Some of the biggest cult-comedy classics of all time just so happen to be about or at least mention the use of marijuana. Mary Jane has contributed to some of Hollywood's biggest comedies. We all know and love them, their silly, rambunctious, and lovable.
Films like Grandma's Boy, Half-Baked, and others transcended the stoner comedy genre by making the films timeless and humorous by not taking themselves too seriously.
But, the best stoner comedy films have comedy duos. They go together like yin and yang, salt and pepper, weed and munchies. Unlike most buddy comedy films there is no need for a straight man. Both friends are capable of supplying that gut wrenching laugh. This is what separates stoner comedies from the usual comedies Hollywood creates. Non stop laughter is a must.
Here we will examine the best stoner comedy duos and examine their chemistry on screen as well as the success, and aging of their respective films. Because, while some stoner duos were able to pump out multiple movies, others were able to make the same impact with one film. And some stoner films while old, still hold the same charm they held when they were first released.
With that being said, lets look at the top stoner comedy duos! (In No Particular Order)
1. Jay and Silent Bob
Jay and Silent Bob played by Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, were first introduced to us way back in 1994 in Kevin Smith's directorial debut Clerks. The stoners have gone on to create quite the legacy appearing in most of Smith's View Askewniverse films and even having their own solo film released to general success in 2001.
The most interesting concept about these stoners is that viewers really only get dialogue from half of the duo. Bob rarely speaks, but when he does it is usually a high stakes situation where his input is needed. He's surprisingly quite intelligent and observing despite his muteness, making the moments when he does speak even the more special.
But Jay is the yang to Bob's yin. His aggressive, funny personality gives the group that comedic edge which made fans fall in love with the best friends. This outstanding balance of crude jokes and nonverbal observing makes this one of the most memorable stoner duos of all time.
2. James Franco and Seth Rogen
These two comedic rock stars have managed to give us three different stoner incarnations in three different films. We saw their first stoner interpretation in the beloved stoner classic Pineapple Express.
Then we saw the two play themselves in This Is The End and to no ones surprise, they were stoners.
And if you can read between the lines, I'm sure there was some pot smoking involved in this scene in The Interview as well.
But it's not the countless times these actors/friends have smoked together (on screen) that matters, it's the chemistry the two have created over the years.
It's no mystery that friends in real life make for better friends on screen. That is the perfect recipe for a comedic duo. It makes the actors comfortable in their own skin, and willing to go above and beyond to make the audience laugh.
Audiences have now become familiar and accustomed to the two stoners because they work so well together. This chemistry is hard to find and develop, which is why their chemistry alone makes them a stand out stoner duo.
3. Method Man and Redman
Now these two only managed to create one film together, but their chemistry is defined by countless musical collaborations that spreads over decades. Their single entry into the stoner comedy genre was an instant classic after a little aging, and it's probably playing on some cable network as we speak.
The biggest takeaway from How High was its vintage feel. Its tone, made it feel like this pair should have done this before. It put audiences in the minds of classic 80's stoner films because the two main cast members went together so perfectly and actually had a resemblance of these characters in their actual lives.
Instead of watching a movie, you almost feel like you're watching a documentary that is essentially just a day in the life of Redman and Method Man. By the end of the film you're left asking yourself, 'how high were they during the making of this film'.
At the end of the day How High taught us one thing- if we study high, and take the test high, then we'll get high scores.
4. Ice Cube and Chris Tucker/Mike Epps
Granted, Ice Cube gets the most credit of this duo because he has appeared in all three films of the Friday trilogy. But the first of the trilogy is a stoner gem that every toker will make you watch at least once. Ice Cube and Chris Tucker have this natural aura about them that puts you in their shoes and makes the audience feel like they're apart of this neighborhood.
It is one of the most well written stoner films because the film's plot isn't solely focused of marijuana, which is refreshing for the genre. Instead the film quickly but interestingly dives into the eccentric characters that make up this fictional block in south central LA. This makes for a memorable experience for the audience making it arguably the most heartwarming stoner film out there.
