When you think of hard drugs influencing any type of art form, rock ‘n’ roll comes to mind. It is a necessity for stand up comedians to be somewhat coherent (aka sober) during their set, otherwise, a live train wreck may ensue. Of course, many comedians drink a little or even smoke a little before going on stage, but psychedelics, for example, don’t usually mix well with live comedy. To back up this claim, Vice directed a 12-minute episode showing the outcome of taking acid and then going up on stage to tell jokes. The episode takes place in London, and long story short: Josh the comedian does not kill at the open mic that night. He does about thirty seconds of nervous rambling, and can’t seem to make any eye contact with the disapproving crowd. Although he didn’t get the response he was hoping for, Josh explains that he felt “invincible” and “very very happy” for having completed a challenging task while simultaneously tripping on acid.
A lot of comedians, however, talk about their psychedelic trips on stage due to the absurdity and entertaining aspect of the stories. For example, comedian and podcaster Duncan Trussell tells a 15-minute story on Comedy Central about buying a sheet of acid at a Grateful Dead concert when he was seventeen years old. Another comedian, Doug Benson, built a career out of his heavy marijuana consumption, and even stars in the documentary “Super High Me.” Additionally, in the new Showtime series, I’m Dying Up Here, heroin addiction is a common theme throughout the plot, which takes place in the 70’s. Thankfully, this trend has simmered down and hard drugs are not typically associated with stand up comedy today.
If you’re looking to see funny and coherent comedians, stop on by to Stand Up NY for a great show! Please come sober!