Half Baked Cast

Hit Movies

10 Stoner Comedies We Can’t Stop Watching

Spend 4/20 with IFC's Hit Movies marathon.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

It seems bizarre that marijuana has only recently gained some acceptance in this country of ours. For most of our lives it’s been illegal, the purview of teenage drug dealers with crappy mustaches, and yet in just the last few years states have started legalizing it, and making some serious bank as a result. One assumes we’re not far off from a Starbucks-like franchise, filled with all your favorite kind buds. The weird thing is, going off of movies, you never would have known weed was somehow frowned upon. Sure, it may have been illegal, but pot has inspired countless comedies that took it about as seriously as a pie to the face. For the young stoners of the last few decades, that must have been a welcome relief, to see their red-eyed doppelgangers up on the big screen. Or maybe they didn’t even notice. They were stoned, after all. Here are just a few of our favorite stoner comedies, which always give a giggle fit, whether we’re high or just high on life.

10. Smiley Face

Smiley Face

Gregg Araki’s Smiley Face may not be the most famous stoner comedy, but it just might be the most silly. The premise is simple: Anna Farris, who always seems a bit baked to begin with, accidentally consumes her roommate’s pot cupcakes, right before setting off on an incredibly busy day. With a murderer’s row of cameos from the likes of Brian Posehn and Danny Trejo popping up, there’s always something to keep your attention, but the real star of the show is Ms. Farris. Whether she’s devouring Sun Chips or fighting to save her pricey mattress, the Scary Movie star is a natural when it comes to playing high off her behind. There isn’t much to this trifle of a movie, but then again, have you ever tried watching it…on weed?!


9. How High

How High

From Animal House to Legally Blonde, you can’t go wrong throwing a bunch of slobs and dummies onto a college campus and letting them tear it up. How High is rap icons Method Man and Redman’s spin on the genre, going full Cheech and Chong in this fried fish out of water comedy. Let’s be clear, this movie isn’t just dumb; it is gleefully stupid in the best possible sense. The premise involves a type of weed that summons a ghost, who helps the East Coast rappers cheat on their THCs, a version of the SATs. (THCS! Get it????) This leads our stoned protagonists to enroll at Harvard, and proceed to turn the school upside-down. Whether they’re getting barnyard animals blotto’d, helping dorky classmates learn how to party, or driving the school’s administration batty, these Wu Tang alums take a tired formula and reinvent it with their lowbrow charm. If you’re a fan of college comedies, hip-hop or just getting toasted, there’s something for the stoner in all of us here.


8. Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express

James Franco and Seth Rogen got their start playing stoner friends on the much beloved sitcom Freaks and Geeks. Judging by this movie, they really took their roles to heart. Reunited in a movie co-written by Rogen, the two play burnouts on the run after witnessing a murder. Sort of like a Midnight Run for the medical marijuana generation, the two movie stars have no trouble playing blazed. They must just be really good at acting, right?


7. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Harold and Kumar

With a premise that any stoner can relate to, Harold and Kumar launched a franchise by getting a wicked case of the munchies. Any trip to the store can feel like an adventure after smoking a spliff, but for these two stoners, the adventure was real, compete with a Freakshow foursome, a baked cheetah, and a psychotic Neil Patrick Harris. With the best product placement of all time, this movie makes us crave a joint and a burger every time we watch it.


6. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Fast Times

Everyone was getting stoned or laid in Fast Times at Ridegemont High, THE classic high school comedy of the ’80s. Still, for our money, if we’re talking potheads, there’s only one character worth mentioning. Jeff Spicoli was the stoner we wanted to be when we grow up. Living life like a waking dream, Spicoli knew that pizza cravings wait for no man. That’s why he had one delivered in the middle of class. Sean Penn would never again play such a comedic character, but his riff on the ultimate ’80s burnout was an all-timer, helping propel a generation of kids to take a toke. All Spicoli needed were some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and he was fine. That is called living the dream.


5. Half Baked

Half Baked

Before Dave Chappelle fled to Africa, before he became a household name, before he created one of the most influential sketch shows of the 21st century, he was the brains behind this cult comedy, about a group of dopey friends who decided to sell weed to raise some cash for their friend’s bail. A Day-Glo colored walk through the mid-’90s marijuana scene, Chappelle and company created a real love letter to getting high.


4. Up in Smoke

Up in Smoke

Before there was Seth Rogen and Dave Chappelle, there were Cheech and Chong, the granddaddies of counter culture cannabis comedy. From their humble roots on the stages of Southern California, the duo parlayed their cult status into a feature film, 1978’s Up In Smoke. No one had ever seen anything like it. A riff on Abbot and Costello, if they were stoned doofuses, the comedy duo tapped into a burgeoning vein in the American psyche and rode it to superstardom. Up In Smoke is the first, best glimpse at what the two could do with a film budget and some kind bud.


3. Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused

For teenagers in the ’90s, there was no better example of the life they were living than this ode to the teenagers of a different era. Nostalgia aside, this Richard Linklater classic nailed the trials and tribulations of growing up. With a diverse cast of burnouts and weirdoes, Dazed and Confused showed a real world, full of sexual longing, extreme neurosis, and lots and lots of weed. Everyone knew a kid like Slater, the good-natured stoner who got along with everyone and was going nowhere. Hell, most of us bought our weed from him.


2. Friday

Friday

Like a bookend to Ice Cube’s Boyz n the Hood, this comedy riff on getting high in the hood was a smash when it came out in 1995, and is largely responsible for introducing the world to Chris Tucker (for better or worse). Director F. Gary Gray had worked with Cube before, directing the video for “It Was A Good Day.” This reunion sees them explore another good day in the hood, where two friends go on a mad dash for money, ladies and a good buzz.


1. The Big Lebowski

"The

Our favorite stoner character of all time, although granted, that’s just like our opinion, man. Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski is not having a good day, but that doesn’t mean he can’t keep his buzz going, and just try to roll with the punches. (Sometimes literally.) Whether he’s getting tossed out of Malibu, attacked by nihilists or hallucinating the best bowling game ever, as long as Donny would shut up, there isn’t a day we’d rather spend with him.

Spend 4/20 with IFC’s Hit Movie marathon.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.