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Stoned Comedians Are Ruining Shows in Colorado

Stoned Comedians Are Ruining Shows in Colorado

by March 19, 2015 0 comments

I’m going to start this article off with some personal anecdotes. As a comedian, and a purveyor of the “green arts,” I feel  that it’s only appropriate. Toronto is a city with several marijuana lounges, each of which has its own respective comedy show. I’ve seen (and been) one of  those comedians who don’t smoke or rarely do, and end up too fucked up on stage to properly perform. I’ve seen (and been ) one of those who did edibles or dabs prior to a performance. I have ended up wondering if I ever knew how to communicate with others or if was, at the time, able to do so. However, I’ve also seen (and been) one of those comics who gets looser, sillier and more comfortable on stage because of pot. The previous occurrences include  shows outside of the respective lounges. I only mention them, because it’s more likely that comedians will be tempted to try the delicacies available prior to such an event. It is like the temptation  to get drunk when you happen to be on in an hour or longer. And, with that, I’d like to say, I’ve seen more comedians too drunk to perform than those that were too stoned.  Both can be horrifying, inciting nervous and uncomfortable laughter.

That being said, as with any substance, ones’ reaction is completely personal and individual. Reports are circulating about comedians, who, after visiting Colorado (and other states where legalization has occurred) end up way too baked to perform properly.

Reports circulated that Ralphie May, a major headlining comedian, was too high to perform at Grand Junction, Colorado. Apparently, May made his way to the stage and performed, unable to complete sentences, slurring words and looking way too messed up. Members of the audience left in a fury, demanding their money back.

Similarly, podcast host and stand-up comedian, Pete Holmes, known for partaking in the cannabis world, had ingested a pot-infused soda. Instead of doing a full set (he was the poster boy for the event) Holmes rushed through a weird “loopy” set and left the stage. Reggie Watts, too was noted for doing a Colorado show, for which he rushed through the performance. These comedians might be celebrating marijuana legalization, but their actions are not looking too good.

On the other side of the spectrum are comedians who thrive while “stoned-faced,” Doug Benson being the most predominant 420 comedian. If Benson were to make his way to the stage sober, the audiences would probably demand their money back. Similarly, Ari Shaffir and Joe Rogan, are known to perform well not only while high on pot, but psychedelics as well. They claim that such mind altering substances offer the potential for an ultimately strange and unique experience, for both themselves and the audience.

What it comes down to is confidence in (or maybe knowledge of)  ones’ tolerance levels and personal preference/ability. I’ve been in all sorts of mental states on stage, whether under the influence of substances like marijuana or alcohol, and I’ve found benefits and detriments from each. Comedy is so personal though that a phone call from your mother, prior to a set, can fuck your show up. It’s all about how one handles his psychic energy (not like witches and gypsies, more like the Freudian type route) in general. If you’re uncomfortable sober, that will come across as easily as it does when you’re stoned, except that being stoned is way sillier and a better excuse for having a bad set. Some assume that a substance can cure the jitters of pre-show anxiety, and sometimes it does.

I think what it all comes down to, is that comedy is just generally hard to do.

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