Former Stoner of the Year Doug Benson is best known best for his starring roles in the pot-doc Super High Me, the pot-play The Marijuana-Logues and VH1's pot-friendly Best Week Ever.
Born on May 7, 1964, Benson grew up in San Diego. He began telling jokes on stage in his early 20s. This led to a standup career during which he met Arj Barker and Tony Camin, whom he teamed up with to write and perform The Marijuana-Logues - an off-Broadway play that ran for a year in New York from 2004 to 2005.
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In 2006, Benson hosted the Stony Awards and was named Stoner of the Year. He began contributing punchlines to Best Week Ever and then decided to do his version of Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me - with buds instead of burgers!
Benson tours regularly doing standup and occasionally as The Doug Benson Interruption, during which he sits in the audience and heckles comedians, forcing them to freestyle and break from their routines.
After George Carlin died last June, Benson wrote on his MySpace blog: "[He] was easily one of my biggest influences growing up and proof that a pot smoker can be a prolific and inspiring person and artist. I was a fan of his stuff well before I even considered the idea of becoming a stand-up comedian. And thanks in part to his trailblazing in the area of free speech, I've actually said four of his "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" on television. I haven't said cunt, coccksucker or motherfucker on TV...yet."
He recently appeared on his second special on Comedy Central Presents.
Benson's latest comedy album is Unbalanced Load. His previous album, Professional Humoredian, was released in 2008.
#9. Amy Poehler
Longtime Saturday Night Live cast member Amy Poehler left the show after 140 episodes on Dec. 13. "I love you and will miss you all so much," she said.
The 37-year-old comic was born in Massachusetts and got her start at Second City in Chicago. This led to the formation of Upright Citizens Brigade - Matt Besser, Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Poehler.
She appeared in the Upright Citizens Brigade TV show on Comedy Central from 1998 to 2000. The second season features a storyline about a new drug called Supercool and the DEA's raid of the UCB offices.
UCB hosted the Stony Awards and Cannabis Cup in 2000.
Poehler joined the SNL cast in 2001. She was best known for her impersonations of Kelly Ripa, Sharon Osbourne and Hillary Clinton, and usually delivered the pot punchlines on "Weekend Update."
Here's one: "Rapper Snoop Dogg was given a desk appearance ticket Wednesday night in New York for possession of marijuana. Snoop called the ticket unfair and hard to roll."
And her last pot joke on SNL: "Whern you're doing something illegal you need to speak in code. When I call up my weed dealer and I ask for $50 worth of circus tickets, you know what he doesn't give me? Circus tickets! Really!"
She's appeared in nunerous movies, including Baby Mama, Mean Girls, Blades of Glory and Wet Hot American Summer.
Poehler can often be seen performing (on Sundays) at the UCB Theatre at 307 W. 26 St. in New York. They have second theater in Hollywood.
She married actor/comic Will Arnett in 2003. Their baby Archie was born in October.
Poehler is currently starring in Parks and Recreation (Thursday, 8:30 pm EST) on NBC.
#8. Woody Harrelson
In the mid-'90s, film star Woody Harrelson suddenly was seen climbing redwoods to protest logging and wearing hemp clothes to protest marijuana Prohibition. The same year (1996) he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Hustler publisher in The People vs. Larry Flynt, Harrelson was arrested in Kentucky for planting hemp seeds.
At first, the actor (he's also appeared in such films as Natural Born Killers, White Man Can't Jump, A Scanner Darkly and Semi-Pro), wanted to separate industrial hemp from recreational marijuana - he appeared on the cover of High Times donned in a hemp shirt, sans joint or bud - but he finally outed himself as a active toker at the Seattle Hempfest in 2001 when he told the large crowd, "I recently decided to stop smoking, but I thought more about it and decided I didn't want to be a quitter!"
Harrelson narrated Ron Mann's pot-doc Grass and then Mann filmed Harrelson in Go Further, which documents Harrelson's lifestyle that includes raw foods, yoga, biodiesel, bicycling and, of course, hemp. He was the keynoye speaker at the NORML Conference in 2003.
Born in Texas on July 23, 1961, Harrelson now spends most of time in Maui, where he lives and undoubtedly smokes the best kona buds the islands have to offer. He's married to Laura Louie. They have three daughters - Deni, Zoe and Makani.
In 2008, he co-starred with fellow Top CelebStoners Matthew McConaughey and Willie Nelson in the stoner flick, Surfer, Dude.
In 2009. Harrelson appeared in the The Messenger, 20012 and Zombieland. He won the Independent Spirit award and received his second Oscar nom for his role as Capt. Tony Stone in The Messenger.
