Pothead(s) of the Week: Don Rickles, Jay-Z, and Not Jared Kushner - Culture | MERRY JANE
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Pothead(s) of the Week: Don Rickles, Jay-Z, and Not Jared Kushner

Welcome back to our column that breaks down all the weird stuff that happened in the past seven days involving celebrities and cannabis.

by Drew Millard

by Drew Millard

Welcome back to Pothead(s) of the Week, where we break down a handful of the important things that have occurred in the past seven days involving famous people and cannabis. To start, we celebrate a comedic legend (who didn't really smoke), before diving into how bad Jay-Z is at all things weed. We've also got some grievances with President-in-Law Jared Kushner's surname, as well as some more weed lore regarding Roger Stone.

Image via Flickr

Pothead One: Don Rickles

Last week, I began this column by offering a gentle reminder that literally all stand-up comedy is bad. Well, in light of the death of Don Rickles, I need to correct the record: All stand-up comedy, except for the stand-up comedy that was performed by Don Rickles, was bad. Rickles perfected the art of the roast––both in the formal, Friars Club sense of the word, as well as the ad hominem character takedowns we associate the term with today. He stuck it to whoever happened to be in front of him, and took a particular glee in cutting the rich and powerful down to size.

Rickles made a cameo in Gay Talese's canonical 1965 profile "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," performing a set “so rude, in such bad taste, that it offends no one.” He makes fun of Sinatra's toupee, his marriage to a woman 30 years his junior, calls The Chairman "washed up," and points out that Sinatra's goons only laugh at the jokes after Sinatra laughs. After an hour, Sinatra tells him to cut it, and Rickles tells him to shut up.

“I think you're a great performer,” Frank's compatriot Dean Martin tells Rickles, before adding the caveat, “But don't go by me––I'm drunk.”

Without missing a beat, Rickles responds with, “I'll buy that.”

And now, for the tangential Don Rickles weed connection that justifies the real estate I just devoted him in this piece: According to Mental Floss, Rickles was Harold Ramis's first choice for playing the Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddyshack, a movie about golf in which people smoke marijuana. RIP Don, you would have known exactly how to roast a stoner.

Photos via Flickr

Pothead Two: Jay-Z 

It's Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s anniversary this week! Happy anniversary, Jay-Z and Beyoncé! While the couple celebrated their ninth year of marital bliss by putting out a Beyoncé video and publishing year-old pictures of themselves at the Grand Canyon, here at Pothead(s) of the Week we will celebrate Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s anniversary by remembering how hilariously shitty Jay-Z is at smoking weed.

“Mostly I liked to stay sober [...] to stay focused on making money,” writes Jay in his book Decoded, adding, “I come from that class of hustlers who looked at smoking as counterproductive.” However, there was this one time when Jay-Z was in Miami shooting a video when the Notorious B.I.G. gave him a couple hits of his blunt. Writes Jay:

I was high as shit, sitting there, feeling outside of time, slightly stuck, and laughing uncontrollably.

Big leans in so only I can hear him.

“I got ya.”

That fucked me up.

While Hova took the moment as a reminder that you should always be on the alert and therefore never high, it seems like Biggie was definitely just fucking with Jay, who was super paranoid. And while Jay largely refrained from smoking before and after the incident with Biggie, he did dip into the ganj while wrapping up his single “Izzo,” off 2001’s The Blueprint. In Jay-Z’s typical fashion of revealing as little information as possible while still technically saying words, he once explained to XXL, “I smoked some weed, and that’s how I finished ‘Izzo.’” Thank you, Jay, for that illuminating public service announcement.

Photo via NY Mag/Dominique A. Pineiro

Pothead Three: Not Jared Kushner 

It seems that Donald Trump has tasked his son-in-law Jared Kushner with solving literally every problem on Earth. Should Kushner, a 36-year-old billionaire who was born rich and possesses no previous experience in government, really be the person running point on some of our nation’s most important foreign and domestic policy issues? The consensus, it seems, is “Obviously no, but he’s gotta be better than Steve Bannon, right?”

Bannon, of course, was recently ousted from the National Security Council and reportedly threatened to resign as Trump’s chief strategist due to his differences with Kushner––who, according to The Daily Beast, Bannon recently referred to as a “cuck.” So has Kushner ousted Bannon as the “shadow president” pulling Trump’s strings? Will he solve healthcare, tax reform, and our various conflicts in the Middle East, all while streamlining our government to make it more efficient? The answers here don’t really matter, because before long Trump will probably decide he likes somebody else in his administration more than Kushner and give his son-in-law the same cold shoulder he’s now giving Bannon. The real question here is: Why is Jared Kushner allowed to have the word “kush” in his last name when he doesn’t smoke weed?


Bonus Pothead Alert! Roger Stone (the Redux) 

Some super exciting news: Roger Stone and I are best friends now! After I named Roger Stone the Pothead of the Week two weeks ago, Stone took to Twitter to accuse me of propagating “fake news” because I referred to Volodymyr Lytvyn, a Ukrainian politician for whom Stone has worked, as “Pro-Russian.” Well, Rog, in case you’re reading this, I apologize for putting too fine a point on things––Lytvyn has taken both pro-Russia and anti-Russia stances when they suit him, and was also implicated in the killing of a Ukrainian journalist.

I don’t think Stone was that mad at me, though, because he seemed happy that I said he kinda looks like a James Bond villain. Anyways, Stone recently went on the 420th episode of noted shitguy Bill Maher’s show to talk about Russia stuff while chewing gum. At the end of the segment, he spoke in favor of legalizing marijuana––a pet issue of his which places him at odds with the Republican politician he so often represents. At the end of the segment, he and Maher joked about weed cake. 


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Drew Millard

Drew Millard is a freelance writer and dog owner living in Durham, North Carolina. His writing has appeared in VICE, High Times, Hazlitt, SPIN, and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter at @drewmillard.



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