Here in America, one thing is for sure – we love us some celebrities. It makes perfect sense – when you relate to and respect some one’s creative expression and energy, of course it’s meaningful when they express ideas and sentiments that are important to them. Which is why I have so much respect for those celebrities that are willing to use their large platform to push their love for Mary Jane, and I would love to smoke weed with those celebrities, most particularly comedians.
Comedians tend to be known for pushing raw or new ideas and concepts, and to do so shamelessly is what sets apart the amateurs from the veterans. Their power to push boundaries and test the critical thought of their audiences makes comedians the unsung heroes of free thought and speech. Sure, they don’t always ‘get it right’, but when they do it can prove to have profound effects on the social fabric of this country in particular. That’s what makes names like Richard Pryor and George Carlin so significant on a cultural level.
As states around the country begin to reform their drug laws and the majority of voters now support legalization on a national level, it’s always interesting to try and analyze the root of this shift in the social consciousness. We definitely don’t have our politicians to thank for it because most of the time they take a backseat approach to the issue, even at times when it means and could work for them the most. And news media tends to only really care if the subject draws clicks, which sort of undermines the actual social significance marijuana law reform could impart. But comedians never shy away from stepping up and speaking out; even those that don’t market themselves as regular smokers recognize the ridiculous nature of the drug war in this country.
So this is the first list in a series on celebrities I would love to smoke weed with. Today we will review some very important comedians, both stand ups and comedic actors, that have used their platform to demonstrate their love for the sweet leaf. Some weave stoner humor into bits, created timeless stoner works such as a movie, or maybe has invested in a cannabis brand or company. This was not an easy list to put together, but I tried to put an emphasis on comedians that will probably have a lasting, timeless effect on our culture when it comes to discussing cannabis.
Sara Silverman is easily one of the best female stand ups doing it today. Her shamelessness to joke about subjects that can have a tendency to make people sweat (like atheism and 9/11) is beyond admirable. But despite seeming to not take anything seriously, she’s actually been a strong activist on varying social issues, most recently hosting a fundraiser to raise awareness about the lack of gender equality in the cannabis industry. She’s also openly discussed her love for edibles and vaping in interviews, once shaking up the news world by showing off her favorite vape pen on the red carpet before winning an Emmy for her show “We Are Miracles” back in 2014.
Doug Benson has pretty much dedicated his entire career to his love for reefer. He is probably best known for his infamous 2008 documentary ‘Super High Me‘ (which was a play on Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me’) where he indulged in cannabis for 30 days straight while also being frequently medically evaluated, in a comedic attempt to settle the “is pot bad for you?” debate. But Benson’s true magnum opus is his podcast/web show Getting Doug with High, where he sits down with celebrities from all walks of life and gets them barbecued beyond oblivion.
Seth Rogen has interwoven his love for reefer into just about any creative project he touches, even going as far to say that he is high during just about every movie shoot he has done. With such films as Pineapple Express and This is the End, he has taken stoner representation in media to a new level and I think the cultural impact of such a choice will be felt long into the future when pop culture enthusiasts are looking back and studying the art that helped smoking weed become an American pastime instead of a criminal act.
Say what you will about Bill Maher and his politics, but one thing is for sure – he is a comedic and legalization treasure. Even in his early days of hosting shows such as Politically Incorrect, he was on prime time television vocalizing his love for pot. While everyone knows a stoner with a Mitch Hedberg-esque disposition, there’s something about a successful white man in a really nice suit and tie that somehow garners the illusion of more credibility, and Maher has always used that effectively. To this day he slips in pot jokes subtly into his act like a kid that just learned a new curse word.
Easily considered to be one of the best to ever do stand up, George Carlin’s comedy will always be known for its timeless nature. He had a long career in which he saw many shifts in the American psyche. He has attributed some of his personal shift in comedic style early on to his indulgence in reefer during the counter culture era. He has always been a strong advocate for free speech and has always been vocally critical of the ‘drug war’ that exists in America. His influence and cultural significance is still felt today and many will study his stand up and writing for years to come.
Joe Rogan is a bit of a renaissance man, doing everything from hosting television shows and movies, to having a very successful stand up career. But similar to Doug Benson, his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience is what will truly define his place in the rich history of cannabis culture. He began doing his podcast when podcasting wasn’t really a thing, but now it has become huge and his show is still one of the most popular to date. Rogan has a knack for exploring taboo subjects and attempting to do so objectively and as logical as he can. So when it comes to pot legalization, he has always been very vocal about the ridiculousness of it all. And as a fellow loud lover, he’s gotten some very interesting guests to puff with on his show, like Elon Musk and Alex Jones just to name a few.
Dave Chappelle, in my opinion, is the greatest living stand up comedian, possibly of all time. For me, I feel I grew up on Chappelle’s work – Chappelle’s show was always playing in rotation at my home, and his stand up specials were always powerful. With films like ‘Half Baked’, he was one of the first people I remember that looked like me, was successful and openly REALLY loved weed. That representation helped me find solace in being who I was and building confidence in where I came from. Every stoner on some level has had that feeling like they were carrying a weapon of destruction when in possession of pot, and many of us have similar experiences such as how non smokers treat pot heads or stories about toking. To listen to someone like Chappelle joke about these things and then critique the system that criminalizes people for such a trivial act (especially those of us of color) really resonated with me and helped me embrace my love for Mary Jane. Chappelle has collected many well deserved awards and accolades for his work, and he is quickly demonstrating that timeless quality that I believe will make him one of the most important black voices in modern history.
Did your favorite comedian not make the cut? Let us know in the comments and on social media, and maybe with your help we can make a part two. And if any of these comedians that did make the list are reading – I’ve got some Alien OG that would knock your socks off.