If I said, “I need to figure out a way to make money just getting high, hanging out with my friends, watching movies and making people laugh,” you would probably reply in one of two ways: Either, “You should lay off the weed, dude,” or, “Doug Benson already beat you to it.” You would be right on both counts.
Comedian Doug Benson, who is performing at the Pittsburgh Improv July 28th and 29th (both shows start at…wait for it…4:20 p.m.), has built an incredibly successful career based largely upon his love of marijuana. His credits are many and include the documentary Super High Me, the off-Broadway show The Marijuana-Logues, two Comedy Central specials and appearances on Last Comic Standing, Best Week Ever and The Sarah Silverman Program. His work ethic defies conventional pothead stereotypes. Simply put, Doug Benson is the hardest working stoner in show business.
Benson took a few minutes to talk to NakYouOut about his career, movies, Twitter and of course, marijuana.
Isaac Kozell: Let’s warm up with a quick word association exercise. What are the first three words you think of when you hear the word “Pittsburgh?”
Doug Benson: Dark Knight Rises, because some of it was filmed there.
IK: The brand new Smug Life is your fifth full-length comedy album. What’s the story behind the title?
DB: Things are going pretty well for me, and I’m pretty happy about it. So…Smug Life.
IK: With the help of your podcast, Doug Loves Movies, you’ve established yourself as quite the movie buff. If you had to pick one movie to be used to torture your worst enemy, what would it be?
DB: Human Centipede. I haven’t seen it myself. It sounds disgusting.
IK: Where do you think you would be at professionally if marijuana wasn’t such a large part of your work?
DB: I might be a nobody, instead of a sorta somebody.
IK: Do you ever get push-back from clubs and promoters when you request a 4:20 start time for your shows?
DB: Never. It’s a time slot that normally doesn’t have a show, so everyone at the club who wants to work in the afternoons I’m there can make some extra money.
IK: If you were given the privilege of naming three new strains of marijuana, what names would you choose?
DB: Snap, Crackle and Pop. Wait, anything with “crack” in it is bad. Let’s go with Yakko, Wakko and Dot.
IK: Your Twitter feed has given birth to some interesting regular features, for instance, “Sideboob Sunday.” What was the inspiration for that one? Was it some kind of, “Standing on the edge of the toilet, hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, you slipped, hit your head on the sink” scenario?
DB: No, it was a, “Mentioned seeing a model on the street in New York, then hashtagging the tweet about it with #SideBoobSunday, and then women started sending me pics, so I started re-tweeting them” scenario.
IK: Speaking of Twitter, in a recent tweet you used the hashtag #INeverLovedThe80s. As a child of the 80′s, I have to ask, “Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Benson?”
DB: Just making it clear that I wasn’t on VH1′s “I Love The…” shows. I was on Best Week Ever, and people are always mixing those shows up.
IK: What is next for you? Any big projects we should be on the lookout for?
DB: I’m working on a couple of movies, the first of which is called The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled, and it will be coming out as soon as I can finish the damn thing. Thanks for asking!
Doug Benson is performing 4:20 p.m. shows this Saturday and Sunday at the Pittsburgh Improv. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.