High praise: Our 20 favorite weed comedies of all time
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High praise: Our 20 favorite weed comedies of all time

It's a stoned-cold fact: Marijuana has been an integral part of some of our favorite comedies for at least 40 years. Some of the highest-caliber movies feature the highest-possible characters — and often the highest audience members. Look, it's a joint effort. With the 25th anniversary of "Dazed and Confused" this month, we want to take a look at some of our favorite weed comedies. Don't worry, this gallery is purely for medicinal purposes.

 
1 of 20

"Half Baked"

"Half Baked"
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Before there was "Chappelle's Show," Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan wrote "Half Baked," the story of a janitor and his pothead friends who are forced to become pot dealers after one of them accidentally kills a diabetic police horse. Chappelle plays both the janitor and rapper Sir Smoka Lot, and the film features cameos from Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg and a pre-"Daily Show" Jon Stewart. Sure, you've probably seen this movie, but have you seen it — on weed?

 
2 of 20

"Pineapple Express"

"Pineapple Express"
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"Pineapple Express" kicked off the on-screen pot-fueled bromance between Seth Rogen and James Franco, although they'd already played stoner friends in the cult TV classic "Freaks And Geeks". Rogen is a process server who accidentally witnesses a murder and Franco is his kindly drug dealer who gets dragged into the mess. Things get violent, a gang war breaks out, but the most important part is that everyone realizes they've been best friends the whole time.

 
3 of 20

"How High"

"How High"
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Cannabis Rules Everything Around Me! In the film that features Redman's finest dramatic work, he and Method Man play stoners who get in to Harvard thanks to smoking weed fertilized by their dead friend's ashes. Along the way, they invent truth serum, run afoul of school administrator Dean Cain (the actual Dean, not '90s TV Superman) and eventually discover the artifacts of Ben Franklin's bong. Can it all be so simple? Yes, as long as you have magic pot.

 
4 of 20

"Up in Smoke"

"Up in Smoke"
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The granddaddy of all pot comedies, "Up In Smoke" is the first of many Cheech and Chong joints. The loose plot involves a van made entirely of weed, border-crossing and a Battle of the Bands. The duo would go on to make seven more movies together, and while there were plans for an "Up In Smoke 2" at one point, it seems appropriate that they'd stop at the eighth.

 
5 of 20

"Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"

"Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle"
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Harold and Kumar are like Cheech and Chong's slightly more ambitious nephews, who have to overcome racist cops, crazy truckers, extreme sports punks, an escaped cheetah and a maniacal, womanizing Neil Patrick Harris to get to their delicious burgers. This spawned two sequels and also launched NPH's subsequent comedic career.

 
6 of 20

"Friday"

"Friday"
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"Friday" turns the hard-edged world of "Boyz n the Hood" on its head with a cheerier, sillier portrait of life in the ghetto. It's hard to remember what a departure this was for Ice Cube, who co-wrote the script with DJ Pooh, who went from the toughest rapper in America to a lighthearted straight man. The film spawned two sequels and also gave us "Bye, Felicia!"

 
7 of 20

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
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Sean Penn may have two Best Actor Oscars, but he's never been better than as surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli, who orders pizza to class, wrecks Forest Whitaker's car in a joyride and constantly clashes with history teacher Mr. Hand. Maybe Penn could have avoided some of his later clashes with the law if he'd taken a lesson from Spicoli and smoked some weed to mellow out. Then he could have said, "Aloha, criminal record!"

 
8 of 20

"Knocked Up"

"Knocked Up"
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Seth Rogen shockingly plays another stoner in this Judd Apatow movie, which almost feels like a thought experiment to see if he could truly make a romantic comedy with Rogen as the lead. Ultimately there's a message — not so much anti-pot as pro-responsibility, as Rogen plays the kind of guy who saves his bong during an earthquake but not his pregnant girlfriend.

 
9 of 20

"Super Troopers"

"Super Troopers"
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Broken Lizard's cult classic features a bunch of slacker highway patrolmen whose lives of mischief, syrup-chugging and messing with intoxicated motorists is interrupted by having to investigate actual crimes, including murder and drug-smuggling. The movie got a sequel this year, 17 years after the original, because stoners can't get anything done on time.

 
10 of 20

"The Big Lebowski"

"The Big Lebowski"
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This Coen Brothers cult classic is essentially a stoner noir, where instead of a detective, we follow The Dude, an aging pothead and dedicated bowler. There's mistaken identity, fake kidnappings, fertility scams, severed toes, hallucinogenic bowling-themed dream sequences, and a volcanic John Goodman performance. The Dude remains befuddled throughout, though all he wants is his rug replaced. But he's way out of his element!

