The All-Time Best Standup Comics On Cannabis, #30-21

Comedians have always pushed boundaries and questioned social taboos, so it's no surprise that so many of them have become part of cannabis culture -- whether intentional or not. So to celebrate their contributions, we've put together a five-part series on the best marijuana moments from the all-time best standup comics, based on the list of the top 50 Top Stand-Up Comics published earlier this month by Rolling Stone.

Here's part three, featuring comedians ranked from #30-21. If you missed them, here are parts one and two.

30. Woody Allen 

It's easy to forget that the Academy Award winning director began as a standup comic. And he reflected on that experience in 1977's 'Annie Hall', which features a few cannabis gags -- including standup comic Alvy Singer (Allen) and the film's titular character (Diane Keaton) debating whether or not cannabis and sex mix.

29. Dick Gregory

The comedian-turned-civil-rights-activist is the only person on this list who adamantly opposes cannabis use. Gregory believes that marijuana is the greatest danger to today's youth. "The number one drug that will wipe you out is not cocaine, it's not heroin. It's marijuana."

He explains his beliefs in this clip.

28. Robert Klein

In his HBO standup special 'Unfair and Unbalanced' (2010), Robert Klein treated fans to a parodic tribute to medical marijuana. The faux reggae tune talked pointed out the hypocrisy about the legal status of cannabis, which forces people to claim bogus conditions to get a doctor's recommendation for medical marijuana.

Of course, Klein exaggerates the qualified conditions by including dandruff and hangnails to the list. 

27. Redd Foxx

The legendary comedian's seminal sitcom 'Sanford and Son' (1972-77) features one of the earliest appearances of cannabis on network television. In the 1974 episode 'Fred's Treasure Garden', Fred (Foxx) finds a mysterious plant growing in his garden.

He assumes that it's wild parsley, but it turns out to be cannabis. Unfortunately, he doesn't figure that out until after he's served it to a couple local cops in a salad. 

26. Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield first tried cannabis at age 21 in 1942 and never looked back, puffing a joint once a day or more for decades. He allegedly got high in the White House while visiting President Ronald Reagan in 1983. And the original title for his autobiography was supposed to be "My Love Affair with Marijuana." (It was changed to ''It's Not Easy Bein' Me: A Lifetime of No Respect But Plenty of Sex and Drugs''.)

So it's hard to pick one marijuana moment as his best. But we'll go with the loving tribute to Rodney and his life as a medical marijuana patient that his widow -- Joan Dangerfield -- shared at a cannabis conference in 2006. Check it out here.

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25. Eddie Murphy

In 2013, Eddie Murphy teamed up with Snoop Dogg - then Snoop Lion - to record the reggae track "Redlight," which took a critical view of contemporary politics. While cataloguing problems with society today, Murphy sings, "Gone are the days when people used to say, 'Everything is alright.'" Which sounds like an allusion to Everything's Gonna Be Alright by reggae pioneer - and cannabis icon - Bob Marley. 

Meanwhile, Snoop gives a shoutout to cannabis culture in the song's chorus. "We can smoke, we can do what we want. We be real, we be blunt."

Check it out.

24. Eddie Izzard

Listening to Eddie Izzard's surreal routines is kinda like being high. So the British comic doesn't need to feature cannabis much in his act. But he did talk about marijuana's performance-enhancing qualities when discussing problems with the world's languages in the 1999 special Dress to Kill

23. Don Rickles

Don Rickles and Lorne Green

Rickles and Lorne Greene on The Don Rickles Show, 1968 (wikipedia.org)

Don Rickles would've had a place in cannabis culture if studio execs went with their first choice for the role of Al Czervik in the stoner comedy Caddyshack (1980).

Filmmakers originally had the legendary insult comic in mind for the part that became a breakout role for Rodney Dangerfield, who was still somewhat of an up-and-comer at age 59. (See? He really did get no respect).

22. Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters didn't crack cannabis jokes during his career as an acclaimed impressionist. But he did do masterful impersonations of celebrities like Bing Crosby. And if he knew about Bing's love of muggles, those impressions probably would've been even wilder.

21. Bob Newhart

The closest thing to a marijuana moment for Bob Newhart is the 1971 satire 'Cold Turkey.' directed and co-written by television legend Norman Lear.

The film takes a comical look at tobacco addiction in America. And - whether intentionally or not - the film highlights the hypocrisy of cannabis prohibition by reminding viewers of just how dangerous (yet legal) tobacco is.

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