2008 flashback: Doug Benson interview

Posted January 11, 2008 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Political talking heads are commonplace on CNN and Fox News. But thanks to the proliferation of pop culture shows on E!, VH1 and the like, comedic talking heads are de rigueur, too.

Take Doug Benson, a stand-up comic who has been pontificating on the absurdities of “American Idol, ” Britney Spears and Paris Hilton for three years on “Best Week Ever, ” VH1’s weekly review of the pop culture world. But he’s not really an expert on the ins and outs of Lindsay Lohan’s rehab stints.

“I don’t read the tabloids, tmz.com, Perez Hilton, ” said Benson, who will be at the Funny Farm this weekend for a series of shows. “The show provides all the deep research. I come up with the jokes.”

Benson — who says he’s immature and spends gobs of time gabbing about sex, drugs and alcohol in his stand-up routine — has seen his profile raised this year thanks to NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”

Although he only finished sixth, the producers liked him enough to give him a few minutes on stage during the finale.

The most memorable Benson moment on the show last summer was during a challenge in which he had to make a nun laugh. He failed, but he did have the temerity to do a sex joke.

“The NBC promo department played that a hundred times, ” he said, with a chuckle.

Benson is also known in pot circles and was named Stoner of the Year by High Times in 2006. He recently finished a mockumentary takeoff on filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” in which Spurlock ate McDonald’s for 30 straight days. Instead, Benson spends a month smoking marijuana. The results? “I had no adverse effects. My doctor gave me a clean bill of health.”

And while Spurlock said after the documentary that he really wasn’t going to scarf Big Macs anymore, Benson is still high on, well, getting high. “I really thought I’d get it out of my system, but it turns out I still like it.”

People recognize him frequently nowadays thanks to some TV shows, but they often think he’s on E! or VH1 specials such as “I Love the ’80s.”

“I’m what you would call, ” he said, “kinda famous.”

ON STAGE

Doug Benson, Funny Farm Comedy Club, 608 Holcomb Bridge Road, Roswell (770) 817-HAHA

Friday & Saturday 8, 10:30 p.m. $20, Sunday 8 p.m. $15\


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