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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Taking the high road

Doug Benson – of ‘Super High Me’ fame – performs Saturday at Knitting Factory

Comedian Doug Benson  is a regular on VH1’s “Best Week Ever.” Courtesy of Doug Benson (Courtesy of Doug Benson / The Spokesman-Review)
Comedian Doug Benson is a regular on VH1’s “Best Week Ever.” Courtesy of Doug Benson (Courtesy of Doug Benson / The Spokesman-Review)

After riding high with his own great American smokeout, of sorts, stand-up comedian Doug Benson got a little too much “Red Eye” exposure and became a major buzzkill in Canada.

The star of the 2007 dope-umentary “Super High Me” managed to offend our northern neighbors in March when he mocked Canadian forces in the Afghanistan invasion during an appearance on Fox News’ “Red Eye with Greg Gutfield.”

“I didn’t even know they were in the war,” Benson said. “I thought that’s where you go if you don’t want to fight.”

His comments came as Canada was mourning the loss of four soldiers killed in separate blasts in Afghanistan.

Benson later issued a public apology and pledged to never again appear on “Red Eye,” a sort of conservatives’ answer to “The Daily Show.”

“I meant no disrespect to Canadians or Canadian forces when I made those comments,” Benson said in his apology. “They were meant to be silly and absolutely misinformed. …

“I’m not a political pundit,” he continued. “I’m a comedian. I want to make people laugh. It was not my intention to hurt anyone’s feelings.”

But the damage had been done, and previously scheduled shows in Edmonton – home to one of Canada’s largest army bases – were immediately canceled after the club received threats of violence against Benson.

He remains popular in the U.S. thanks largely to a joke that turned into a documentary that turned him into an instant success in comedy clubs and on TV.

Released in 2007, “Super High Me” – a takeoff on the fast-food documentary “Super Size Me” – chronicles Benson’s self-experimentation to determine the true effects of smoking pot.

The former recipient of High Times magazine’s Stoner of the Year award went off weed for 30 days, then smoked like a dragon for 30 days while undergoing tests that found, according to his physician, that smoking pot was generally inconsequential.

For example, Benson scored better on the SAT test stoned, failing to break 1,000 points when sober.

However, he cautioned viewers: “You should not smoke pot until you become a professional comedian.”

More than just stoner jokes, “Super High Me” – the eighth most watched movie on the Netflix Instant Watch Queue – also raised the platform of debate over medical marijuana use.

Benson also has been getting high praise for his stand-up act.

He was a finalist on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” is a series regular on VH1’s “Best Week Ever” and his second “Comedy Central Presents” special premiered in January.

Benson is also the creator/writer/star of “The Marijuana-Logues” show that appears in small clubs and theaters.

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