In my mind, comedian Doug Benson is the most motivated stoner to come along since Cheech and Chong. With a new comedy CD/DVD called Hypocritical Oaf (in stores now) and a Comedy Central show (The Benson Interruption) hitting Comedy Central on Nov. 5, Doug's flame is hotter than a Zippo lit bong bowl. Doug is bringing his "I Love Movies" podcast to the Irvine Improv tonight, so if you want to be entertained on a higher level, you should be tuning in.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): First off, when I look at your moustache all I see is an "M." Did you have it shaved like that on purpose?
Doug Benson: That's hilarious! I have never thought of that and now I probably won't ever stop thinking about that.
You said on Twitter that you're DVD/CD, Hypocritical Oaf, "plops" August 31. Do you in a sense feel like you've given birth to it?
Yeah, like it hit the ground with a "thunk" and there it is! To say, "it drops" is would be a cool way of saying it but, I'm not about being cool. I'm more of a dork so my CD plopped on August 31st. It's a CD of a little less than an hour and a DVD of two episodes I did for Comedy Central.
What is your new Comedy Central show going to be about?
It called The Benson Interruption and it's based on a show I've been doing in LA for a few years now. The premise of the show is that I'm the host of a stand-up comedy show and while the comedians are performing I pretty much sit there in a chair and put my two cents in. While they're doing their act. It's pretty fun.
How much do you love the podcast? Is having a live audience more motivating?
I like podcasting in general because I love radio. I love being on radio and close to radio shows so I really get the best of best worlds. It's super fun. It makes me and my guest work harder at getting laughs. You really have to think about the listeners though because there is only like 90 people in the audience so, there are at least over 100 people listening.
So no sign language humor?
Exactly. That's funny you should mention that because I have a whole bit about sign language on my new DVD.
How did the Pot the Vote Tour go? (Proposition 19 will legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for adults over 21 years old on Nov. 2.)
Oh it went great, it was really fun! All of the venues were full and the crowds were super into it. I think they're all going to vote Yes on Prop 19 in November anyway, but it's still nice to nudge everybody. The thing I'm trying to remind people in California is that, older people need to vote. Even if they're old and they never smoke pot, I'm trying to tell them that their grandchildren are going to smoke marijuana. It's just a given in these days. There are more positive benefits from smoking pot than there are drinking alcohol. Do you want your grandchildren to be incarcerated for smoking?
Interesting angle. I was thinking these older people might turn to it one day in their older age if nothing else works.
That's it too especially with the edibles around these days. The dying, elderly, or sick can get a lot of relief from these edibles.
After making the movie Super High Me did you find a lot more fans were "coming out" to you regarding their own pot usage?
Oh yeah, the flood gates were opened! Lots of people approach me at every show and either give me something or offer to take me somewhere and smoke. I usually don't go off with people because that's a little scary. The stoner community is large and they're all pretty nice and I've sort of become somewhat of an icon. It's kind of become a goal of theirs to smoke with me. They have good intentions.
Aren't you ever scared that it's laced with something?
Not really. What kind of weirdo would go through that effort? It'd have to be someone who hates me and pretend to be into pot, then lace it with something scary, then come get it to me. It's just too many steps for what would ultimately be the weirdest practical joke ever. Oh look! I got him eff'd up on PCP or something. Haha, it just doesn't seem likely.
It's too many steps for a stoner that's for sure.
(Laughs) And it's a risk I'm willing to take.
Do you think you'll ever stop smoking?
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I don't think so. Usually there are two types of people, those who stop because they had kids and those who stop because they had a really bad experience. Neither of those has happened to me so...
Yeah, and your sperm is probably all screwed up so you can rule out the kid part.
(Laughs) Yeah well, I understand those who want to stop and be all straight up for their kids but with the amount of time I spend touring, I don't see any kids anytime soon.
Doug Benson "I Love Movies" podcast is taping at the Irvine Improv, tonight at 8 p.m. Cost: $15.