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It's high time for comedian Doug Benson at Pittsburgh Improv

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Comedian Doug Benson

Doug Benson

When: 4:20 p.m. Aug. 9, 21-and-over show; 4:20 p.m. Aug. 10, live podcast of “Doug Loves Movies,” 18 and over

Admission: $17

Where: Pittsburgh Improv, Waterfront, Homestead

Details: 412-462-5233 or pittsburgh.improv.com

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Matt Wohlfarth
Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
 

What if your job was getting high, watching movies, doing a podcast about movies, telling some jokes and, oh yeah, getting paid really well? We can't all be comedian Doug Benson, who was advocating the medicinal and nonmedicinal use of marijuana long before laws started to relax around the country.

More driven than the typical stoner, Benson has carved out a genius niche of sold-out “4:20” (slang for marijuana) shows. He makes a stop Aug. 9 at the Pittsburgh Improv.

Benson has produced documentaries about marijuana called “Super High Me” in 2007 and “Marijuana: A Chronic History,” which drew critical praise. As a stand-up comedian, Benson has proved himself to be one of the sharpest minds in stand-up by combining excellent writing skills, great stage presence and possibly a little pot.

Benson also loves movies and has a very popular podcast called “Doug Loves Movies,” which is also his website, www.douglovesmovies.com. If you need more of Benson or can't get into the 21-and-over show, he'll be recording the podcast live at the Improv on Aug. 10 at, you guessed it, 4:20 p.m. The podcast is usually recorded at the UCB Theater in Los Angeles. There will be guests, “but they are always kept secret until the taping,” he says.

Tickets are $17 for this 18-and-over event.

Question: How do you feel about the relaxation of marijuana laws, and how has it affected your shows?

Answer: I'm excited for weed to be completely decriminalized in this country, and it feels like it already has been legalized in some cities. My shows have stayed pretty much the same — there have always been lots of stoners in the seats, and there always will be.

Q: Tell me about your creative process.

A: My process is a mess. Sometimes I write jokes down, sometimes I just write down a few key words. But I rarely sit down just to write. Jokes have to come to me, and, often, when they do, a pen isn't around. Like in the shower or at a strip club.

Q: Why is stand-up comedy important?

A: Because laughter is good for you. Haven't you seen “Patch Adams”?

Comedian Matt Wohlfarth is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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