Doug Benson is getting a shot at judging in Comedy Central’s new show The High Court with Doug Benson. For those who don’t know, Doug is a comedian who has built his career on marijuana use, starring mostly in comedy specials and barely television-worthy video podcasts with tacky sets consisting mostly of him and guests getting high off of weed. He does have one minor film credit to his name, though, which is semi-serious documentary cult classic Super High Me about the supposedly inconsequential effects of prolonged marijuana use (aside from an 8 lbs. increase in weight). Doug is currently involved in a legal battle trying to prevent the production company from releasing a sequel to it.
The interesting thing about Doug is that he has become something of a minor figurehead for the pot-smoking subculture on irreverent TV channels such as Comedy Central. Many will attribute this to his appearance in Super High Me, after which he is said to have used a lot more weed-related humor as a stepping stone into pop culture stardom. However, there is more to Doug than just being a pothead. Anyone who follows him will notice that he has a leadership streak. Unlike Cheech and Chong, who played bumbling antiheroes in their starring roles or bit parts otherwise, Doug is always at the helm of whatever he’s doing. On his podcasts, he’s the leading hosts; on his Comedy Central TV show he sat on a throne, where comedians performed under his watchful gaze.
Now the slurring marijuana czar will exercise his authority in a court of law on aggrieved parties and he will make his rulings only after consulting with his bong. It seems unwise for the people involved to agree to such a scenario, but not so strange that Doug is at the forefront of this venture, as he has been used by the pro-marijuana lobby to push the limits of marijuana’s social acceptability. It seems that they won’t stop until they see the narcotic occupy a similar position to caffeine.
While the prudence of someone who is fine with a drugged judge presiding over his case is suspect, the worth of the idea itself is undeniable. This appears to be a completely novel concept; outside of alcoholic legal personnel frequently seen in movies or HBO dramas and a few shameful real-life cases, there is no precedent for a judge high on drugs. In fact, we can go even further and say that reality productions with marijuana use is completely unheard of unless you count Arnold Schwarzenegger’s puffing at the end of Pumping Iron.
Doug Benson’s previous forays into television have not fared well. The Benson Interruption, which was a stand-up comedy program on this same network, lasted only one season. Although this was also a novel concept – a judge interrupting comedy acts – we may chalk its failure up to the fact that Benson might be a little too slow and groggy to effectively keep the attention of anything more than a niche audience pre-disposed to enjoying stoner comedies. However, he may yet find strong cult success as he has before. This program should at least garner some very strong initial curiosity if it is marketed well.
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Are you a fan of Doug’s comedy? Do you think he will give fair rulings on the cases or will he always just avoid all conflict? Do you think marijuana use should be glorified in the way Benson does? Give us your comments and opinions down below.