Do you even ultra spirit, bro?
YouTuber and ultra satirically spiritual JP Sears and stoner comic Doug Benson come to Punch Line during the 4/20 weekend
You wouldn’t know it by a quick glance at his YouTube channel, but JP Sears once took his lifestyle pretty seriously. Previously a San Diego-based emotional healer, Sears provided one-on-one healing sessions to clients around the world through Skype and offered advice videos on his channel, AwakenWithJP. Going back to watch these older videos, you’ll notice his comedy peeking through.
“I just always loved to make people laugh in my personal life, but nothing professionally,” Sears said. “I thought it was bad for business to let my sense of humor out. So I kind of kept that under wraps.”
He tiptoed around his humor. In one video, he jokes about taking a shotgun to a disruptive bird, offering an awkward wink to let the audience know he’s kidding. His balance of his natural silliness and playing it safe is endearing.
“The itch just kept getting my attention,” Sears said.
He posted his first comedy video—“How to be Ultra Spiritual”—in October, 2014. Today, he’s well known for his satirical ribbing of the boujee liberal lifestyle. It was actually good for business, but just over a year ago, he decided to do comedy full time. The videos also allowed Sears to confront his own problematic behavior.
“I was realizing I have a lot of egotistical stuff wrapped into my journey,” he said. “Like, ’I meditate longer than you, so sorry that you’re you and I’m me.’”
Through the Ultra Spiritual Life series, he’s released dozens of videos making fun of Instagram-famous yogis, minimalists and new age parents. With 8.7 million views, one of his most popular videos has Sears—with judgmental blue eyes and a fiercely spiritual band wrapped around his red, shoulder-length hair—acting out the premise: “If Meat Eaters Acted Like Vegans.”
He hopes his audience can recognize themselves in the parody and confront their own egotistical behaviors.
Get those chakras aligned and come ready to laugh at Sears (and maybe a bit at yourself) when he stops at the Punch Line on his first comedy tour.
He writes two jokes in the morning
A few Saturdays ago, it was a gorgeous April morning. Ideally, I would have gone for a run and grabbed healthy groceries from the farmers market. Instead, I spent the day inside, eating Cheez-Its, getting stoned with comedian Doug Benson.
Well technically, I got high in front of my laptop screen, which played Benson all day. Where stoner humor is concerned, there’s a spectrum: at one end are great stories, made more hilarious by characters who happen to get stoned. The Big Lebowski comes to mind. Somewhere in the middle are Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the Harold & Kumar movies. At the other end are funny people getting stoned together and talking about weed.
Benson has produced a ton of work including a documentary, series and podcasts mostly at the latter end of that spectrum. His 2007 film Super High Me today illustrates the rapid changes in marijuana laws, products and culture in the past decade.
In his live video podcast series, Getting Doug with High, actors and comedians have casual conversations with Doug over joints and bong rips. Some guests space out (lookin’ at you, Jenny Slate), others get way off track (hi, Todd Glass) and a few are just so dull (we know, Aubrey Plaza, it’s your brand).
With a loose format that includes “first time” stories and marijuana trivia, the comedian guests can make or break the episode.
While he also makes non-ganja related media like the Doug Loves Movies podcast, weed is what he’s known for. Last year, he premiered the first reality court show presided over by a super-baked judge, The High Court with Doug Benson. Judge Benson’s comedy for yourself during his Countdown to 4/20 show at the Punch Line.