comedians that smoke weed

Comedians that smoke weed

Finding a comedian under 60 who doesn’t smoke weed is kind of like finding a rare Pokémon. You know they’re out there, but that doesn’t mean you expect to see one out in the wild. Sure, there are comics who have become sober and talk about that, or there are comedians who are family types and don’t want to be associated with drug use publicly. Some comedians have never tried a psychoactive substance in their life. But saying “comedian” can be kind of like saying “rock musician,” in that it’s a term that encapsulates a large group of people, but there is a somewhat standard model most follow. And seemingly, most comedians smoke weed.

Comics’s penchant for cannabis can likely be attributed to a couple of factors — the amount of free time many have during the day being one. “It makes you go stir crazy,” Kim Congdon, co-host of podcast Stoned Science, told me in passing when I mentioned a recent personal bout of too much free time. She’s the first comedian I spoke to about the odd-but-symbiotic relationship between cannabis and her profession. Congdon’s personal association between the two is undeniable: “I feel like [using] weed for writing is like my coffee,” she tells me. “People need to wake up, they need to get their coffee, they need to sit at their computer to write… that’s how I am with a blunt.”

With Sherrod Small, however, it’s a different story. “I do it so casually that I’ll probably smoke something while I’m writing, or right before or right after,” the comedian and co-host of podcast Race Wars told MERRY JANE. As a regular smoker, he doesn’t really consider whether pot affects his joke-writing or not, although he says it does help him get out of his head. A big perk for Small, though, is that he doesn’t suffer from the laziness or lethargy some people feel after smoking. “I can be pretty productive on it,” he said, after admitting that using cannabis is always a unique experience.

Above, comedian Sherrod Small

This doesn’t mean comics always fuse their comedy and their consumption; for many funny tokers, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. “On purpose?!” balked writer and comedian Annie Lederman when I asked if she writes while stoned. “I smoke weed before I go to the beach or fill in an adult coloring book, but before writing jokes? Why make my job harder? Like, I wanna write another tag for this joke, but is there ice cream in the freezer?” Despite the fact that comedians are frequently heavy smokers, sitting down to write isn’t easy — or possible — for everyone.

In fact, the always outside-the-box Ari Shaffir throws my mental image of comedians sitting down to write with a spliff ready-to-go out the window. “I just write onstage,” he said casually, as though getting up in front of strangers with only a vague concept of what you’re going to talk about is completely natural. That said, Shaffir isn’t the average comedian. As the host of podcast Skeptic Tank and Comedy Central show This Is Not Happening, Shaffir has become known for his distaste for cultural norms and willingness to push anything to the limits — his big break was as “The Amazing Racist,” after all.

“I think I used to [sit down and write],” Shaffir deadpanned. In contrast, he brought up an old roommate. “His theory was that weed just keeps you doing what you’re already doing. So if you smoke on the couch and are watching TV, you’re just going to do that for five hours… And so he would start writing and then smoke and then just keep writing, and then when it hit him he’d get way, way into writing.”

Comedian Ari Shaffir, pictured above

The way comedians relate, or don’t relate, their comedy to their smoking is always variable. For example, although Sherrod Small smokes casually enough while writing (to the point that he doesn’t even notice himself smoking), he likes to be relatively sober when he performs. “One time I did mushrooms onstage, just to see what it was gonna be like,” he mentioned offhandedly. “I did three shows on mushrooms. That was crazy. The first show was great. The second show, I couldn’t really tell how much time I was onstage on. I didn’t know the difference between 10 seconds and 20 minutes,” he said laughing. “I would never do that again.

Small continued, “I need to be in control onstage, that’s why I don’t even like to get too baked before I go on. I don’t like to drink before I go on, either.”

Lederman told MERRY JANE she doesn’t really like to be high on stage, although she smokes before sets on occasion. “Technically any high is too high for me,” she said in an email interview. “I try to not smoke before my sets because it slows down my reaction time, and some shows require more herding of the audience.” Her reasoning is sound as any: “I always have to remind myself that this is a job. A fun job, but a job. And I want to do my best work. I don’t look back on my SAT scores and think, ‘I’d have done so much better if I’d just smoked that blunt Tito offered me on the bus beforehand.'”

Comedian Annie Lederman, photographed by Mindy Tucker

Unlike Lederman, Shaffir takes an unconcerned approach to weed and stage time. “Well, once you get used to smoking, it doesn’t do the same shit anymore,” he remarked, likening comedians who have just started smoking to teenagers learning to handle their alcohol. “You just know how to handle it, you get to the point where you’re having a good time.” He does, however, acknowledge that it can contribute to a slight lack of control: “When I tape specials, I’m not going to smoke right before I go onstage, but I’ll smoke a couple hours before, or in between shows when [I’ve] got an hour off.”

