The lineup for the 420 Comedy Blaze tour was the kind of comedic pipe dream that comes from taking one too many bong rips. Cheech Marin, though Chong-less, was hosting a comedy show inspired by weed, with Last Comic Standing's Ralphie May, Saturday Night Live's Jay Pharoah, and Best Week Ever pundit Doug Benson. Sounds almost perfect, doesn't it?
Well, that doesn't really matter anymore. The promoters canceled the show two weeks ago. Looks like Holy City stoners missed out on a perfect excuse to get blitzed.
What was Doug Benson to do then? "Two weeks!" he says. "Did the promoters really think potheads would buy tickets that far in advance?" He already had a plane ticket and a hotel booked, since Charleston was the only appearance on the tour that he was going to make. "I was really looking forward to it," he says. "I decided to do a show of my own that night. I went on Twitter and asked for ideas, and it didn't take long to find a venue."
Since we're in the middle of Piccolo Fringe, the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company and The Have Nots! already had claims on Theatre 99, so Benson won't be at the normal go-to venue for stand-up comedians. Instead, he will perform at the American Theater. What can we expect from Benson's act now that he's not under the umbrella of a weed-centric comedy tour?
"Pot jokes. It's what I do," he says. "But there will be lots of people in the audience who listen to my podcast, Doug Loves Movies, so some elements of that will slip in there as well. Oh, and sex jokes too. Between movies, sex, and weed, I don't know which one I love the most. Well, I do know, but that's my little secret."
Benson's no stranger to marijuana, in both its legal and illegal forms. In 2007, he spoofed Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me with his own Super High Me. He spent 30 days on a ganja bender, documenting the effects that being constantly zonked had on his body. It wasn't the box office breakthrough that Spurlock's film was, but it's been pretty successful in other ways (i.e. Netflix). Now, "Everyone wants to smoke with me. It's a dream come true," Benson says. "And lots of people have seen and liked it, so that helps me to get more butts in the seats at my live shows."
Benson is also a star in the world of comedy podcasts. "Anyone can do one, and no one can tell you what to do on your podcast," he says. "You can say whatever you want and take the format in any direction you want. You just tape it and then release it into the world." He loves movies, so he came up with Doug Loves Movies. "(I) love talking about them, and now I get to do it with famous comedians, actors, and directors." His other podcast, The Benson Interruption, made the grand move from the mp3 player to the small screen last fall, landing on Comedy Central.
And now that Spurlock's got a new movie out, what does that mean for Benson? "Don't worry, The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled is already in the works."