Zach Galifianakis made a point with his joint on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” unlike other toker jokers

On Friday night, the audience for HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher gasped and cheered when comedian Zach Galifianakis pulled a marijuana joint from his jacket pocket, lit it, smoked it and offered to pass it around. The clip was copied and flourished over the weekend on many YouTube accounts.

But take another look at it in context. Bill Maher, himself a very visible supporter of legalizing marijuana, had mentioned a news story in which a kid got put into social services after telling cops to arrest his parents for pot smoking. Then Maher asked his panelists — Republican pundit (and great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover) Margaret Hoover, the National Review's Reihan Salam, and MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell — how they felt about California's Prop 19, which puts to a vote Tuesday whether the state should make marijuana even more legitimate and taxable.

To which Galifianakis said, "It's a tricky thing politically to jump on that bandwagon, because I think maybe, people see it as taboo still." Then he shows that it shouldn't be. Most YouTube clips stop there. But after everyone gets a kick out of his stunt on live TV, Galifianakis later interrupts the debate by shouting, "Oh my God! Look at those dragons!" He then points out that that's how some people mistakenly think pot smokers act and behave. Which, at least based on the friends and comedians I've observed over the years, is not true.

Now watch the clip again:


Of course, this wasn't the first time someone, let alone a comedian/actor, toked up on live television. A couple of years ago, Seth Rogen and James Franco pulled a stunt during the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, in which they said they were smoking "fake weed" from a giant bag of "fake weed." Whether it was fake or not was in dispute, as MTV tried to explain later. You'll also see that this idea came from comedian Jordan Rubin. Roll it.


As for Prop 19, comedian Rob Cantrell offers his own insight on marijuana in this new video he produced for in which he plays General Potton. Get it?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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One thought on “Zach Galifianakis made a point with his joint on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” unlike other toker jokers

  1. He tried to cover his ass and say that it was fake marijuana but I don‚Äôt believe that. I‚Äôm actually kinda glad that he did this stunt because I feel like it just fed into the existing stigmas around marijuana use. Don‚Äôt get me wrong though‚Ķ I think that marijuana should be legalized, but I‚Äôm just sort of happy that prop 19 didn‚Äôt pass. I have a feeling that the demographic that doesn’t smoke primarily “because it’s illegal” is going to start experimenting with it, and we’re constantly going to have a bunch of old a-holes crashing their cars because they don’t know how much they can smoke/can’t handle being high. I‚Äôd probably say only 10% of the people I know that smoke can drive normally while high, and those people have been smoking for god knows how long. I realize that even if marijuana was legalized that it’d still be illegal to drive high, but there‚Äôd still be a percentage of cars on the road that would be driven by these newbs who don’t yet understand the technicalities of driving while being stoned out of your mind. For instance, a car ran over my mail box about 2 years ago. My security camera at my home recorded it so I got their license plate, and it turns out that the driver was high and claimed that it was their first time trying to drive on it (you can even see in the video that he‚Äôs smoking a joint while he‚Äôs driving. I even saved a picture‚Ķ home security cam marijuana idiot). I‚Äôm sure over time that the demographic of ‚Äúnew‚Äù smokers will eventually know their limits and when they are not able to drive, but at the moment, I‚Äôm glad prop 19 failed because I wasn‚Äôt looking forward to buying a new mailbox.

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