It’s no secret: there are a lot of celebrities who smoke marijuana. There are also a lot of celebrity stoner lists. Unfortunately most of them try to include A-listers who are caught and cause a scandal. This tabloid-like tendency seems counterintuitive to the idea of a celeb stoner list, furthering the idea that smoking pot is taboo and a spectacle.
A real stoner celeb is someone who: 1. Openly promotes marijuana use, 2. Embodies popular stoner characteristics, 3. Plays with stoner stereotypes, and above all…4. Is funny to watch while high. So here is my list of the best stoner celebs that embody all of these attributes:
1. Jim Breuer
Some people choose being stoned, and some people have being stoned thrust upon them. Jim Breuer, popular for his SNL character Goat Boy and his Joe Pesci impression, never stood a chance. Breuer’s eyes have a particular squint to them that causes him to constantly look stoned. He openly jokes about having to convince people he isn’t. In fact, he recently published a book called, I’m Not High. Breuer’s perma-stoned persona has helped him land those kind of roles. Jim tops my list for being the hero in Half Baked, the best stoner movie of this generation.
2 Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong
For the last 40 years wherever a movie or television show needed a token tweeker, wherever people need to know that “Dave’s not here” or how to pronounce “Was Sappening?” Cheech and Chong have been there. No individual person could ever come close to touching the influence that either of these comedy giants has had. Known initially for their comedy albums, Cheech and Chong really hit the cultural consciousness when their 1978 cult classic, Up In Smoke was released. With everything from hot boxing with a gigantic joint, to driving the world’s first fiberweed van back from Mexico, Up In Smoke is the baseline by which all stoner movies, if not all stoner comedy, is judged.
3. Mitch Hedberg
“I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to, too.” Mitch Hedberg is to stoner comedy as Jim Breuer is to funny looking eyes. Hedberg, who died in 2005, had a particular way of delivering a line that made it impossible to tell whether or not he was on something. Full of non sequiturs and one liners, Hedberg’s comedy, which often featured pot references, was perfect for a comedy audience with a peculiarly short attention span. Hedberg displayed the stoner’s gentle apathetic pathos with jokes like, “I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they are going and hook up with them later.”
4. Snoop Dogg
Featured on tracks like Smoke Weed Everyday, This Weed is Mine and Kush, Snoop Dogg is chief among celebrity smokers. Snoop Dogg is the second celeb on this list to have stared in Half Baked, only one of his many weed-related appearances in which he stars as himself (other notable appearances include Weeds and Entourage). In 2002 he was named ‘Stoner of the Year’ by High Times magazine, for example. But of all of my favorite Snoop scenes, the day that Adam Carola and Jimmy Kimmel from The Man Show visited Tha Dogg Pound takes it.
5. Willie Nelson
Fellow High Times magazine alumnus, Willie Nelson is probably the most outspoken of the smoke-friendly celebrity. Nelson cochairs the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), and it’s no wonder. He has been arrested several times for possession. Nelson holds an annual golf tournament and regular concerts to raise funds for NORML and to ‘normailze’ cannabis in the public eye. At age 77, Willie Nelson continues singing the song of stoner freedom for all of us.