Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.

This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Doug Benson. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email

I’m pretty excited to present this week’s Stand Up Tuesdays, as it’s one I’ve been waiting for for quite some time now. Today marks the release of the brand new, 2-disc CD from my favorite pot enthusiast, Doug BensonSmug Life was recorded on April 20, 2012 at Parlor Live in Bellevue, WA, and features a little experiment that Benson’s been wanting to try for a while now: one of the discs offers Benson completely straight, as he avoided any marijuana consumption in the lead up to his first set, cleverly named, “Uncooked”.  The second disc, as one can imagine, offers Benson at his pothead best, after frantically spending the time between his two shows consuming as much weed as humanly possible, to give his audience disc two, entitled “Cooked”.

Man, I feel bad for the first audience.

It’s not that Benson isn’t funny when he’s not stoned – he’s still quite hilarious, being the non-rookie comedian that he is. What fans will get with Smug Life is almost an experience in dealing with a slightly schizophrenic Benson, as it’s pretty clear that Benson isn’t quite as happy when he’s sober.

“If you want to participate in the show, you should go to a fucking dueling piano bar,” Benson quips, as he relates a tale of an old woman trying to offer him material. “Which I would go to…I would go to a dueling piano bar, if it was to the death. Then I would be all over that shit.”

Even when Benson isn’t high, it’s delightful to watch a comedian who has generally written all of his material when he was, in fact, most high.

“They had a sign at the massage parlor place that said, ‘Top to Toe Massage’. Yeah, top to toe. This sounds like something for me – I like an all-inclusive massage.  I gotta tell you guys, that lady, that masseuse was a real dick skipper,” Benson jokes before laughing to himself. “I definitely thought of dick skipper when I was high, and then had to work my way back. What could I say where the punch line could be, ‘she was a real dick skipper’?”

Benson playing the straight-man, while hilarious in itself, is definitely an experience that’s slightly more awkward than it needs to be. Thank god he had the wherewithal to use the time between his sets productively.

“The last time I spent eight hours not smoking was because I was on a plane to Amsterdam,” Benson explains to his second audience. “I record the first show, completely not high, and then in between shows (and even during the first show I ate an edible marijuana pill) I smoked as much as I could to prepare for this show.   So how high am I right now? I think I’m at about 7.4…on a scale of one to 7.4.”

While one may expect Benson’s mass consumption to lead to a disorganized show, one has to keep in mind that being stoned is the benchmark for him: he pretty much functions day to day high anyway, so you’re not going to get a jumbled, absent-minded stammering set of comedy that you would if another comedian attempted such an experiment.  Benson is able to re-work the same jokes from his first show in such an expert manner that, despite how stoned he is, one can immediately spot the mastery with which Benson is working. Granted, the ‘cooked’ version isn’t without it’s expected pot pitfalls, as Benson struggles with getting the word ‘infinity’ out of his overly dry mouth much more so than when he wasn’t high. Ah, the articulation-impeding powers of the almighty weed.

One of my favorite things about Benson is how self-aware he is when he’s doing visual humor.

“I do a lot of physical comedy on my albums so that some poor jerk is sitting at home thinking, ‘Why did I Bittorrent this?’”

In typical Benson style, both CDs include some trademarks, such as Benson’s reading of audience Tweets as well as his plans to continue spoofing Morgan Spurlock movies. Smug Life is a delightful little experiment that serves to further place Benson in a comedic class of his own, offering far more than your run-of-the-mill comedy CD might.  If Doug Benson’s annual 4/20 shows and eventual recordings aren’t a high point of your year (pun most definitely intended), it’s time to examine what you’re smoking and get aboard the Doug Benson train.  Pick up your copy of Smug Life today via iTunes or

James Shotwell
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