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He's One of Us!

“Becoming a standup comedian is pretty much the ultimate revenge,” explains Doug Benson. “Most standup comedians are nerds, they’re unappreciated, ignored, maybe even beat up in their early years. So once you make it then it’s payback time.”

You could say Benson is getting his payback now. The comedian is a regular on VH1’s gossip/pop culture show Best Week Ever, where he regularly pokes fun at celebrity scandle, reports on internet sillyness, and does what he admits are terrible impressions of Harry Potter. While critiquing YouTube videos and episodes of Tyra sounds like an awful dorky way to spend your time, Benson thinks the pervasiveness of popcult blurring the line between what’s nerdy and what’s not. “Your average person knows way more about pop culture than they used to, so now you have to take it a step further,” he says. “You have to be an über-nerd. So, like, in Florida you can’t wear bad sweaters, you have to go with classics like tennis shoes and shorts with knee-high black socks. But then you just fit in with all the old people, so you can’t win.”

Aside from waxing geeky on a weekly basis, Benson is also a spokesman of sorts for another group of underdogs: potheads. In 2006 he was crowned High Times Stoner of the Year, mostly for his part in co-penning The Marijuana-Logues, a live comedy show dedicated to the love of the green. But don’t worry, fans – even if Benson gets blitzed for his performances at the Improv Paradise Live (5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood), he still promises a great show. “I’m actually a very responsible stoner. I write jokes. I memorize my jokes. I show up on time.” Sure, most stoners think they’re way responsible even if they aren’t – but that’s part of the charm, right?
April 2-5, 2009

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John Linn

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