The Big Bong Theory, Two and a Half Grams? Untitled New Chuck Lorre Comedy To Lead Network TV's Next Wave: The Potcom

Posted by Billyjam, January 27, 2016 07:19pm | Post a Comment

Should we need further proof that weed's gone mainstream, as per The Hollywood Reporter, TV comedy super-producer Chuck Lorre is currently shopping his new Warner Bros. Television-backed weed comedy script to network television executives.  This latest from the creator of such successful TV comedies as The Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, Two and a Half Men, and his latest creation Mom on CBS, is a continuation in style of his previous shows. Co-written with David Javerbaum (The Daily Show), it is described as a situation comedy about a group of potheads in a legal marijuana dispensary in Colorado.  The as yet unnamed show inspires such potential potcom titles as The Big Bong Theory or Two and a Half Grams.  But not Buds. That stoner show title has already been snagged by NBC who, via a joint venture with Naomi Scott and husband Adam Scott (NBC's Parks and Recreation) are in development stages of their pot comedy Buds that's reportedly also set in a Colorado pot dispensary.  Another husband and wife pot comedy creative team are Ben Sinclair (Sisters) and Katja Blichfeld (30 Rock), who in 2012 unveiled the popular Vimeo web series High Maintenance about Brooklyn, New York marijuana deliveryman "The Guy" and all the characters he meets. HBO commissioned six episodes of High Maintenance to air in 2016.  Meanwhile Amazon Prime's streaming outlet will be producing the  "marijuana-themed family dramedy" starring Margaret Cho. Variety described it as about Cho, "who after court-ordered rehab gets a chance to start over, but has to move in with her dysfunctional family who now runs a pot dispensary."

Odds are once Lorre's new project lands a deal, and provided it's even a moderate hit, it will signal in a new wave of potcoms on network TV. It will usher in a proliferation of the genre once only found on cable TV, via streaming media, and of course on the big screen where it all started back in 1978. That's when comedy duo Cheech & Chong's first stoner film Up In Smoke was released, creating the blueprint for both its many sequels and the potcom sub-genre. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982), Ice Cube and Chris Tucker's Friday (1995), Dave Chappelle and crew's Half Baked (1998), Redman and Method Man's How High (2001), and John Cho and Kal Penn's Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (2004) are among the many movies of the genre. Other pot comedies include Judd Apatow's Pineapple Express (2008), Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused (1993), Kevin Smith's Jay & Silent Bob series, and pretty much anything with Snoop Dogg in it. The many movies featuring the weed lovin' Snoop Dogg, who will always have work in the cannabis economy, include Soul Plane (2004), Mac & Devin Go To High School (2012) with Wiz Khalifa, and The Wash (2001) co-starring Dr. Dre.

For pot comedy pioneer Tommy Chong, his real life pot-themed tragedy was the polar opposite of his Cheech & Chong comedies. The incident, that personified America's ever-erratic relationship with the legality of marijuana, occurred  back in 2003. That was when the comedian turned bong manufacturer became the target of two federal investigations. Code named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter, their goal was to trace drug traffic and users via drug paraphernalia-selling businesses. Chong's PA-based online business Nice Pipes, that sold bongs with his image on them, became the investigation's prime target. In all, 55 businesses were targeted and Tommy Chong was the first to be prosecuted, and severely so. 

Chong got a fine of $20,000, was forced to forfeit $120,000 in assets, plus sentenced to nine months in federal prison -- for selling bongs! (The Big Bong Felony?). Chong served his time in full at Taft Correctional Facility in Central California. Inside he met others behind bars all because of weed; many were the unfortunate victims of California's three strikes law. No doubt inmates still serving time because of selling weed must be shaking their heads at the tragic irony of the new wave of investors openly capitalizing on cannabis's current cultural impact and popularity.


Up In Smoke (1978) trailer

How High (2001) trailer

Half Baked  (1998) trailer

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