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Top 10 Stoner Characters

In honor of 4/20, we here at Mildly Pleased thought it might be far out to pick our top ten favorite potheads and pushers on the silver screen and the boob tube. So let’s pass the dutchie and jump on in.

Honorable Mention
– Floyd (True Romance) – Brad Pitt plays a guy whose sole existence is to do drugs and sleep on a couch. Floyd is funny, but his role was too small for my list.

– Harold and Kumar (Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle) – I’ve seen the first H&K movie and I’ll admit it has its moments, but I’ve never found the two characters that unique or interesting.

– Leo (That 70s Show) Very funny, but derivative of another more iconic role on this list played by the same actor.

10. Doug Wilson (Weeds)
Portrayed by: Kevin Nealon

Doug Wilson is self-absorbed, irresponsible, immature, and my favorite character on the Showtime series Weeds. A show about the misadventures of drug dealing suburban mom Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker), Kevin Nealon plays accountant/city councilman Doug Wilson a frequent customer of Nancy. Early on Doug is a character that appears to have few concerns but to satisfy his own drug fueled desires. As Doug’s life falls apart later in the series he soon finds himself searching for any kind of high to numb the pain of a midlife crisis.

What makes Doug an entertaining stoner character? Hilarity can be drawn from the simple fact that he’s a middle aged guy who still acts like a college frat boy. Doug is a funny stoner character because like so many of these characters he has no shame. I mean who else would smoke a bong in a tent at children’s rock concert? Maybe some of the other guys on this list.

9. Saul Silver (Pineapple Express)
Portrayed by: James Franco

It’s surprising it took James Franco as long as it did to do a stoner comedy. Franco has always had a laid back quality, so playing a stoner was a perfect fit for him. Saul is mellow, easily amused, and has a strange appreciation for civil engineers. Pineapple Express is an intriguing comedy as it combines stoners with action, a surprisingly effective technique. Saul may not be one of the most original movie stoners, but he had some hilariously memorable lines.

8. Norvile “Shaggy” Rogers (Scooby Doo)
Portrayed by: Casey Kasem

Shaggy may be the most iconic character on this list but his status as a stoner is a little bit of a gray area. I mean he’s a character in a kid’s show for god’s sake. But let’s look at the facts: Here we have a giddy hippie who always had the munchies and talked to a Dog while riding around in the back of a van solving mysteries. Additionally, this show began in the late 60s, the dawn of drug culture. Maybe this is all speculation but I’d put Shaggy on the list either way. Shaggy perfectly embodies all the characteristics associated with funny stoner characters.

I’ve heard rumors that there is an episode or episodes where you can see smoke coming out of the Mystery Machine. I can find no evidence of this so-called smoke, but if someone does please let me know.

7. Towelie (South Park)
Portrayed by: Vernon Chatman

Originally created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone in repsponse to the over commercialism of South Park, Towelie is just that… A stupid, catch phrase spouting Towel who always wants to get high. There isn’t any real reason for Towelie to be a stoner, it’s funny because of how stupid it is. Towelie simply fills a void of randomness well suited for a stoner character and that’s funny, at least sometimes it is. Towelie hasn’t always been as funny as he was in his debut episode. If anything he reminds us of the importance of keeping dry and getting high.

6. Jesse Pinkman (Breaking Bad)
Portrayed by: Aaron Paul

Compared to the other stoner characters on this list, Jesse is easily the most realistic. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine a meth-dealing black sheep like Jesse existing in reality. With his slacker persona and tendency to put “Yo” in almost all of his sentences, Jesse provides humor in an otherwise dark and brooding show. Of course Jesse has his own demons and addictions that provide some equally powerful moments.

Due to the fact that he’s a character on a well written drama series, Jesse is probably the most rounded and complex character on this list. Though as much as I like Aaron Paul’s performance on Breaking Bad, I decided to lean more towards comedic characters. I mean that’s usually the main appeal of stoner characters right? They make us laugh, yo.

5. David Wooderson (Dazed and Confused)
Portrayed by: Matthew McConaughey

Basically everyone in the movie Dazed and Confused is a stoner, but none of them are quite as memorable as Wooderson. Played by real-life cannabis enthusiast Matthew McConaughey, Wooderson is that creepy guy that graduated from high school but never left. What makes Wooderson such a memorable stoner character is probably more than anything his dialogue delivery. In a slow, Texas drawl Wooderson delivers some of the dumbest and therefore best lines of the movie.

4. Jay and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith’s Askewniverse)
Portrayed by: Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith

“Schmokin weed, schmokin wiz, doin’ coke, drunken beers, drunken beers, beers, beers…” That song alone from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back nabs Jay and Silent Bob a spot on this list. Known for selling drugs outside a convenient store in Jersey, Jay and his “hetero-life mate” Bob have certainly seen their share of stoner-comedy misadventures. Jay and Silent Bob even have their own comic book counterpart characters aptly named “Bluntman and Chronic” featured in the movies Chasing Amy and heavily in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Even though they were clean and found god by the time of Clerks II, they will always live on as some of the most famous pot schmokin’ loiterers in cinema.

3. Jeff Spicoli (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
Portrayed by: Sean Penn

On a list of characters with poor motor functions, Spicoli may be the worst. This California surfer is a character that you would imagine being a moron if he wasn’t stoned, drugs simply enhance his stupidity. Whether Spicoli is crashing the car of the high school football star or ordering pizza in class, Spicoli always displays the same laid back state of mind. Not only one is he one of my favorite stoner characters but one of my favorite comedy movie characters in general. I mean he saved a drowning Brook Shields and hired Van Halen to play at his birthday, how cool is that?

2. Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski (The Big Lebowski)
Portrayed by: Jeff Bridges

The poster child for movie slackers, The Dude is another iconic stoner character. What I love about The Dude is that he never loses his cool despite the fact that he lives a pretty pathetic life. The Dude loves the simple things; bowling, driving around, and of course the occasional acid flashback. The Dude shows what a longterm stoner lifestyle can do for someone, and even though it has it’s definite downsides, The Dude abides.

1. Cheech and Chong (Up in Smoke)
Portrayed by: Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong

Of course these guys had to be number one, they basically created the whole stoner comedy genre. So much of their comedy is fueled by and focused around sweet Mary Jane that they’ve become the thing of stoner legends. Beginning in the early 70s with a string of comedy albums, Cheech and Chong reached their apex in 1978 with the comedy Up in Smoke. In the film, each actor takes on personas that are both stupid and genius at the same time. Cheech Marin plays Pedro De Pacas an over-the-top Mexican American stereotype and Tommy Chong plays the practically brain-dead character known as “Man”. The film was panned, which is not surprising as it doesn’t have much of a plot, but it’s become a cult classic and some of the bits are hilarious.

One of my favorite scenes goes like this;
Man: Hey, hey don’t take those, man.
Pedro: …Wha?
Man: I almost gave you the wrong shit, man.
Pedro: Hey, man, I already took ’em, man.
Man: (laughs) Hoo hoo hoo…
Pedro: Hey, whaddaya mean “ho ho ho”?
Man Oh… HU-WOW, MAN!
Pedro: Hey, what was in that shit, man?
Man: You just did the most acid I’ve ever seen anybody eat in my life!
Pedro: Hey, man, I never had no acid before, man.
Man: Jeez, I hope you’re not busy for about a month…

Not all of Cheech and Chong’s jokes may be that funny or even make that much sense, but that’s also why they are the ultimate stoner characters. Stoner comedy should be kind of mess because that’s what it’s like being stoned, alright, alright.