 
11 of 20

"The Stoned Age"

"The Stoned Age"
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"The Stoned Age" manages to capture an essential element of the marijuana lifestyle: namely, driving around listening to music, looking for something to do. The low-budget film has some anachronistic details, but ultimately, it's a tribute to Blue Oyster Cult, who cameo as guys selling bootleg BOC T-shirts.

 
12 of 20

"Mallrats"

"Mallrats"
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Kevin Smith's follow-up to "Clerks" is, like "Dazed and Confused," another stoner classic featuring Ben Affleck as a psychotic bully. It's a star-making role for Jason Lee and a big, slapstick role for Smith himself, as pot dealer Silent Bob. It's a loving tribute to the malls of New Jersey, and in case you forgot it was for '90s stoners, a crucial plot point involves a Magic Eye poster. Spoiler: It's a schooner!

 
13 of 20

"The Breakfast Club"

"The Breakfast Club"
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John Hughes' portrait of misfit teens in Saturday detention contains a long sequence where the kids toke up. While a few of the kids giggled and joked around, Emilio Estevez's character apparently smoked a joint laced with PCP. Getting high made him do gymnastics, rip his clothes off and scream so loudly that he shatters a glass door. Maybe he should switch to an indica?

 
14 of 20

"Super High Me"

"Super High Me"
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Doug Benson's parody of "Super Size Me" sees him attempt a month of weed sobriety, followed by a month of getting high all the time. Somehow, both his SAT score and sperm count improved in the month of marijuana. Though, it's also clearly a month of munchies, as Doug gained eight pounds. Interestingly, he did markedly better on his psychic ESP test while blazed out of his mind, which may indicate he's getting truly supernatural chronic.

 
15 of 20

"Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood"

"Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood"
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Shawn and Marlon Wayans wrote and starred in this parody of various '90s coming-of-age hood films, which paved the way for silver-screen classics "Little Man" and "White Chicks." It's a pitch-perfect parody of the whole genre, including a pot-smoking granny who shockingly did not rap once.

 
16 of 20

"Empire Records"

"Empire Records"
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4/20 may be the official stoner holiday, but "Empire Records" aficionados know the key date is April 8 — Rex Manning Day. The entire film takes place on Rex Manning Day, as the washed-up rock star visited the independent record store that is desperately trying to avoid becoming a corporate Music Town. Although there is a detour where Mark gets high and hallucinated he's in a GWAR video. Rex Manning is too much of a square for that.

 
17 of 20

"Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny"

"Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny"
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Though it was a box-office bomb on its release, plenty of stoners consider Tenacious D's origin story to be the bomb. JB (Jack Black) and KG (Kyle Gass) form a band, steal the pick of destiny to become rock gods, and eventually defeat Satan in a Rock Off and turn the devil's horn into a bong.

 
18 of 20

"This Is The End"

"This Is The End"
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Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, James Franco and a star-studded cast play exaggerated versions of themselves trying to survive the Rapture, including a depraved Michael Cera and leather slave Channing Tatum. They try to toke their way through the impending apocalypse before eventually learning that, just as we all suspected, heaven is a Backstreet Boys video.

 
19 of 20

"Reefer Madness"

"Reefer Madness"
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Though not intentionally a comedy, "Reefer Madness" is a church-funded anti-cannabis morality tale that has aged into one of the more hilarious things one can watch under the influence. Crazed reefer users murder each other, run down pedestrians, commit suicide and go insane, all due to the effects of the devil's weed. The film ends with a school principal ominously warning that the next tragedy could be your own children, but there's nothing more tragic than the filmmakers' belief they made something of quality.

 
20 of 20

"Dazed and Confused"

"Dazed and Confused"
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You got "Dazed and Confused" on DVD? Well, it'd be a lot cooler if you did. Richard Linklater's sprawling story about the last day of school in Texas in the '70s features drinking, partying, a paddle-wielding Ben Affleck, a killer soundtrack, plenty of pot and, of course, high school girls. We get older, they just stay the same age.

Sean Keane is a comedian residing in Los Angeles. He has written for "Another Period," "Billy On The Street," NBC, Comedy Central, E!, and Seeso. You can see him doing fake news every weekday on @TheEverythingReport and read his tweets at @seankeane. In 2014, the SF Bay Guardian named him the best comedian in San Francisco, then immediately went out of business.

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