Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
January 28, 2021

In this article, we will delve into the lives and careers of 11 comedic legends who not only made their mark on the world of entertainment but also embraced cannabis as a part of their creative journey. From stand-up comedians who challenged societal norms to actors who infused their roles with authenticity, these individuals left a lasting impact on comedy and cannabis culture. Join us as we explore their stories, unique perspectives, and the intersection of humor and cannabis.

This post is intended as information and for general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional about this before introducing cannabinoids into your daily routine (especially if you have been diagnosed with any medical conditions or are under any medication). It is not recommended to drive or operate any machinery when using cannabis- or hemp-derived products. Use responsibly!

Early Cannabis Culture in Comedy

The counterculture movement during the 1960s and 1970s in cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles was a pivotal period that saw the intertwining of cannabis use and comedy. Humor, often serving as a social critique, became a tool for comedians to challenge authority and question societal norms, including drug use. As the United States underwent a transformation in cultural and political spheres, cannabis use became more prevalent among young adults, influencing comedic expression.

Weed and Comedic Actor

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor, a comedic genius, evolved from his early clean-cut style to a groundbreaking, raw approach that resonated with audiences. Pryor’s openness about drug use, including marijuana, in his stand-up routines was both daring and influential. His candid discussions about drug use, including marijuana, contributed to changing public perceptions and conversations about substance use, particularly cannabis. Pryor’s unfiltered honesty marked a turning point in how comedians approached taboo subjects.

Cheech and Chong

The iconic stoner comedy duo of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong epitomized the intersection of humor and cannabis. With their sketches and movies revolving around cannabis culture, they transformed marijuana into a central theme of their work. Cheech and Chong played a significant role in popularizing cannabis humor, bringing it into the mainstream and creating a lasting influence on comedic portrayals of drug use. Their partnership became synonymous with marijuana smokers and stoner comedy.

Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks was known for his unique blend of stand-up comedy and philosophical insights that addressed deeper societal issues. Hicks incorporated cannabis-related anecdotes into his performances and openly discussed his views on cannabis legalization. Through his comedy, Hicks challenged political matters like the war on drugs and cannabis prohibition. His ability to intertwine humor with social commentary paved the way for comedians to engage in substantive discourse.

Sarah Silverman

Sarah Silverman’s fearless and provocative comedic style challenged conventions and norms. Her use of cannabis-related content in her stand-up acts and television shows worked to deconstruct steeotypes and social norms associated with marijuana use. Silverman’s contributions went beyond comedy; she actively participated in destigmatizing cannabis use, particularly among women. Her unapologetic approach normalized conversations about marijuana in a new light.

George Carlin

George Carlin’s mastery of observational comedy allowed him to dissect language and society with unparalleled precision. While his references to cannabis were occasional, they were interwoven with his critiques of societal hypocrisies. Carlin’s comedy challenged cultural norms, including drug-related laws, and became a catalyst for change in societal perceptions. His fearless examination of societal constructs extended to drug use, contributing to a larger dialogue about cannabis.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle’s distinct comedic approach blended insightful commentary with humor, making him a prominent figure in comedy. His exploration of cannabis in his stand-up highlighted its cultural implications, as well as racial disparities in drug enforcement. Chappelle’s comedy confronted stereotypes associated with cannabis users, sparking conversations about social justice. By fearlessly addressing these issues, Chappelle elevated the discourse surrounding cannabis use.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers’ groundbreaking career shattered barriers as a female comedian in a male-dominated industry. Her lighthearted approach to cannabis-related humor was often integrated into her observational comedy. Rivers’ candid discussions about taboo topics, including drug use, paved the way for female comedians to tackle controversial subjects. Her impact extended beyond comedy, inspiring a new generation of performers to push boundaries.

Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen’s journey from a comedic actor to a cannabis advocate marked a significant shift in his career. Rogen’s involvement in weed-themed projects and candidness about his personal cannabis use reshaped perceptions of cannabis users in the entertainment industry. Rogen’s contributions transcended comedy as he actively participated in discussions about marijuana legalization and its potential benefits, both medically and recreationally.

Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin’s distinctive comedic style relied on energetic delivery and personal storytelling. His incorporation of personal cannabis anecdotes into his stand-up performances added authenticity to his comedy. Griffin’s ability to challenge preconceived notions about cannabis users through his comedy demonstrated the power of humor in shaping perceptions. His personal journey served as a vehicle for broader social impact, questioning stereotypes and encouraging open dialogue.

Ellen DeGeneres

Ellen DeGeneres transitioned from stand-up comedian to beloved talk show host, known for her relatable humor. Her inclusive approach to cannabis-related humor aligned with her positive comedic style. DeGeneres’ gentle touch in incorporating cannabis jokes showcased the power of positivity and inclusivity, even when touching on subjects like marijuana. Through her comedy, DeGeneres continued to promote empathy and unity.


These 11 comedic legends not only left us with timeless laughter but also reshaped the landscape of comedy by fearlessly embracing cannabis in their work. Through their humor, they challenged norms, sparked conversations, and contributed to the ongoing evolution of cannabis culture. As society’s perceptions of cannabis continue to shift, their comedic contributions remain a testament to theenduring impact of humor and self-expression. Whether in New York, Los Angeles, or any corner of the world, their legacy persists, reminding us of the power of laughter and the potential for change.


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