#7. Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson smoked pot in the White House when Jimmy Carter was president.
He's a member of NORML's Board of Advisors.
He's appeared on cover of High Times four times.
He was arrested in September 2006 when his tour bus was searched and police found more than 1.5 pounds of pot and three ounces of psychedelic mushrooms aboard. (He paid a fine.)
He sings about "getting busted in Laredo for reasons that I'd rather not disclose" on his song "Me and Paul," which was featured on the Hempilation 2 cd in 1998.
His 2005 album Countryman - which blended country music and reggae - has a big pot leaf on the cover.
He favors family farmers growing hemp.
He's America's best-known advocate for legalizing marijuana.
Willie's latest work includes collaborations with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (Two Men with the Blues) and Asleep at the Wheel (Willie and the Wheel).
He's appeared in dozens of movies in feature and cameo roles. He plays Farmer Bob in Surfer, Dude with fellow Top CelebStoners Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
For a terrific biography, check out Joe Nick Patoski's Willie Nelson: An Epic Life.
The Texas troubadour turned 76 on April 29!
#6. Sarah Silverman
We've been keeping an eye on Sarah Silverman ever since she debuted as a part-time cast member on Saturday Night Live in 1993. In one memorable skit, she played a Deadhead. But Silverman was not brought back for the next season - a huge mistake on the part of Lorne Michaels. It's like trading a rookie who goes on to win the MVP with another team.
Born on Dec. 1, 1970 in Bedford, New Hampshire, Silverman has appeared in various TV shows (Greg the Bunny, Mr. Show with Bob and David, The Larry Sanders Show) and movies (The School of Rock, School for Scoundrels, I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With). In 2005, Liam Lynch's Jesus Is Magic combined her stand-up act with muscal skits. Silverman famously takes a big bong hit backstage at the end of the movie and then kisses herself in the mirror.
In 2006, she signed with Comedy Central to co-write and star in The Sarah Silverman Program. Marijuana pops up regularly on the show; the second season kicked off with "High, It's Sarah" in which Sarah and Brian (Brian Posehn) smoked pot and protested the corporate takeover of just about everything. "Marijuana really expands your mind," she declared.
In TSSP's premiere episiode, Silverman chugged cough syrup.
On The View, Silverman joked about "weed" with Barbara Walters, who wanted to know about her on-again, off-again relationship with late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel.
In a deleted scene from Dinner for Five, she smoked a joint.
Silverman has been nominated for a 2009 Emmy in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series category. The next season of TSSP begins in February.
#5. Jeff Bridges
Beloved for his portrayal of "The Dude" in The Big Lebowksi, Jeff Bridges was voted the 41st Top CelebStoner.
Born in Los Angeles on Dec. 4, 1949, the veteran actor and Hollywood icon is the son of actor Lloyd Bridges (and brother of Beau). He first made his mark on the silver screen in 1971 in The Last Picture Show, for which he received his first of four Oscar nominations. (His second was for Thunderbolt and Lightfoot in 1974).
Bridges had a great run of cool roles in '80s flicks, from Tron and Starman (his third Oscar nom), to Against All Odds and 8 Million Ways to Die, to The Fabulous Baker Boys and Tucker: The Man and His Dream.
Jeff Bridges/The DudeIn 1998, Bridges donned a robe and slippers, drank White Russians and smoked pot in the Coens Brothers' stoner classic, The Big Lebowski. His character Jeff Lebowski (a.k.a. The Dude) is based on a '60s activist (Jeff Dowd) who's lost his passion to change the world and would rather just bowl. That is, until The Dude is mistaken for another Jeff Lebowski and two guys take a piss on his rug.
"[I did] my best to follow this script, word, by ellipses, by 'fuck,' by 'man,' every little thing," Bridges told Rolling Stone in 2008. "I tried to put an extra 'man' in or an extra 'fuck,' or a pause or something, and it didn't feel as right. It felt undone. It was just written so perfectly." The Dude Abides
Over the last decade, Bridges appeared in The Contender (his fourth Oscar nom), Sea Biscuit, Iron Man, and most recently The Men Who Stare at Goats and Crazy Heart, for which he's expected to receive his fifth Academy Award nomination.
Bridges smokes pot sporadically, "usually around Christmastime is when the harvest comes in, and somebody will say, 'Hey! Look what I've got!'"
Bridges finally won his first Oscar for Crazy Heart (he also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor).
He's currently filming the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit, the 1969 Western starring John Wayne. Bridges is playing Wayne's part, Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn.
He's also reprising his role of Kevin Flynn in the upcoming Tron Legacy.
#4. Bill Maher
Bill Maher likes to say, "The only thing bad about marijuana is it makes you eat cookie dough."
