The Super High Me star and stand-up comic on performing while high, dating while high, and… well, being high comes up a lot.
Doug Benson is probably the most staunchly pro-marijuana stand-up comic out there. You might variously recognize him from VH1's Best Week Ever, his show The Marijuanalogues, his TV series The Benson Interruption, or his movie Super High Me. He's also released an album a year since 2008; his latest is Smug Life.
Your most recent album Smug Life has two sets: one performed while you were high, and one when you were sober. What did you learn?
I didn't "learn" so much as "confirm:" I should always perform high.
Would you conduct the same experiment with two different dates?
No, but I'm thinking about doing an album where I perform kind of high on one disc and very high on the other. Call them "cooked" and "super cooked." Maybe next year!
You read a lot of tweets at your show. Do you ever get any lusty, x-rated tweets? Anything from Anthony Weiner?
No, but I did get a tweet from the ghost of Gregory Peck.
A lot of people have criticized you as only a "stoner" comic. On some level, you seem to have embraced that, but does it bother you at all?
"A lot" of people? Could you give me their names? I'd like to t.p. their homes. No, I don't care if people say that. It's pretty much a truism that all of my jokes are either written or told while I am high.
But I think what people are implying is that the audience has to be high to enjoy your stand-up. Is there any truth to that?
If that were true, I'd sell fewer tickets on the road. Because I can't think of a comedy club in this country that lets people smoke weed during the show. But it'll happen someday!
Can you smoke your way through a bad date, the same way you could drink your way through it?
Smoking makes everything better, but it doesn't make horrible things not horrible. A bad date is a bad date, even if you're high. I'm sure the woman I'm with on the date wouldn't care for all the giggling.
But have you ever had a date saved by smoking? Like, say, things weren't going well, but then you realized you were both potheads and then you watched Star Trek together and giggled?
I always know whether or not a girl smokes pot before going on a date together. Now, I'm not saying a woman has to be a pot smoker for me to go out with her. I'd just prefer it that way.
You reference the Star Wars "I love you"—"I know" line on Smug Life. What are some of your favorite love-related movie lines?
I used to do a bit about using lines from movies on a dinner date to impress a woman who is not a movie watcher. "You had me at 'hello,'" from Jerry Maguire. "You make me want to be a better man," from As Good As it Gets. But at the end of the meal I went too far with, "That'll do pig," from Babe.
Is the epithet "dick-skipper" taking off as well as you'd hoped?
I'm very proud of that expression. Use it with my compliments. It describes anyone who isn't thorough. Could become the new "half-assed." I'll try to use it again later in this interview. Maybe three times.
My friend's husband is always flirting with me when she's not around. I would never hook up with him, but what's the best way to warn my friend that her husband is being sketchy?
He's a dude. She should already know.
That's not the famously trusting and non-paranoid pothead we all know and love, Doug. Is there more to this answer than you're letting on?
No, I'll stand by my answer.
My boyfriend is a huge, 24/7 stoner. He skips from job to job, and doesn't have much in the way of goals or hobbies, other than weed. Obviously, there are people who can make this work, but he's not one of them. What's a gentle way to nudge him towards respectability? I don't want to control him, but he really needs to back off.
Is he happy? Because if he's sad you should really try to help him. But if he's enjoying his life, leave him alone. Or suggest ways that a pot smoker can make a living. Like in the field of joke writing, for instance.
I’m dating a girl who I’m really attracted to, but the sex so far has turned out to be awful. What should I do?
Tell that dick-skipper what you want her to do and teach her how to do it. Or find a less attractive girl who is great in bed and fantasize about the dick-skipper.
I’ve been dumped before for being "too nice," but I hear over and over again that girls want a nice guy. What am I doing wrong here?
"Too nice" means wimpy. There's a velvet rope between nice and smothering, and when you step over it, some ladies won't let you back into the club. No re-entry for the needy.
I just started dating a girl who's a virgin. I… am not. My number is up into the double digits. How much should I tell her?
Give her a list of all the names, along with ratings of each person on a scale of one to ten. And be sure to include her and give her a seven. When she asks what she could do to improve, tell her to be less of a dick-skipper. She might dump you on the spot, but she can't use the "too nice" excuse.
You've had a ton of guests on your podcast, Doug Loves Movies. Out of Brian Posehn, Patton Oswalt, and Joe Rogan, who would make the best wingman if you were out at a bar trying to get lucky?
Rogan, for sure. I love those guys, but Brian and Patton would be better at getting me a good sandwich.
There's a whole bit in the "Pickup Artist" book about how you can successfully pick up women by casually insulting them. It's called "negging." Is that what you're doing with Willem Dafoe? Is it working?
I initially called Willem Dafoe a "shithead" at the end of my shows as a joke, because there is absolutely no reason to call him that. He's a great actor who is by all accounts a good person. I felt guilty saying that after a while, so I switched to letting audience members decide who I will call a shithead. Every once in a while they pick someone who I don't agree is a shithead, but I made my bed, so I have to shit in it.