“But!” he continued enthusiastically, “I’ll tell you what. [A comedian friend] used to do this thing where he wouldn’t get high all day, and then his first high of the day would be right before he went on at the Comedy Store. They would be like ‘Alright, madam, light’s up,’ for whoever was on — say Ryan O’Neill was onstage — like ‘Hey, madam, I’m lighting Ryan, three minutes.’ And then he’d run to the main room and just huff down smoke, just hit it hard over and over and over again in those three minutes, and get onstage. It would hit him hard, and it would hit him while he was on. Five minutes into his set he’d be like ‘Whoa, here it is.'”

Of all the comedians I spoke to, Kim Congdon might be the most relaxed about being on stage high. When asked about her first time mixing weed and comedy, she can’t fully remember. “It would have been the first time I did comedy. I was probably high, to be honest,” she revealed to me. She doesn’t even really feel like she’s been too high onstage. “I’ve done podcasts like Getting Doug With High in the morning and then had a show right after that. I don’t feel like [using cannabis] hurts me. It definitely doesn’t hurt me as much as it does getting onstage after I’ve been drinking,” she commented. “I just feel more relaxed [after smoking].”

Comedian Kim Congdon, photographed by Frankie Leal

Comedy and weed aren’t inseparable. Plenty of comedians smoke with their fans and plenty don’t smoke at all. Some, like Lederman, smoke to get away from their job, while some, like Congdon, smoke to do their job. Both Small and Shaffir make a point to note that European comics, unlike American ones, mix tobacco with their weed — a habit Small picked up, and one Shaffir actively shames. “It’s not a joint, man. It’s just tobacco,” he said.

Despite the plant’s pervasiveness in comedy, most stand-ups who smoke intentionally avoid writing any weed-dependant material. “To me, personally, it’s kinda neither here nor there as a topic,” Lederman said. Small agreed, and explained his lack of attraction to the subject, helping me understand that it’s largely out of a desire to avoid conflating a comedic or public identity with cannabis. “Some people only accept it through one lens,” he remarked. “I think that with everybody having access to [legal cannabis] now that’ll go away… but right now we’re still in the middle of it,” meaning an era still filled with stoner stigmatization.

Though marijuana has interacted with all forms of comedy over the years, comedians feel that their audiences aren’t necessarily ready to detach the plant from its associated stereotypes and novelty factor. Case in point, when each comedian was asked what about pot feels played out or done to death in comedy, three out of the four comedians interviewed gave the same answer: the munchies.

"I smoke weed before I go to the beach or fill in an adult coloring book, but before writing jokes? Why make my job harder?” said comedian Annie Lederman.

8 Hilarious Stand-Up Comedians Share the Funny Side of Getting High

What’s better than getting high and watching stand-up comedy? Getting high and watching stand-up about getting high.

Comedians are known for pushing social boundaries, so it’s no surprise that weed is a major topic of discussion in many stand-up routines. If you need any proof that many comedians are stoners just like us, here are eight stand-ups featuring some of their funniest marijuana moments.

Tom Segura — ‘Disgraceful’

Why watch high?

Since gaining exposure through his three-special deal with Netflix, Tom Segura has been very vocal about his weed use. In Segura’s third Netflix special, Disgraceful, he cracks some highly relatable jokes about buying weed from sketchy sources, disagreeing with his dad about weed, and how children in the future will never believe our stories about strict weed laws.

Funniest weed joke?

Segura tells the story of his 15-year-old self buying weed from a guy in a solo trailer. The weed dealer tells Segura to watch the trailer while he goes to retrieve the weed, but before he leaves instructs Segura to “blast” anyone who enters with a shotgun — with the exception of the dealer’s mom. Segura stressed out, recounting, “I go, ‘Can we get a description before we agree to terms? How about a height and weight on old mom?’”

Where to watch: Netflix

Nick Swardson — ‘Seriously, Who Farted?’

Why watch high?

Though he was upset that he didn’t have any weed-smoking scenes in “Grandma’s Boy ,” Nick Swardson talks about smoking on set (even though they were given fake weed), getting overly high, and going to the movies stoned in his special, Seriously, Who Farted?

Funniest weed joke?

There’s nothing worse than being violently too high. Where it’s horrifying. Like, you know that feeling when you get way too high and you have, like, that inner monologue where you’re like ‘Just breathe, man, just breathe. You’re gonna be fine. Everything’s gonna be okay, man. Nobody knows you’re too high. Just breathe. All right, smile at everybody. [He makes a terrifying grin.] OK, that was the worst thing you could have ever done. They just called the police.’ ”

Where to watch: Amazon

Dave Chappelle — ‘The Age of Spin’

Why watch high?

From “Half Baked” to “ Chappelle’s Show,” Dave Chappelle has never been shy about his love for the plant. “The Age of Spin” is Chappelle’s first stand-up special following his departure from “Chappelle’s Show” and subsequent 10-year hiatus from comedy. It’s part of a two-episode comedy special which features bits about Chappelle’s pot foibles, his interactions with different social groups, and his career in Hollywood.

