It’s April 20, or 4/20, as the holiday is known to countless stoners all over the world. It's a day to celebrate pot culture in all its forms. Concerts, festivals, house parties and, of course, massive smoke-outs have become de rigeur and, so it seems, has stoner-friendly fare on TV.
Call it: the doob tube -- a full lineup of pothead flicks on an assortment of cable networks, proving that some programmers clearly know what time (and day) it is.
So what's a couch potato to do on the high holiday of loafing? Starting at 4:50 p.m. EST on Saturday, the granddaddy of all marijuana movies, Reefer Madness, kicks off the evening’s viewing activities on Showtime's Sho 2. Though it was intended in 1936 as a scare movie, today you can’t help but howl with laughter when the zooted piano player id egged by the high-as-a-kite revelers to play “faster, faster.”
At 7 p.m., Beavis and Butthead Do America -- and peyote -- on VH1 Classics.
At 8 p.m., you might have to fight for the remote when Dazed and Confused (Starz Comedy) and The Big Lebowski -- two of the most beloved stoner films of all-time -- face off. Set in Texas in 1976, Dazed introduced moviegoers to Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck;
McConaughey’s character Wooderson would likely say “it would be cooler if you did” watch the Richard Linklater classic rather than the Coen Brothers’ wacky tale of mistaken identity and bowling, featuring a pot-smoking, White Russian-drinking lead character known as “The Dude” (or “El Duderino” to his closest friends) played wonderfully by Jeff Bridges.
The 9:30 p.m. slot has some has some heavy competition as well, starting with Bad Teacher (Starz Edge) at 9:20. Cameron Diaz’s potty-mouthed Elizabeth Halsey is a role the comic actress was made for, especially when she exclaims, “Weed is awesome,” and tells one of her student who spies her hitting a pipe that it’s medical, 'natch.
At 9:30 p.m., Grandma’s Boy (Comedy Central) aims for the funny bone when video game nerds, who also happen to blaze, battle for office supremacy. While Allen Covert, Nick Swardson and Jonah Hill take center stage, it’s a bud-toking monkey who practically drives off (literally) with the movie.
You might just find yourself switching back to Starz Comedy at 9:45 p.m to catch Anna Faris stumble through Smiley Face baked on a full tray of loaded cupcakes. Her character Jane desperately wants to get to the pot rally on time, but keeps getting sidetracked by the likes of John Krasinski and John Cho.
Not to be outdone, Outer Max (a Cinemax channel) offers A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas at 10:30 p.m., which is an odd choice considering it’s spring. But still, the third H&K flick has its charms, such as a flying joint and baby covered in cocaine.
What, no Cheech & Chong, you say indignantly and justifiably? You’d think at least one of the dopey duo’s comedy classics (Up in Smoke most notably) would have popped up on the Doob Tube on 4/20. Sadly, that’s not the case, but at last Tommy Chong fans can tune in to his Showtime special (8:30 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.), Tommy Chong Present Comedy at 420, during which he’ll open with a monologue and then share the stage with several other comics (Edwin Sam Juan, Chris Porter, Jay Phillips, Eddie Ift), just like a live stand-up show. It’s a coup for Chong, whose latest film, Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie, will also be playing in theaters nationwide on 4/20.
Here’s a rundown of stoner programming for 4/20 (check local listings):
4:50 p.m. - Reefer Madness (Sho 2)
7 p.m. - Beavis & Butthead Do America (VH1 Classic)
8 p.m. - Dazed and Confused (Starz Comedy)
8 p.m. - The Big Lebowski (Flix)
8 p.m. - Boogie Nights (IFC)
8:30 & 11:45 p.m. - Tommy Chong presents Comedy at 420 (Showtime)
8:30 p.m. - Contraband (Outer Max)
9:20 p.m. - Bad Teacher (Starz Edge)
9:30 p.m. - Grandma's Boy (Comedy Central)
9:30 p.m. - Stash House (Max East)
9:45 p.m. - Smiley Face (Starz Comedy)
9:45 p.m. - Layer Cake (Starz Cinema)
10 p.m. - Wet Hot American Summer (Flix)
10:15 p.m. - Short Cuts (Sundance)
10:30 p.m. - A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (Outer Max)
11:10 p.m. - High School (Starz Comedy)
11:35 p.m. - Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Two Smoking Barrels (Starz Cinema)
11:40 p.m. - Jesus' Son (Flix)