Doug Benson Interview
Coming to Atlanta on May 6th and playing the Punchline, Doug Benson is ready to rock!
It would take too long to cite all of his credits, but here is a small sampling: He has his own documentary called Super High Me based on a joke from his standup act. It is available on DVD! How does a little show called NBC “Last Comic Standing” grab you? Fact: he finished top six in the 2007 season, no big deal. Doug was a series regular on four seasons of VH-1 Best Week Ever. If that’s not enough for you, he’s a creator/writer/star of The Marijuana-Logues, a show that’s been a hit (small pun intended) in clubs and theaters from Los Angeles to New York, and drew a bongload of rave reviews. Now there’s a CD, also called The Marijuana-Logues, and a book, The Marijuana-Logues: Everything About Pot That We Could Remember. In 2006, High Times Magazine named him Stoner of the Year, and in 2009, he successfully made it to all the shows in his thirteen-day Medical Marijuana Tour.
Now… on with the questions!
Steph for TBB: Do you still go to open mic’s to try out new material? If so, is there any specific club you prefer and why?
Doug Benson: No open mic’s for me. I’m doing headlining sets three to five times a week, so I get plenty of stage time and work out the new stuff as I go. A lot of my act is improvised, because I’m not so great at remembering stuff.
Steph for TBB: You’re weekly podcast “Doug Loves Movies” is wildly popular and showcases your knowledge and love of cinema. I know you’ve had parts in several films/t.v. shows aside from starring in the documentary Super High Me, Do you have any interest in producing, directing or writing screenplays?
D.B. : I don’t like writing screenplays, but i’d love to direct someday. I’ve got a new documentary about my life on the road coming out later this year. And hope to make more movies in the future.
Steph for TBB: What’s your favorite genre? Actor? Film?
D.B. Too many to choose from in each category. As much as I bag on bad movies on my podcast, I really love the good ones.
Steph for TBB: Any chance “The Benson Interruption” will get another shot on television?
D.B. : No. Comedy Central and I agreed that they don’t want to do it anymore. But, who knows? Maybe I can get it going somewhere else. Like perhpas I could interrupt chefs on the Food Network. Or yell at Tiger Woods while he’s trying to putt on the Golf Channel.
Steph for TBB: Are you the most happy when you’re killing an audience?
D.B. : It is a good feeling. But I also enjoy orgasms and eating food. In that order.
Steph for TBB: . Ever get tired of “going up”? Writing bits?
D.B. : Like I said, I improvise a lot, so it’s difficult to get tired of my act. The audience, on the other hand, might feel differently about it. Hee hee.
Steph for TBB: Who are some up and coming comedians that make you laugh?
D.B. : I don’t get much chance to see comics other than the ones I work with. My favorite support acts the last few years have been Anthony Jeselnik, Nikki Glaser and Brendon Walsh.
Steph for TBB: Was there one particular set in your early years of standup that made you decide that comedy was definitely what u wanted to do?
D.B. : When a comic I always admired named Rick Overton complimented me on a set one time, it really encouraged me, and I’ve been at it ever since.
Steph for TBB: Happy belated 4/20! I think most people assume that’s like your Christmas or something. How did you celebrate this year?
D.B. : You already know the answer to that question!
Steph for TBB: What or who do you consider hack?
D.B. : I’m not gonna name names, and any subject can be funny if the comedian is clever about it.
Steph for TBB: Atlanta comic (Noah Gardenswartz) recently started a story tellers show here. Do you ever participate in or attend those types of shows out in L.A.? If so, how would you describe its appeal to a casual comedy fan who’s not familiar with the concept?
D.B. : I tell stories in my act. Most comics do. So the transition to those sorts of shows is an easy one for the comedians and the audience.
Steph for TBB: “Potty Mouth” came out towards the end of summer last year, is album #5 pretty close on the horizon?
D. B. : Yes, it’s called “Smug Life” and it comes out on July 3rd. Tom Cruise’s birthday, as it turns out. Yeah, he wasn’t born on the Fourth of July.
Thank you Steph!
Photo Credit: Robyn Von Swank
(As seen in the May mini mag)