Chuck Roy on POTroast and his favorite public places to get high
Update: The location of Roy's upcoming set has been corrected below. If you know Denver comedy, you surely know Chuck Roy. The former anchor of the satirical newscast The Crop Report -- an Onion News Network-style series of short sketches on marijuana, Roy is one of the most established names in Denver comedy, hosting an endless rotation of events at Comedy Works (after making a name in L.A. on Craig Kilborn). And this Wednesday, Roy joins some of the town's most celebrated local comics at Comedy Works for POTroast -- a somewhat traditional roast, though instead of grilling a beloved yet past-his-prime icon, these roasters will be taking on an entity that many of them still love as much today as they did years ago: Ganja. We recently caught up with Chuck Roy to chat Amendment 64, his favorite public places to smoke, and why a stoned audience isn't as ideal as it sounds.
Westword: Since A64 has passed, have you noticed people's attitudes toward pot changing, maybe being more comfortable smoking pot outside comedy shows?
Chuck Roy: Oh, sure. You know, you gotta watch those electronic cigarettes if you own a bar. The changes of attitudes toward marijuana are beyond anything I could've imagined. I think it changed Denver commercially, you can see how Clear Channel failed to monetize that, never buying any pot ads -- but Westword figured it out. It's changed real estate, with all these new businesses popping up in spaces that never would've been rented otherwise. I'm a capitalist, and the way the price dropped for marijuana was incredible -- when you're in show business, paying fifty dollars an eighth was just damn painful.
When I lived in Hollywood working on Craig Kilborn, I had a hookup, but when I moved out here my dealer wouldn't give me a bro-deal for bringing people to him. But when medical dispensaries opened up, the price dropped down to $35 an eighth, and all those hash oils and edibles came onto the market. For the first seven months of [medical dispensary] decriminalization, I thought Denver was too stoned. If you know someone who just got their prescription, they're eating brownies all the time and melting their head.
In comedy greenrooms, the report on Denver weed from visiting comics is just outstanding.
Looking at comedy history, marijuana has played such a big role, with Lenny Bruce through to Cheech & Chong -- but it seems that marijuana comedy has changed so much since then, becoming more of an incidental lifestyle than an outrageous novelty.
Most touring acts that come through Denver have a quick joke to say about it. They see it on the news or they see all the dispensaries. When I did The Crop Report, I thought it was more Wall Street Journal jokes than it was munchies jokes. For instance, we had a joke about Golden Sacks, instead of Goldman Sachs, and the director of the show didn't get the joke for two years until Goldman got in some trouble. So we were trying to write smarter pot jokes.