Doug Benson


Doug Benson
Doug Benson

Benson at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con
Birth name Douglas Steven Benson
Born July 2, 1964 (1964-07-02) (age 47)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, Television, Podcast
Nationality United States of America
Years active 1986-present
Genres Satire, Observational comedy, Alternative comedy, Sarcasm
Subject(s) American culture, pop culture, everyday life, self-deprecation, Recreational drug use
Notable works and roles Best Week Ever
Last Comic Standing
Super High Me
The Benson Interruption

Douglas Steven "Doug" Benson (born July 2, 1964) is an American stand-up comedian and actor who has appeared on Comedy Central Presents, Best Week Ever and was a contestant on Last Comic Standing in the show's fifth season.

In 2008, he starred in the film Super High Me, a documentary about marijuana usage. Benson also currently hosts the popular Doug Loves Movies podcast. His Comedy Central series The Benson Interruption ended its first season in December 2010 and was turned into a monthly podcast starting in January 2011.

Contents

Early life

Benson was born and raised in San Diego, California. After graduating from a San Diego community college, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.

Career

Early career

While in Los Angeles, Benson began doing stand-up after he and two other friends dared each other to. One of them didn't show, and the other one signed up too late. Benson claimed that "I went in anyway and did my three minutes of whatever I could come with and people actually laughed."[1] At the age of 22, Benson began performing regularly as a stand-up comedian. He made his earliest television appearances as a stand-up in the late 1980s and early 1990s on programs such as Comedy Central's The A-List and Two Drink Minimum and was one of the featured comedians in the cast of Joel Hodgson's sketch-comedy pilot The TV Wheel which aired on Comedy Central in 1995. One of Benson's earliest jobs in television was writing for the MTV game-show Trashed in 1994.

Along with comedian friends Arj Barker and Tony Camin, Benson co-created and performed in the comedy stage-show The Marijuana-Logues. He also hosted High Time's Magazines 6th annual Stony Awards with rapper Redman.

Comedy albums

Benson appeared on the comedy compilation album Comedy Death-Ray. Benson released his first full-length solo comedy recording, Professional Humoredian, on July 15, 2008.

On August 4, 2009, Benson's second album, Unbalanced Load, was released by Comedy Central Records. His third album, Hypocritical Oaf was released on August 31, 2010. Benson aims to record a new album every April 20 (with a subsequent summer release date) for as many consecutive years as possible.[2] Benson's fourth album, Potty Mouth, was released on August 30, 2011.

Doug Loves Movies podcast

In 2006, Benson began hosting a weekly comedy podcast, titled Doug Loves Movies (Formerly I Love Movies with Doug Benson), which is recorded in front of a live audience at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. The show typically tapes weekly, and is later archived on iTunes for fans to listen to for free. Benson and guests talk about movies and comedy both. Benson's guests have included such notables as John Lithgow, Leonard Maltin, Brian Posehn, Joe Rogan, Zach Galifianakis, Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Adam Carolla, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Scott Aukerman, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, Aziz Ansari, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Shue, Aubrey Plaza, Michael Cera, Edgar Wright and Paul F. Tompkins.

A regular feature of the podcast is the Leonard Maltin Game, which has been described as Name That Tune with movies instead of songs.[3] The game consists of Benson reading the cast of an unknown movie in reverse order (star of the movie comes last) from Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide to his guests, who attempt to guess the movie.

At the conclusion of many of the early podcasts, Doug would state "Willem Dafoe is a shithead," which resulted in so many people wondering about why, that Google searches began to automatically complete the phrase as a suggested match. The Willem Dafoe comment started as a joke based on the fact that it would seemingly be the only bad words ever uttered about Dafoe, but many people didn't catch on and, after explaining it a few times, Benson apparently decided to let Dafoe rest and instead let other people - typically audience members - decide who they want Benson to call a shithead on that particular recording.

In addition to Doug Loves Movies, Benson has begun recording "The Benson Interruption" and releasing it as a monthly podcast for $1.99 and has appeared on numerous other podcasts, including Comedy Death Ray Radio, WTF with Marc Maron, The Adam Carolla Show, Nerdist with Chris Hardwick and Never Not Funny.

Film and television

Super High Me

In 2008, Benson was the protagonist of Michael Blieden's film Super High Me (a play on the name and concept of the film Super Size Me), released on DVD on June 10, 2008. In the movie, Benson compares the results of not smoking any marijuana at all for 30 days versus the effects of smoking as much marijuana as possible for the same amount of time.[4] The film was produced by Red Envelope Entertainment.

The Benson Interruption

On November 5, 2010 Comedy Central began airing The Benson Interruption, hosted by Benson. The show is based on the live stand-up comedy showcase of the same name that he has hosted in Los Angeles for many years. Special guests for the series include comedians Chris Hardwick, Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Adam Carolla, Nick Swardson, Rob Huebel, Nick Kroll, Thomas Lennon, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Eugene Mirman.

The show spun-off into a monthly audio-only podcast on January 21, 2011, which took the TV show's format and altered it slightly by allowing the performances and conversations to play out in longer unedited episodes.

Other film work

While working as a stand-in on numerous movies in the 1980s, he had visible roles as an extra in films such as Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, About Last Night and a backup dancer in the Disney theme park attraction Captain Eo.[2][5]

Other television work

In the mid to late 1990s, Benson had small roles on HBO's Mr. Show with Bob and David, which was co-created by his friend David Cross. He also had small roles on Curb Your Enthusiasm, How I Met Your Mother, The Sarah Silverman Program, Yes, Dear and Friends.

In 2007, Benson was a contestant on fifth season of the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing. He was voted off the program during the ninth episode, earning him 6th place overall.[4]

In the 2000s, the comedian regularly appeared on the VH1 show Best Week Ever and taped several episodes of Comedy Central Presents.[4]

On December 29, 2009, Benson had a documentary special called The High Road with Doug Benson air on the G4 network. The special followed Benson and comedian Graham Elwood on one of their stand-up comedy tours.

Controversy

"Red Eye" incident

On March 17, 2009, the host of the Fox News comedy program Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld joked, among other things, that the United States should invade Canada. Benson, who was appearing on the show, also made jokes about Canada's military. These comments were poorly timed, being made during Canada's deadliest month in Afghanistan since the operation began in 2002. The Canadian government demanded an apology from Fox News as well as the panelists for "despicable, hurtful and ignorant comments."[6]

Benson was scheduled to appear in Canada at Edmonton's The Comic Strip April 3 through April 5, 2009, but the shows were canceled after the owner received threats of "bodily injury" toward the American comic. "Some were saying he wouldn't make it from the airport to the club. For everyone's safety, we decided it was best to avoid the scenario altogether," manager Rick Bronson said. On March 24, Benson apologized for the remarks on CTV News Channel's Power Play with Tom Clark.[7]

Discography

Compilation

Albums

Filmography

References

External links


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