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A classic combo if ever there was, weed and humor, or specifically comedy movies, are a match made in heaven. There’s nothing quite like having a toke and enjoying the high alongside a few friends, be they real or cinematic. So get your snacks at the ready and sit tight, here are the 10 stoner comedies every Highsnobiety reader should know.

The stoner comedy genre has always been a voice on political times – perhaps an apathetic, lackadaisical voice, yet nonetheless, a voice. It has evolved through the counterculture of the ’60s and the Reagan-era war on drugs, progressing into the 21st century where marijuana reform has developed into varying forms of legalization. But these films have plenty to offer stoned and non-stoned viewers alike.

What is it though that makes us giggle and brings us together over the magic of weed? Is it that effervescent ripping of the bong that ignites our senses for adventure? Or the wild antics of our heroes? Or the familiarity of the situations they get themselves into? Whatever it may be, here we revisit 10 of our favorite stoner comedies over the years.

Reefer Madness

Filmed and funded by an American church group in the late 1930s, this propaganda film tells a moralistic tale about the danger of marijuana addiction. A few high school teenagers coerced into smoking a few “reefers” watch helplessly as events around them spiral out of control, from hallucination to suicide, rape, and even murder. Rediscovered in the ’70s, Reefer Madness became an unintentional satire, as well as a powerful counterculture symbol for the reform of marijuana laws. Today it remains unquestionably hilarious and is one of the films that ignited the concept of toking and watching films simultaneously.

Watch it here.

Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke

Cheech and Chong epitomize the comic weed-smoking buddies. In the counterculture of the late ’70s, they set the tone for the rest of the stoner comedy genre to follow suit. “Stoner” & Pedro’s inept, yet hilarious approach to solving problems (which inevitably involves smoking “quarter pounder” joints), land them in some pretty ridiculous situations. As they bumble and swerve their way down the road, discussing inanities and fleeing cops, they influence entire generations of future stoners, and stoner films, to come.

Watch it here.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.”

Written by Cameron Crowe after he went undercover as a high school student, Fast Times defined the rejection of Reagan-era politics during the early ’80s. Eternally baked Sean Penn exemplifies the stoned high school Californian surfer, ordering fast food during school and talking back to teachers, all while doing so in a carefree manner. In a word, he became the symbol of the ’80s stoner. The film also helped launch the careers of several stars, from Sean Penn to Nicolas Cage, Forest Whittaker and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Watch it here.

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

One of the few stoner comedies that does not revolve around marijuana, this 1989 film follows perpetual slackers Bill and Ted (played by the ineffable Keanu Reaves) as they travel through time to learn about history for a high school history presentation. Using their time machine, the stoner surfers – clearly influenced by Sean Penn’s character – meet famous historical figures, philosophizing with Socrates (“So-Crates”) about “Dust in the Wind” and meeting Freud and Genghis Khan en route. It’s a ridiculous way to learn about history, if you can even pay attention to exactly where and when they are, but it’s certainly an enjoyable trip.

Watch it here.

Dazed & Confused

A 1993 high school coming-of-age film, Dazed & Confused was Richard Linklater’s breakthrough cult classic. It chronicled members of various cliques of a Texas high school class, fed by weed, rock ‘n’ roll, and raging youth on the last day of school in 1976. The film refueled the stoner comedy genre of the ’90s by first introducing the world to Matthew McConaughey as party fiend David Wooderson. His nonchalant yet confident – “all right, all right, all right” – stoner attitude paved the way for future enthusiasts to embrace 4/20 and take advantage of their youth.

Watch it here.

Clerks

“I ASSURE YOU; WE’RE OPEN”

In this black-and-white, day-in-the-life film from 1994, Kevin Smith first introduces us to the lovable characters of Jay and Silent Bob as they loiter in front of a suburban convenience store in New Jersey (there’s a recurring theme here with New Jersey…). They happen to be weed dealers, yet the plot revolves solely around their daily discussions and witty, perhaps brilliant, banter on philosophy, women, sports, pornography, and Star Wars. By showing us the truth in suburban, middle-class banality – heavily influenced by stoner culture – Kevin Smith was able to launch his career with this low-budget classic.

Watch it here.

Friday (Next Friday, and Friday After Next)

“Weed is from the Earth. God put this here for me and you. Take advantage man, take advantage”.

In the first film of this series, we follow unemployed stoners Smokey and Craig (Chris Tucker and Ice Cube) for the duration of a day as they smoke their entire stash and have to figure out a plot to pay back the money to their dealer. While they puff on their porch and encounter neighborhood characters (including the late great Bernie Mac as a self-righteous pastor), Smokey schools Craig on the rules of puff-puff-pass and gives us an improbably accurate view into life in the ‘hood. For lovers of hip-hop and stoop-sitting, this is a must see, especially if you like to watch Ice Cube banter while high.

Watch it here.

Half Baked

Half Baked is Dave Chapelle’s 1998 breakthrough role as a dealer who’s in love with Mary Jane (in fact, there are two Mary Janes), who turns into a well-known dealer from his crop called Mr. Nice Guy. Cameos include pot advocates and lovers Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, Jon Stewart, and the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, whose ghost barely saves Chapelle and crew from rival weed dealers. “Abracadabra man, abracadabra!” Chapelle and co-writer Neal Brennan would go on to create Comedy Central’s legendary Chapelle’s Show, a staple in TV sketch comedy from the 2000s.

Watch it here.

Super Troopers

Created by a former university comedy troupe, this film revolves around a group of reckless state troopers looking to relieve boredom on the job. Hilariously inept yet endearing, they constantly play pranks on one another and those that they arrest – “The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!!!” – yet at the end of the day find themselves trying to solve a serious drug-smuggling ring. Necessary viewing for anyone wondering what happens if you smoke and take a highway somewhere between New Jersey and Canada…

Watch it here.

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay, and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas)

Trying to figure out your career isn’t easy, especially if weed gets in the way. While the post-collegiate, lovable duo of Harold and Kumar contemplate a career in medicine, they take a break one night to smoke as much weed as possible and venture out to a late-night fast food chain to satiate their hunger (as any good New Jerseyan knows, this is incredibly close to the truth). However, along the way, they become terribly lost, crash their car, and are saved by a disfigured tow-truck driver named Freakshow, who also propositions them for sex.

The adventure continues as they blaze a joint with a cheetah, pick up an ecstacy-fueled, gurning Neil Patrick Harris, and eventually revel in the gluttony of White Castle sliders (while reviving NPH’s stagnant career along the way). This started the epic franchise, clearly reverberating with viewers who will do just about anything to indulge their munchies. It also became the genre’s archetype for stoner buddy films made over the past 10 years.

Watch it here.

Written by Brian Papish for Highsnobiety.com

Words by Staff
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