You may know Doug Benson from his early days on Comedy Central’s "The A-List" and "Two Drink Minimum." Perhaps you’ve caught his movie podcast "Doug Loves Movies," or his documentary Super High Me. Benson has even appeared on VH1’s "Best Week Ever," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Sarah Silverman Program," "Yes, Dear" and "Friends." In 2006 he co-hosted the HIGH TIMES Stony Awards with one of our favorite rappers, Redman. 2010 brought the success of his popular show "The Benson Interruption," which originally aired on Comedy Central and now exists as a podcast.
With all this success around acting, comedy and smoking ganja, it only made sense to put it all together. Benson’s most recent project, "Getting Doug With High" is a weekly video podcast with good buds, good folks and “highlarious” conversation to boot. During the past two months the show has featured comedians like Sarah Silverman, Todd Glass, Eric Andre, Aubrey Plaza, Greg Proops and more. What’s discussed in the 45-minute episodes is more or less up in the smoke, aside from guaranteed segments like “High History” and “Pot Topics.”
HIGH TIMES: Every Wednesday since the beginning of October, you've been hosting your VPN show called "Getting Doug With High." How did you come up with the idea of having a talk show about smoking pot with other comedians and actors?
Doug Benson: The nice folks at Video Podcast Network came to me and said "We want to do a show with you, we'll do whatever you want." So I thought about it and I realized that after three pot documentaries and five podcasts, maybe it's time to do a podcast where we start smoking five minutes in and don't stop for the entire show! And they said, "Okay!" And that wasn't just lip service. They've let me do whatever I want so it has been a fantastic experience. It's exactly the show I want to do.
HT: I notice that the show starts with just enough time to break up your bud and pack the bong before 4:20. Have you made that a everyday ritual?
DB: Well for a few years now I've had my phone set to ring every day at 4:19. Because wherever I am at 4:19 and it goes off, I announce, "It's 4:19," and it always gets a laugh. Even when I'm alone. So yeah, if it's 4:20 and I'm not in an airport or an airplane, I'm gonna smoke.
HT: You sometimes ask guests if they know of any other entertainers who might not be obvious stoners. Which have been most surprising to you?
DB: Nobody has ratted out anybody we didn't know about already, but one comedian did say he blazed with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. I don't know if he was kidding or not. I'm not super into outing anybody who doesn't want the world to know they smoke pot, but as pot gains acceptance in society here and in other countries, anyone who smokes should be open about it. It's 2013. Let's do this!
HT: Have you ever had people decline an invite on the show or has everyone been willing?
DB: People have said no because they have a TV series or they are a voice on a children's show, which I understand. I don't want anyone to lose their gig over it. I do appreciate that most comedians who smoke seem willing to come on the show. When we book someone of note who isn't a comedian, that will be a breakthrough. Barack Obama is my dream guest.
HT: The weed used on the show varies from episode to episode, but do you have a favorite strain to pick up?
DB: Not really. I just like trying different strains. Chocolope has been a favorite of mine since I tried it one year at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Mostly because the name is fun to say. I just realized, Amster-damn! would be a good name for a strain.
HT: You're very open about being a late bloomer stoner and crediting it to being a comedian, but what was stopping you before?
DB: Not starting was the only thing stopping me. I just didn't hang with any regular smokers, and I've never been nor never will be a cigarette smoker, so I just never picked it up. Hanging out after a show with two comics who smoked was the event that needed to happen to show me the light.
HT: I haven't noticed any dabbing on the show, is there a dab rig somewhere in your cannabis arsenal?
DB: We might dab on a show in 2014. Which will take me to a new level of incoherent. That stuff knocks me on my ass.
HT: Do you have a favorite piece, or one that has a particular story behind it?
DB: As you know, the trophy for being named Stoner of the Year by HIGH TIMES is a bong. I've never smoked from it, because bongs are made to be broken, and I don't want to break my trophy. So it sits in my kitchen with a flower in it. Right next to my vaporizer.
HT: You're always asking if guests prefer a sativa or an indica. What's your preference?
DB: I'm a sativa man because I like to stay alert to host shows and tell and write jokes, but I'll smoke an indica if I have time for a nap in my immediate future. Or if it's the only weed available.
HT: Since the premise of your show is smoking with famous people, who's the most famous person you've burned one down with?
DB: Brad Pitt, for sure. At a party where a joint was being passed around. He was with Jennifer Aniston at the time, and they were both super nice to me. So their break up hit me particularly hard. Haha.
HT: To wrap things up, do you ever see yourself slowing your toke roll?
DB: Nope. Because it rhymes with dope.
For more on Doug Benson and "Getting Doug With High," go here!