Its sequels Next Friday, and Friday After Next surely dropped off in quality from the original but they continued to contribute to stoner drama with scenes that stood out like these:
The trilogy is severely underrated considering it propelled the careers of actors/comedians: Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, Mike Epps, Katt Williams, and Terry Crews. Chris Tucker went on to become one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood mostly because of the success of his Rush Hour trilogy, but without Friday it may have never happened. His hilarious replacement Mike Epps has also carved a place in Hollywood with several successful stand-up specials and involvement in the Hangover trilogy.
Ice Cube who penned the scripts for all three films gets the credit for the films and actors' success. Who knew the positives that could come about from a well written stoner film.
5. Harold and Kumar
It's very important to recognize the importance of film titles. Sometimes strange titles confuse audiences making them wonder what the film's actually about. But this duo's first film, had the benefit of having arguably the most straight to the point film title of all time: Harold and Kumar, Go to White Castle.
This duo was a lovable reincarnation of the most memorable stoner duo of all time (which we'll get to later), but the writers didn't attempt to recreate or reboot the films inspiration. Instead they created an updated take on stoner duos that catered to millennial stoners.
Two undergraduate stoners get a craving for White Castle so they decide to go on a spontaneous late night trip that entertains us for three films.
It takes the duo a little over an hour to actually reach a White Castle after all of the shenanigans they run into but by the films end you almost crave White Castle as much as they do.
The film's sequel: Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay picks up immediately after the events of the first film and arguably has more laughs since the writers and director know how to present the duo.
The third and final film inserted a 3-D aspect and reminded us why we fell in love with the duo in the first place.
The Harold and Kumar trilogy was loaded with stoner comedy gold, making it not only a successful stoner trilogy but also one of the better comedy trilogies out there. Great writing, a charismatic duo, and decent directing made the film's timeless and enjoyable to even the soberest of viewers.
The trilogy has grossed over $100 million dollars at the box office making Harold and Kumar not only one of the funniest but one of the most successful stoner duos of all time.
6. Dave Chappelle, Guillermo Diaz, Jim Breuer, and Harland Williams
Half-Baked actually had the pleasure of having two stoner duos. The film follows four stoners who grew up together and managed to get into a little trouble with their local drug dealer after one of their friends is arrested and they're forced to join the marijuana distribution business.
This stoner classic alone carries the weight of some stoner trilogies which makes it an excellent example of a stoner comedy done right. Boasting a $17 million dollar box office and a more important cult following makes this a must own for any true stoner out there.
Not only did Half-Baked manage to send Dave Chappelle's career into comedy heaven, it also surprised audiences with its funny cameos from the likes of: Jon Stewart, Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, Tracy Morgan, Snoop Dogg, and America's favorite father Bob Saget.
Half-Baked has only continued to grow in popularity with time. Pretty much every time a person picks up his or her first joint you can almost assure that they'll watch this film within a year. It's that big of a deal among stoner films and for good reason.
It's only one of the top ten best stoner films of all time.
7. Cheech and Chong
No explanation needed, this is the stoner duo that every film above was inspired by in one way or another. The stoner Gods started out with Up In Smoke way back in 1978 and are currently planning its sequel 37 years later.
With nearly 4 decades and seven films under their belts, this duo has seemingly created and perfected a genre that has consistently attempted to recreate its cult following and success.
One could argue that without these two, all of the films above would simply be ideas that no production company would be willing to invest in. These two paved the way for the Jay and silent Bobs and our Harold and Kumars, and with much success.
Over the course of their filmography the duo has brought in over $160 million dollars at the box office (not accounting for inflation) not to mention the big bucks they brought in with their music, stand up specials, books, and other entertainment venues.
Cheech and Chong are THE stoner comedy duo because not only did they make classic stoner films but they used its success to continue to make more and go create in other facets of entertainment.
We have Cheech and Chong to thank for the invention of one of the most unique film genres ever created!