06/28 Oklahoma City, OK City Arts Center
07/02 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
07/08 Las Vegas, NV Palace Station
07/11 San Diego, CA Tipsy Crow
07/15 Salt Lake City, UT Wise Guys
07/22 Dallas, TX Hyenas
07/23 Ft Worth, TX Hyenas
07/25 Portland, OR Helium
07/28 Pittsburgh, PA The Improv
07/29 Pittsburgh, PA The Improv
08/04 Toledo, OH Funny Bone
08/05 Toledo, OH Funny Bone
08/09 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room Lounge
08/20 Philadelphia, PA Helium Comedy Club
08/22 Virginia Beach, VA Funny Bone
08/23 Virginia Beach, VA Funny Bone
09/01 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot
09/02 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot
09/03 Seattle, WA Bumbershoot
Doug Benson is a "potty" comedian… If you enjoy slacker, toilet, and pot humor, then you're in Benson's demographic.
Smug Life is a Comedy Concept Album. This 2-disc set features one disc recorded sober (uncooked) and another disc recorded baked (cooked). Both discs contain similar set list of jokes and observations with different audience interactions which show case his ability to adapt to make you laugh though his personality and not just through his punchlines. What make me enjoy his style of comedy are his stoner set up and his stoner timing.
What works best with any type of comedy is the element of surprise or unexpected. With Doug Benson it's not knowing whether the humor comes clever observation or how a stoner observes a situation. At the same time the humor is mostly derived from the stereotypes of the weed culture. Marijuana has a devout following compared to other drugs; there are no heroin-based comedians or Viagra-based comedians. Doug Benson fits a niche audience that is relatable, because almost everyone is aware of pot.
Can Doug Benson do comedy that eschews from his comfort zone? The question really lies on whether Doug is funnier sober or stoned, and with Smug Life you can have two comedy sets for your own scientific experiments.
A few things I didn't like are there are a few references to some physical comedy that doesn't lend itself well to an audio format. There is also a twitter bit that feels uneven, because it is up to Doug to use his wit to make reading tweets as funny as a spoken joke. So therefore some set ups are not cleverly timed and punchlines are not as well executed.
I enjoy Doug Benson style of comedy, but it is very apparent that his jokes would not be funny if someone else was telling him. Which says a lot about his likability and charm. Doug Benson's Smug Life was recorded on 04/20/2012, and if you do not know the significance of 4:20 to the culture it is aimed at, this album may not be for you. As a Comedy Concept album, it is well executed and is worth a listen.
Doug Benson's Smug Life will be out July 3, 2012, via Comedy Central Records.