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 one, featuring comedians ranked from #50-41.
50. Wanda Sykes
During a February 2010 interview with Jay Leno, Wanda Sykes called out NBC's insensitive approach to Black History Month. When Sykes arrived at the network, she was shocked by the NBC cafeteria's Black History Month menu, featuring fried chicken, collard greens and cornbread.
"Y'all don't need to know about Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass -- here's some fried chicken," Sykes said on the show. "Jay, what is happening at NBC? Is the whole damn network on medical marijuana?"
49. Aziz Ansari
People often wonder if Aziz Ansari smokes up before going onstage. But in a recent interview with Time Magazine, he opened up about his straight-laced work ethic. Instead of drugs, he prefers to sip tea and review his last performance before performing.
48. Margaret Cho
Unlike her comic colleague Aziz, Margaret Cho is super into weed. She will be starring in the upcoming sitcom Highland, which is about a dysfunctional family running a cannabis dispensary. And she even has a strain named after her: Cho-G Kush. Check it out.
47. Elayne Boosler
Elayne Boosler spends her time cracking jokes and finding for liberal causes like animal rights, reproductive freedom for women and marijuana legalization. When the New York Daily News asked for her opinion on cannabis prohibition back in 2009, Boosler voiced her support for legalization by criticizing the hypocrisy of prohibition in America.
“If marijuana had been invented in a lab at Merck, it would have been fast tracked to the market in six days so the chemist could rest on the seventh," Boosler wrote. "Madison Avenue would write an ad that says, ‘Relieves migraines, glaucoma, nausea, chronic pain, OCD, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression. Also elevates appreciation of: Clapton, Monty Python, colors, friends, architecture, Twinkies and your dog Spot. Warning: Do not drive, propose, or sign anything until tomorrow.’ Instead, we pay half our monthly salaries for patented poison prescriptions that are going to kill us in the end.”
46. Reggie Watts
The house band leader on James Corden's The Late Late Show is such a big fan of cannabis that he performed a special song on the late-night program in honor of the international cannabis holiday. The "4/20 Song" begins as a groovy 60s pastiche of psychedelic songs by bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, but then it ends as a ska jam.
45. Freddie Prinze
The late comic didn't crack a lot of cannabis jokes during his tragically short career. But his sitcom 'Chico and the Man' (1974-78) did contribute to cannabis culture by popularizing lowrider cars, which became synonymous with stoner movies thanks to 'Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke' (1978).
44. Russell Peters
The Canadian comic is set to star in the upcoming stoner comedy 'Ripped', which is about two buddies who smoke marijuana that's so good, they sleep for 30 straight years. The plot involves the two of them trying to adjust to life after greening out for three decades.
43. Amy Schumer
Before she became famous, Amy Schumer dabbled in a lot of careers -- including a brief stint as a pot dealer.
"I sold weed for such a short period of time," she told Howard Stern last August. "I was the worst drug dealer. I would run out of the little bags, so I would just use a huge Hefty bag....It was short-lived."
42. Phyllis Diller
The late Phyllis Diller broke new ground in comedy as the first female standup comic to become a household name. But she didn't joke about cannabis much in her 60 year career. Yet she made an impression on cannabis culture nonetheless. Well, her hair did at least. In 2012, longtime cannabis writer and activist Ellen Komp discovered a shaggy cannabis strain named Phyllis Diller, perhaps after the comic's signature hair.
41. Bernie Mac
One of the late comedian's first film roles was in the 1995 stoner comedy 'Friday'. Mac played a hypocritical pastor who preaches about the evils of marijuana one minute, but in the next, he's trying to weasel into a smoke sesh with Smokey (Chris Tucker) and Craig (Ice Cube).
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