STAND-UP TUESDAYS: Doug Benson

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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 onDoug Benson’s comedy career. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email utgjames@gmail.com.

Keeping with his long-standing tradition, comedian Doug Benson recorded his new CD, Gateway Doug earlier this spring on 4/20 – and lucky for us, it was released today via ASpecialThing Records.  Recorded in San Francisco, Benson’s latest effort offers more of what makes the comic so downright loveable as he reads fan tweets, hilariously rants about movies, and tells elaborate stories in a way only a true pothead could. And, unlike Benson’s last effort, there’s no inebriation challenge to Gateway Doug – that is to say, Benson is at his super high best and well under the influence when he takes the stage.

I’ve always been a fan of Benson’s comedy – there’s something utterly conversational about his performances that creates the illusion that you’re simply hanging out with him in your living room (along with hundreds of your closest friends). Unlike the forced audience interaction I’ve seen with other comedians (I’m looking at you, Bob Saget), Benson’s customary ‘reading of the tweets’ shows a much deeper connection to his fans as it’s revealed how much he interacts on the social media site with them.

Gateway Doug  offers some of the funniest movie commentary to date from Benson, as he riffs about Fight Club and Pulp Fiction (in a live action version of ‘Watch This, Not That’ which leads him to the revelation that he actually hates both of those movies), cites Taken 2’s failure to live up to a certain potential, and delicately compares the movie Ice Castles to the slow efforts to move the spaceship through Los Angeles without destroying historic trees.  Be prepared to ultimately want to seek out Ice Castles after Doug’s absoltuely delightful synopsis of its plotline.

In celebration of the album’s release, Benson recently took the time to answer some of my questions regarding his upcoming plans and semi-lofty goals.

AF: Coming off of the success of The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled, what’s next on the horizon for you in terms of feature-based projects?

DB: Well, since I’ve based two movies on Morgan Spurlock films, I gotta keep going, right? He made a film about Comic-Con in San Diego, so my next movie is going to be called Chronic-Con. I’m not kidding. Although I don’t know what to do with the One Direction concert film that Spurlock directed. Might have to come up with my own ideas.

AF:  If you could share a morning wake-and-bake with any one person, who would it be (alive or dead)?

DB: President Obama. I’d just like to chat with him about ending marijuana prohibition while getting really, really, high. But it doesn’t have to be a wake-n-bake. I think a sleepover with the President is unlikely. But then again, smoking a blunt with him probably is too.

AF:  Will we ever see a Doug Benson Movie Interruption theater tour?

DB: Hell yeah, you will! I just did some interrupting of movies at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz in Austin, TX, and we plan to do them at most of the Alamo Drafthouse theaters. I can’t believe I’m getting paid to sit in the front row of a movie theater with my friends and make jokes. Truly a dream gig. Pinch me!

AF:  Okay, time for a little Watch This, Not That – the remake edition. Which would you watch: Evil Dead, Red Dawn or Fright Night?

DB: Definitely Evil Dead. Because I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve seen the other two, and the originals were better. Not a lot better, but better nonetheless.

AF:  What’s the best movie to sync up with a good pot buzz?

DB: Weed makes every movie better. It doesn’t make a shitty movie good, but it will certainly help to make it tolerable. The shorter answer is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory. The original, of course.

AF:  If the new album is called Gateway Doug, what’s it going to lead me to doing more of?

DB: Listening to my jokes. If you like this album, you’ll like all the others I’ve done. And my podcasts. And my movies. And my live shows. Man am I busy for a pothead!

Be sure to pick up your copy of Doug Benson’s Gateway Doug today on iTunes, and get those bongs ready for an hour of pure pothead delight. Don’t miss Doug as he hits the road this summer, and check out his podcasts “Doug Loves Movies” and “The Benson Interruption”.

Grade: B+

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