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Morgan Spurlock’s Shadow

Eugene’s honorary stoner, comedian Doug Benson, returns to our green valley

April 21 may as well be the new 4/20, as far as Eugene and comedian Doug Benson are concerned. The seminal stoner and star of Super High Me returns to WOW Hall for his 3rd annual celebration of giggling and giggle weed, hot off releasing his on-the-road documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled — to continue in the vein of pot variations on a Morgan Spurlock theme — on Chill.com. Also the host of the Doug Loves Movies podcast, Benson sounds off on his favorite and most despised films of 2013, smoking with the stars and legalizing marijuana.

This is like your umpteenth time in Eugene. Why do you keep coming back?

I did a show on April 21st a few years back and had such a great time I decided to make it an annual thing.

Are you sure it’s not the weed?

Oh, yeah, and the weed. Thanks for reminding me. 

The Pew Research Center recently released a poll that shows for the first time in over 40 years of polling, the majority of Americans support legalizing pot. Were you surprised by this news? 

Not surprised at all. Only old people who don’t smoke think it should be illegal. And they are all dying. 

Has this change in mainstream opinion affected your act at all? Why or why not?

Hasn’t changed my act one bit. Weed will always be a fun thing to talk about. And to use!

EW recently spoke with Maria Bamford, who also released her comedy special through Chill.com. Now you’ve released The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled. Is this the new big thing for comics? How is it working for you?

Louis C.K. got the DIY ball rolling when it comes to comedy specials. Maria’s is great because it’s not a typical stand-up special. It’s her doing her act for her parents! So I liked what they are doing at Chill.com and thought that would be a good place to put my new movie for people to see. So far it’s working out great — no one has complained to me about having to spend $8 on it, anyway.

The concept is a movie about raising funds for a movie — that’s so meta. Where did you come up with the idea and why did you want to make it?

I came up with the idea because my first documentary, Super High Me, was a rip-off of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me. So when I decided I wanted to make a follow-up to Super High Me, I thought, why not continue to steal Morgan’s ideas? He made a movie called The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which was him using product placement in a movie to raise money to make and release that movie. So that’s where I came up with my title and premise. Would keep ripping Spurlock off, but his next movie is about a boy band and I don’t wanna touch that. 

You’re a movie buff. You do the Doug Loves Movies podcast. Besides The Greatest Movie Ever Rolled, what’s your favorite movie of 2013 and why?

I’m sad to say my favorite movie so far this year has been Spring Breakers. It’s really disturbing and yet kind of hypnotic. And all the other guys watching it alone in a theater agree. 

What’s your least favorite movie of 2013 and why?

I really hated the latest Die Hard movie because it seemed like they didn’t even try to make it good. 

Is there any movie star or director you’d really like to get high with?

Most of them! I love it when I meet an actor or director I admire and they wanna get high. I won’t name names but I’ve smoked with some pretty awesome ones. Even Academy Award nominees!

Who really makes you laugh right now?

Sarah Silverman, Graham Elwood, Paul F Tompkins, Rory Scovel, DC Pierson, David Huntsberger, I could go on and on. I’ll try to bring one of ‘em with me for my show on 4/21.