and Fast Times at Ridgemont High; you were also a dancer in Captain EO. Tell me about that!

Dancer is a bit of a stretch. I jumped around in the final scene of Captain EO. They had gone over budget, so on the last day they hired extras and put them in the dancer costumes and told us to freestyle it!

Are you a fan of those movies, or is there too much baggage?

I’m a fan. It’s fun to watch them and look for myself and remember the experience of being there.

What steered you toward comedy?

Friends kept telling me I should be a stand-up. And I was dumb enough to believe them!

This was all before you ever smoked weed. What do you remember most about your pre-smoking days?

That I drank too much.

You’ve since made a living centering your comedy around weed; do you find that stifling at all?

No, I find it liberating. Because I can be as high as I want all the time and still get paid.

How about now that weed is becoming legalized and more accepted?

It’s great! I’ve always felt guilty for getting away with something that others, namely minorities, would get jailed for. No one should be incarcerated for cannabis use.

Did you ever think weed would become legal in your lifetime?

Yeah, and it’ll be fully legal in Canada this summer.

I have to say the episode of Getting Doug With High with Jack Black was impressive. You put on a clinic, and Jack was really loaded.

He was a very good sport about it. Other people would’ve asked us to pull it from the Internet.

What’s your favorite method of smoking weed?

Bongs, I guess. But I’ll partake any way that’s available.

Favorite stoner snack?

Food in general.

Who’s most fun to get high with?

Your mom. Don’t tell her I told you.

I’ve found that being high helps me get through the day-to-day of the current administration. How about you?

Agreed. I’m gonna go smoke a fat one to that!