After California passed Prop 215 legalizing medical marijuana in 1996, Maher made pot a big part of his late-night TV talk shows - first on Politically Incorrect and now on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. Also a stand-up comic, he's given speeches at NORML and MPP conferences (he's on their boards) and hosted a NORML benefit concert in Los Angeles in 2004. Real Time received a 2006 Stony Award for Best Cable-News Series.
Maher has stated: "Prescription drugs are the real killer in this country. When you hear a lobby called Partnership for a Drug-Free America, just remember - they do not want a drug-free America. They want an America free of the drugs that are their competition: Marijuana, which never killed anybody. So I guess the lesson is: Kids, stick with marijuana!"
Born on Jan. 20, 1956 in New York and raised in New Jersey, Maher moved to California in the '80s intent on making a career as a comedian. By the '90s he began cultivating his ultra-liberal reputation.
Now one of America's top political pundits, Maher appears on TV, stage and in movies, such as his documentary Religulous.
The seventh season of Real Time with Bill Maher begins on Feb. 20.
#3. Kristen Stewart
CelebStoner's No. 1 Stoner Starlet Kristen Stewart was voted the 35th Top CelebStoner by website readers. This comes on the heels of the Twilight and Adventureland star winning two MTV Movie Awards.
Stewart has become a CelebStoner favorite, thanks to several pot-parazzi photos of her smoking marijuana and wearing a potleaf bikini.
Just 19, Stewart is the youngest Top CelebStoner. Born on April 9, 1990 in Los Angeles, her parents work in the movie and television industry, leading to her professional acting career, which began in 2001 with a role in The Safety of Objects.
Best known as Bella in Twilight and the pot-smoking and cookie-baking Em in Adventureland, Stewart's first drew raves for her hippie-chick Tracy in Sean Penn's Into the Wild.
Stewart, who only attended school through seventh grade, dropped MTV's Popcorn Man award while accepting for Best Female Performance for Twilight.
She will appear next in Twilight: New Moon (November release) and as Joan Jett in The Runaways. Stewart has dated Michael Angarano, who played medical-marijuana patient/skater Sid in Lords of Dogtown, since 2006.
#2. Snoop Dogg
After appearing on Dr. Dre's The Chronic album, Snoop Dogg (a.k.a. Calvin Broadus) blew up on the hip-hop scene as a solo artist in 1993 singing "Gin and Juice": "Rolling down the street, smokin' indo, sippin' on gin and juice."
Born on Oct. 20, 1972 in Long Beach, California, Snoop did time for selling cocaine as a teenager, but ultimately decided marijuana was the recreational drug for him. He's appeared on the cover of High Times twice and was named Stoner of the Year in 2002.
In addition to his prodigious musical output, he has appeared in numerous movies, including The Wash and Training Day.
Snoop Dogg has been arrested for marijuana three times since 2006 - twice in Burbank, California and once in Stockhom, Sweden. In Feb. 2008, Snoop was ticketed for smoking outside a club in New York. He was sentenced to 960 hours of community service for the Burbank charges.
In 2008 interviews, he told Larry King he was under the influence of medical marijuana and declared on The View: "I need to have medical marijuana in my life."
Snoop appeared in an episode of Weeds in 2006, rapping about the MILF weed. He stars in his own reality show, Fatherhood, on E!, and in Dogg After Dark on MTV.
His 2008 album, Ego Tripping', featured "My Medicine" with Willie Nelson. His next album, Malice in Wonderland, is scheduled for a Sept. 2009 release.
#1. Tommy Chong
"Dave? Dave's not here!"
That's Tommy Chong's signature comedy routine, but it's his lifelong use of marijuana on and off the silver screen that he's best known for.
Born in Canada in 1939, he met his comedy partner Richard "Cheech" Marin in Vancouver. They recorded comedy albums like Big Bambu before launching their movie careers. with Up in Smoke in 1978, Chong appeared with Marin in six movies. After the duo went their separate ways, Chong continued to play the stoner in films and TV - as Leo the head-shop owner on That '70s Show.
In 2006, Chong was the subject of Josh Gilbert's documentary, a/k/a Tommy Chong, which chronicles the government's war on Tommy Chong and his bong company, Chong Glass.
Busted in 2001, he was convicted and spent nine months in jail for selling bongs across state lines. He wrote The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint about his jail experiences. Chong wrote the foreword for Pot Culture - co-written by CelebStoner's Steve Bloom. His latest book is Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography.
In 2008, Chong reunited with Marin for their first concert tour in 27 years. Chong's wife Shelby is the opening act on the tour.