Funniest weed joke?

Chappelle responded to the TMZ headline “Dave Chappelle Drunk Onstage in Detroit” by saying he was actually just really high. He said, “I don’t know if you know anything about hanging out with rappers, but their weed is very strong [. ] The article goes on to say I was booed offstage, which is also incorrect. I was booed. I did not leave. It was a long bomb. It was a fucking nightmare.’”

Where to watch: Netflix

Joe Rogan — ‘Triggered’

Why watch high?

To say that cannabis activist Joe Rogan discusses his love for weed in his comedy and podcasts would be a major understatement. In his first Netflix special, “Triggered,” Rogan talks all things weed from getting high as a parent to getting ripped on edibles and talking to dolphins.

Funniest weed joke?

Rogan announces that he’s “high as fuck” and starts ranting about how the people making edibles need to slow down. He jokes, “I ask the dude at the pot store, I go ‘Hey man, how strong are the gummy bears?’ [. ] He’s like, ‘El Diablo. El Diablo.’ ‘Fuck man. How much should I take?’ ‘Just the leg.’ ‘Just the leg? Why are you selling whole bears? What the fuck are you trying to prove, man?’ ”

Where to watch: Netflix

Doug Benson — ‘Doug Dynasty’

Why watch high?

Doug Benson is one of the quintessential stoner stand-up comics. His jokes are irreverent and silly but, when you think about it, pretty darn clever. Basically, all of his material has something to do with getting high, so if you’re high and want to watch stand-up you can relate to, you really can’t miss this one.

Funniest Weed Joke?

Benson explained that he used to think meth and marijuana shouldn’t both be Schedule I drugs, but then he discovered that meth is actually Schedule IItwo on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Federal Controlled Substances Act. He said, “Like, marijuana is considered to be much worse than meth by the DEA. You know, the bottom line is I get high and watch “ Breaking Bad ,” I don’t watch “Weeds” on meth.”

Where to watch: Netflix

Katt Williams — ‘Pimp Chronicles Part 1’

Why watch high?

In addition to being a masterful comic, Katt Williams is an enthusiastic marijuana smoker. This special opens with Williams getting a pep talk from Snoop Dogg over a blunt , and covers everything from weed to the “pimps” running the U.S. government to the trials of being a black American. Oh yeah, and Lil Jon shows up and says some stuff near the end.

Funniest weed joke?

Williams tells the crowd that there’s a chemical in weed called “fuck it,” and, “If you can just get that in your system, it could change your life. Some of y’all be crying about bills you can’t pay. [. ] Just hit the blunt one time and see if it don’t change your perception of what’s important in life. You just, ‘I don’t know what I’ma do about this light. [He mimics a blunt hit.] Fuck them goddamn lights. I got 12 candles, I’ve been waiting to burn them bitches.’ ”

Where to watch: Netflix

Pete Davidson — ‘SMD’

Why watch high?

Whether on stage performing, in interviews, and behind Saturday Night Live ” ‘s Weekend Update desk, Pete Davidson has talked about his love for weed on so many different occasions that it’s hard to keep track. In “SMD,” Davidson talks about how weed makes everything better alongside a number of other topics like sending dick pics to his mom — who’s a school nurse, so it’s cool — and his personal thoughts on the movie “Jaws.”

Funniest weed joke?

Davidson announces that he loves driving high because he doesn’t mind traffic. He went on to say, “I love smoking weed and watching movies. It’s my favorite. You ever get so high you, like, watch the credits? And you’re like, ‘Who directed this? He did a good job.’ I think that’s what IMDB was created for people who just get high and they’re like, ‘Where is this guy from?’ And then you’re like, ‘Oh, there he is! He was in ‘ The Patriot !’ ”

Leslie Jones — ‘Problem Child’

Why watch high?

You might know Leslie Jones from Katt Williams’ It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’ tour or from her bold personality on “SNL,” but you might not know how funny her first comedy video, “Problem Child,” really is. In her raunchy debut, Jones tells jokes about white people keeping wild animals as pets, advertising to crackheads, and ridiculous weed commercials.

Funniest weed joke?

Jones joked that anti-weed commercials just make her wanna smoke more weed. She said, “Y’all ever seen that commercial where the dog walks into the kitchen and start talking to the little girl? [. ] ‘I really really hate it when you get high ’cause you’re not the same person when you high.’ [. ] If I’m standing in my kitchen and my motherfucking dog start talking to me [. ] I’m gonna call my dealer and be like [. ] save me a half of that shit.”

Where to watch: Amazon

(Feature image: Frederick Tubiermont via Unsplash)

8 Hilarious Stand-Up Comedians Share the Funny Side of Getting High What’s better than getting high and watching stand-up comedy? Getting high and watching stand-up about getting high.