Marijuana legalization is taking large strides when it comes to changing pothead culture in America. Every legal state you go to you can find an awesome weed event where the only topic being discussed is good, better and the best weed in the country. As the green wave continues to swell, and dope events become increasingly popular, comedian and avid stoner Tyler Smith hosts a literal "Dope Show" where one of the oldest questions in the toker handbook may be answered: Can comedians perform when they're uncomfortably high?
In an attempt to solve that riddle I gassed myself up with the finest herbal essence, and no, I ain't talking shampoo, headed to the Midtown Ballroom and contemplated the results like I was a modern-day Isaac Newton.
The night of the event, Dec. 18, started out like any other outing involving killer weed. There's always a stumbler around, a late arrival, someone smoking a joint out in the parking lot and clumsy Trevor spilling a beer.
The late arrival seemed to be someone associated with the show. So, instead of a 7pm start time it quickly changed to 8pm. SPT... Stoner people's time.
In one of those weird universal alignment moments the lights dropped immediately at the top of the hour and the show began.
Smith hit the stage with jokes locked and loaded for the fuzzy-brained audience. Laughs engulfed the room with no smell of napalm to be found. After a couple of hee-haws, Smith described the layout of how the show would go down. Essentially, a comedian would perform a 15-, or so, minute set. Then, they would head outside, smoke a joint of some blueberry hybrid strain and come back in to give a shorter five minute set. The thing was, though, most comedians performing don't religiously smoke trees. That was the making of a great hypothesis.
The first comedian to come out and give it the old college try was Jake Silberman. Silberman hosts a YouTube channel where he interviews people at different sorts of rallies and takes in the views of the those in attendance. Silberman may look like one of us, aka, a stoner—but no. Don't let the tie-dye, low eyes and shaggy hair fool you. He rarely smokes and when he does, anxiety is hitching a ride. The first set Silberman threw down was solid and well received as the opening act. The second act was filled with awkwardness and a vibe that he just wanted to go home.
Before attempting the second go ahead, Silberman stated, "I have no plan. Just a four-minute panic attack."
Next up was another non-smoking comedian, Mike Coletta. Alongside comedy, Coletta also hosts a podcast titled, "Codex History of Video Games with Mike Coletta and Tyler Ostby." Both of Coletta's acts were filled with hilarious jokes and the confidence of a bald eagle in an Apache helicopter. Though Coletta's sets may have been the most heckled, or had the most audience interaction, he stood tall and made each heckle a more detailed part of the show.
Last, and certainly not least is the very funny full-time comedian Andrew Rivers. Rivers' stand-up style was a bit darker than the latter half of the show, but still brought on those gut-busting cackles. Rivers came off a lot more comfortable with smoking weed and brought his A-game for each performance. Lots of ex-girlfriend knocks and spiders with eight thumbs made this content relatable to anybody three bowls deep into some GM-Sno.
As the "Dope Show" enters its sixth year of touring, host Tyler Smith has bigger plans for the future of this weed-comedy mash-up.
"As marijuana becomes more and more legalized, I see it becoming more of an event with, like, having actual bud at the show for audience members to smoke with us," Smith said. "I feel like that's gonna happen in the next few years."