Doug Benson’s Smug Life, Uncooked or Cooked?

Doug Benson is known for making jokes on a handful of topics: pop culture, Twitter, and smoking lots and lots of weed. He’s a busy man, performing stand-up, recording his podcast Doug Loves Movies, continuing his quest to parody every Morgan Spurlock documentary, etc., but Benson never fails to bring his act back to marijuana. Surprisingly, Benson’s fanbase is varied; they’re not all stoners. His drug-induced humor is uber-goofy, and pop culture appeals to everyone. Some of these fans like to claim that Benson would be a perfect comedian, if not for the weed.

Benson is setting these theories to rest. In Smug Lifeone will find two discs, cryptically titled “Uncooked” and “Cooked.” The gag is that the discs have mostly the same jokes, but Doug Benson performs one as sober as possible and the other totally high. As Benson puts it, now you can to be the “judge, jury and Mexicutioner” on the “high vs. not high” debate. Oh – and both of these discs were recorded on April 20th, which seems notable, especially in the eyes of the bitter fans who unknowingly showed up for the “uncooked” portion.

Fans of Doug Benson know what to expect from this album. His observations may not incite critical thinking, but they certainly inspire laughs. Smug Life is obviously a bit more heavy on the marijuana jokes than, say, Doug Loves Movies, but there are still tons of throwaway gems about pop culture, keeping all fans entertained. Weed-based or commentary on the latest blockbuster, the real magic of this album is the clever idea to offer the tracklist twice, “uncooked” and “cooked.”

Deciding which disc is better is certainly up to interpretation. The jokes are just as funny, either way, and the only major difference is the slightly extra seriousness in the “uncooked” disc. Disc two also has much more barely-related tangents, which I personally find preferable. Overall, “uncooked” isn’t that different than “cooked.” Both have Benson at his finest, with only slight differences that could sway a listener in one direction or the other.

My highlights:

  • The absurd bit that will “bum you guys out,” that eventually leads to a Suzanne Collins slam: “I’ve already upset PETA. Not the animal rights organization, the fictional character in Hunger Games, who’s called “Peeta.” Why isn’t it spelled ‘Pita?'”
  • Benson’s aforementioned quest to parody every single Morgan Spurlock documentary, and the explanation of how he will complete such a task.
  • All of the bits about tweeting, where Benson actually reads live tweets from the audience. In fact, all of his interaction with audience, which seriously adds up to about a fourth of the album.
  • Constant questioning of “why did I BitTorrent this?”

Doug Benson‘s Smug Life was released as a two disc album on July 3rd. Check it out, and let us know what you think in the comments. Uncooked, or cooked?