Doug Benson releases one album per year, has appeared on numerous TV shows, hosts a popular web series, Getting Doug With High, as well as multiple podcasts, namely Doug Loves Movies, and occasionally stars in movies — like his Super High Me, a documentary in which he smokes marijuana every day for 30 days. All of this is, of course, in addition to doing stand up across the country and throughout the world. We recently caught up with the cannabis connoisseur to hear about his high functioning career.
City Paper: You're labeled a "stoner comic," and you do talk about pot a fair bit, but you work in a lot of topical and observational humor, too. Do you ever chafe at the label, or do you embrace it?
Doug Benson: I'm OK with it. I would rather be labeled a "brilliant comic," or even just a "funny comic," but I do smoke weed and like to talk about it, so I can't complain about the label.
CP: Any message to someone who might not think they would enjoy your show because they don't smoke?
DB: Jokes is jokes. Besides, I don't just tell jokes about weed. I also tell jokes about sex and alcohol.
CP: Are you high right now?
DB: You caught me right before I'm going to be operating a motor vehicle, so, no, I don't drive high. But I do most everything else high.
CP: Charleston's comedy scene is growing, and there will be many aspiring and professional comics at your show. Any advice, encouragement, or warnings to them?
DB: Whenever a young or aspiring comic asks me for advice, I just say "go for it." Because there are lots and lots of little pieces of advice I could give, but there's not one quick tip that's gonna turn someone into a genuine comic. You have to practice a lot. You have to get up in front of people and do your thing. It can't be taught. As Yoda would say, "There is only do, or do not."
CP: You're known for your crazy hard work ethic, but you generally seem to downplay it. Do you feel you work particularly hard?
DB: Sometimes I stop and ask myself why I have so many projects going on all the time, and it's because I enjoy it. If I didn't like doing one of my five podcasts, I'd stop doing it. If I didn't enjoy going out on the road, I'd stop. I'm very lucky that I enjoy doing what I do.
CP: Has anything happened to you recently that you haven't told anyone about? For instance, did you recently become married, get arrested, avoid arrest, or set a world record for something?
DB: You sound like my mother. She always ends every phone call with "Is there anything else new you're not telling me?" And invariably I think for a second and say, "No." I don't think I'll ever get married — at least that's the plan, never say never — I've never been arrested, and I'm not sure about world records. Does having the most views for a long-form program on YouTube count? Because that's what I've been told about my show Getting Doug With High.
CP: You did some extra work years ago in big-budget films, and you've appeared on a number of scripted shows. Are you happy to keep doing what you're doing, or do you have any plans to widen your scope and do more dramatic acting roles?
DB: If someone wanted to give me a dramatic acting role I would probably do it. But I'm really enjoying the control I have over all of my projects. I've got another documentary that I hope gets released this year. It's call Chronic-Con, and it's about me trying to get high with people dressed as superheroes at Comic-Con in San Diego.
CP: Is there a catchy headline you would like this article to appear under?
DB: Brilliant Comic Doug Benson Loves Charleston.