Half Baked is one of the best stoner movies of all time. Not only did it catapult Dave Chappelle’s status amongst stoner circles nationwide, it made him an icon to an entire generation of Americans.
Facts of the Film:
Released January 16, 1998
Directed by Tamra Davis
Favorite Characters from the Film:
Thurgood Jenkins (Dave Chappelle):
“Right near da beach. Boy-eeee!”
Scarface (Guillermo Diaz):
“Turn around and ASK me for a Heffer with cheese, yo! Why you gotta make me feel inferior because I’m workin’ the grill, B? Damn!”
Brian (Jim Breuer):
“For 400 dollars I got Jerry Garcia in a pouch, man!”
Kenny Davis (Harland Williams):
“In eleven days I’m as good as skewered! Ever take your clothes off and run backwards through a cornfield?”
Sir Smoke-A-Lot (Dave Chappelle):
“I wanna talk to Samson! Fly me to the moon like that bitch Alice Kramden! ‘Cause it’s hard being black and gifted! Sometimes I wanna throw it all down and get lifted!”
Sampson Simpson (Clarence Williams III):
“Ahhh, yes! Cuban Bee!”
Squirrel Master (Tommy Chong):
“Anyone’s gonna be stabbin’ it, it’s gonna be me.”
The Guy on the Couch (Steven Wright):
“What month is it?”
Enhancement Smoker (Jon Stewart), Scavenger Smoker (Snoop Dogg), MacGyver Smoker (Stephen Baldwin), Historian Smoker (Willie Nelson), Creative Smoker (Janeane Garofalo):
All of these characters are easy to relate to. EVERYONE knows a MacGyver Smoker.
The opening scene reminds me of smoking weed as a teenager with my friends…We would always say ‘man, this stuff didn’t even work!’ I will never, ever forget the first time I saw this movie — I was extra high from taking waterfall hits and when I saw the oversized candy in the store, it blew my mind.
About 4 minutes in when Thurgood is explaining how to buy weed in the city. People in Oregon NEVER used the term ‘bodega’ before this movie; now ‘bodega’ is a common phrase amongst everyone I know. This scene fully captures how the marijuana search process usually occurs.
About 7 minutes in the four main characters have their first smoking session, with a hookah they named Billy Bong Thornton. All the stoners I know name their pieces, and this is one of the few movies that capture this part of stoner culture. After the smoking scene is the greatest munchies rant in film history…
About 10 minutes in when they introduce Sir-Smoke-A-Lot via his music video.
About 20 minutes in when Thurgood meets with the scientist and goes down to the research marijuana storage room at his work. The brick of weed doesn’t look too appealing (brick weed is big no-no where I’m from), but Thurgood’s reaction to receiving it is CLASSIC!
About 27 minutes in when Brian, Scarface, and Thurgood are plotting on how to save Kenny from a long prison sentence. Isn’t it ironic that most stoner plans always involve selling weed to save the day…!
About 30 minutes in when they are handing out free weed. This would only work at Hempstock or Hempfest; if one was to do it on the streets of New York City, they would either be arrested or jacked!
About 37 minutes in when they are blowin up like a ‘fuckin telethon.’ Every successful seller has experienced this moment, when there is not enough supply to meet the demand and there are not enough hours in the day to meet everyone.
The next part of the movie brings out three major celebrities: Jon Stewart (enhancement smoker), Snoop Dogg (scavenger smoker), and Willie Nelson (the historian smoker). Each one represents a kind of stoner that we all know. These were very awesome cameo appearances by these stars, and very relatable to the average toker. I once read an interview with David Chappelle that said the only celebrity that turned them down was Harrison Ford…Does Indiana Jones smoke weed??? That would be awesome!
About 41 minutes in when they quit their jobs. It’s every stoners dream to quit their job and work in the marijuana industry, and this scene shows a few ways that a person could do it.
About 43 minutes in when Thurgood meets Sir-Smoke-A-Lot…9600 bucks for a pound…really?! Help me out TWB readers, have you ever heard of pound going for this much in your area??
A little after 48 minutes in Janeane Girafalo is the creative smoker. We all know one of these people!
Probably my favorite part of the movie comes next, with the ‘MacGyver smoker.’ This guy can make a smoking device out of anything. My buddy Jeremy was called MacGyver for years because of this scene.
About 54 minutes when Thurgood quits smoking. The scene conveys not only how hard it is to quit smoking the sweet herb, but it also has one of the most shocking scenes in film history which involves Bob Sagat talking about giving oral sex in exchange for coke. I still laugh EVERY time I see it…
61 minutes in when Thurgood meets Sampson. To most people that don’t know how the marijuana industry works, Sampson Simpson is who they envision is at the top of the marijuana pyramid. All rookies think that there is a kingpin at the top of it all, when in actuality, it’s more of a loose network of lots and lots of Sampson Simpsons…none of which have a harem of beautiful women carrying weapons…
66 minutes in when the main characters are raiding the research bud storage room. It’s every stoners dream to be let loose in a room like that. Scarface and Thurgood had the best reaction to the scene that actors could ever capture — it’s exactly how I would react if I was in a storage room with that much bud.
Critiques of the Film:
This movie is very unrealistic. Getting access to research caliber cannabis, for free, is every stoners dream, but pretty much impossible (but hey, that’s what makes the movie awesome!). The prices for the marijuana in this film are HORRENDOUS. Even for the best. No pound of marijuana should ever cost over 9,000 dollars…The prison scenes and final scene can be a bit cheesy.
There is a ton of comedy throughout the entire film, and every scene has something of value to a marijuana consumer. I just watched this movie for the 4,000th time, and it was still as entertaining as the first time I saw it. I vividly remember seeing this movie as a stoned teenager and thinking, “wow, how did this movie capture exactly what is going on in my brain!” This movie is a must see, and if you know someone that is such a rookie that they haven’t seen it yet, you need to be a good friend and sit them down, toke their brains out, and hit play.
Perfect 10 spliffs out of 10 spliffs rating