Comedian, actor, activist and podcaster Doug Benson is clearly not a lazy stoner.
The San Diego native is continuously active on all fronts — producing popular podcasts, starring in television and film, being a fierce pro-cannabis activist, stand-up comedy touring, and even co-creating an off-Broadway show (“The Marijuan-Logues”).
The face of the documentary film “Super High Me” is currently best known for popular podcasts “Doug Loves Movies” and “Getting Doug With High.” His weekly “Doug Loves Movies” has pulled notable guests, including Mark Wahlberg, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Poehler, John Lithgow and Patton Oswalt, and discusses everything from weed to pop culture to comedy.
The seasoned comedian is also a stand-up star, often touring and performing for live audiences, including a stand-up show at the Irvine Improv on Dec. 26 and a live audience recording of his “Doug Loves Movies” podcast at Brea Improv on Jan 4. He chatted with Backstage SoCal about favorite moments, movies and comedy.
Favorite moment on your Doug Loves Movies podcast so far?
When John Lithgow was on, during the Leonard Maltin Game, I read a less than favorable review of one of Lithgow’s movies, and he called Maltin a cocksucker. Sounds crude but somehow Lithgow made it classy. Acting!
Interviewing comedians, many have discussed feeling the pressure of filtering or censoring their comedy. In what ways are you experiencing this pressure (if at all)?
Times change, attitudes change, just like Jeff Goldblum says about life, comedy will find a way.
Most embarrassing moment of your career?
Hmmm, tough one, my entire career is based on embarrassing myself. Also, I get high every day, so I tend to take bad experiences and make like the girl in “Frozen” — I let it go.
What qualities do other comedians have that you admire?
Some are very good at doing the same material over and over again but still making it feel fresh. I enjoy doing my podcasts because the entire shows are improvised, there’s no routine to get sick of.
What would you tell your younger aspiring comedian self?
Drink less; go ahead and smoke a lot.
What do you remember about being on the set of “Friends”?
That I was there for 12 hours but my scene took 10 minutes to shoot. But it was a glorious 10 minutes, because Jennifer/Rachel had to talk to me.
Do you believe in conspiracy theories?
I’m not a conspiracy guy. But I stand behind all of them.
What is the worst movie ever?
Damn. What’s with all the tough questions? I guess I’ll go with “The Room.” Which is not to be confused with “Room,” which is quite good and not fun at all.
Besides free weed, what do you wish your fans would give you?
More free weed. (laughs)
What will the Irvine Improv audience experience on Dec. 26?
Me telling some jokes, some of my friends telling some jokes. We’ll play a trivia game with audience members… just a fun time in general. I love doing my annual Holiday Taint show – taint Christmas, taint New Years, it’s in between — at the Spectrum. Before the show, you can find me on the Irvine Spectrum ferris wheel!
Brea Improv: https://improv.com/brea/
Irvine Improv: https://improv.com/irvine/