Netflix & Chill: 420 Edition – ‘Getting Doug With High’

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

“Getting Doug With High” is a video and audio podcast show hosted by stand-up comedian Doug Benson, and every episode is available on YouTube. You might remember Benson from “Super High Me,” a documentary about marijuana use in which Benson consumed cannabis every day for 30 days and noted changes in his physical and mental health. Keep in mind, Benson himself is not overwhelmingly funny (actually, he’s pretty obnoxious). But the concept of “Getting Doug” is ingenious. Benson invites various celebrities into a studio (mostly comedians, not movie stars), gets them stoned and interviews them. A plethora of funny women have visited the program (and were more than game to blaze): Jenny Slate, Abbi and Ilana from “Broad City,” Sarah Silverman, Natasha Leggero and Aubrey Plaza, to name a few.

The show features a couple of regular segments (casually, in between meandering banter). There’s High History, when guests are asked about the first time they ever smoked; Pot Topics, where Benson discusses cannabis news such as which states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana; and Gabe Time, during which magician Gabe Dylan comes out to perform a magic trick for the guests, who are usually so high they’re either wildly impressed or don’t really understand what’s going on.

High interviewing is not a bad idea. People tend to loosen up when they smoke (unless they become anxious or paranoid, which sometimes happens on Benson’s show, too). Questioning celebs who aren’t quite so buttoned-up (and have their minds a little distorted) leads to stranger, erratic answers. Stoned conversations are usually circuitous – but when you’re high, they also seem filled with revelations and bursts of unparalleled insight. Each new sentence you or a friend speaks explodes into the night air and instigates a thousand new connections. Watching people who are high talk about stuff when YOU’RE not high is a little less fun, but it’s still good entertainment. Benson calmly peer pressures guests into inhaling more and more.

A particularly good episode guest stars comedians Sarah Silverman and Todd Glass, close friends in real life. Sarah is charming, demure and quite different from her crude television persona, while Todd is all over the place; childish, self-conscious, brutally honest. These two have smoked together before. They discuss the time Todd got too high and freaked out, and Sarah had to comfort him. They also remember the time Todd got high and started having a heart attack, but Sarah told everyone, “It’s fine, he’s just high!” because she couldn’t tell the difference. When Benson asks Sarah whether she’s reaped the intended “euphoric” benefit from the strain she is toking, she thinks for a moment, then admits, “I mean… I still remember death.”

Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

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