Comedian Mike Cannon Doesn’t Want To Talk About Phish

There seem to be two types of edible people: The kind that takes them and chills, and the type that takes them and throws themselves into a stressful situation. On purpose. Comedian and podcaster Mike Cannon is the latter.
Photo by John Sheridan

Taking 150mg of legal edibles before stepping on a stage probably isn’t ideal for most, but Mike Cannon took it as an opportunity to tape his third independently produced comedy special. “Mike Cannon’s Huge Mistake” was released on YouTube August 17th with no real plan other than to have a great time. And according to what we saw, he made no mistakes. Marijuana in all forms has been a staple in Cannon’s life since giving it a (second) go in college. He says he uses it to quell his rage, but we think there’s many a hilarious reason comedy and cannabis go hand-in-hand. And comedian Mike Cannon, “rage” and all, is a prime example of why.

High Times: When did you start doing comedy and do you remember how much your first paying gig was?

Mike Cannon: I started doing comedy in 2008 in New York, which I wouldn’t recommend. I got paid way too much for my first paying gig too, which never happens. I got $300 for doing an hour of comedy for LIM College in Manhattan when I was a month and half into stand-up.

$300? Some people get a drink ticket! You must’ve thought you were hot shit.

Yes! I thought I was going to be Katt Williams! I thought, this is the beginning of becoming a millionaire soon enough!

What’s your history with weed? First time?

The first time I smoked weed, I think I was 15 because it was at a soccer party when I was a sophomore. There was a long tradition where the seniors forced everyone to smoke weed at this “pasta party.” The pasta party was where everyone loaded up on carbs and smoked weed the night before the game. Everyone was loading up on carbs, meanwhile, everyone was shitting out alfredo sauce the next day instead of playing well. I ended up smoking weed in my friend’s room with him for my first experience. I didn’t get high, but I did eat a lot.

It seems like a lot of people think they weren’t high the first time, maybe because they had expectations, but then you throw in the “I ate a lot…”

I always eat a lot! In my heart of hearts, I feel like I didn’t get high because there was nothing happening. I know that my eyes felt more closed, but I think I was doing that myself.

OK so when did you actually get high for the first time?

I never smoked again after that first time until I went away to college, and it was my junior year. I played basketball and I was going to be a professional athlete. Meanwhile, I was not even close. I ended smoking pretty regularly in college at Geneseo, where I hung out with a bunch of “jam band” guys. Whenever they would tell me about Phish or Grateful Dead, I would immediately walk out of the room and not participate at all. I’m more of a movie guy than a music guy.

What’s your go-to movie that always hits? 

Ace Ventura 2. Not the first one, it has to be the second one. It’s one of the craziest comedies ever because it’s like, give the ball to the star and let him fucking go. I remember being absolutely in awe that they just kept the cameras rolling and basically made Jim Carrey write the movie on the spot. It’s my favorite comedy sequel of all-time. I love something that routinely delivers. It’s like security, like laying down and having your parents tell you a story before bed.

Photo by The Homeless Pimp

Well that’s adorable. Let’s make your parents proud, sativa or indica?

I lean indica because I have a lot of rage issues. I need to be slightly tranquilized throughout my day to even be slightly above normal rage. I smoke blunts constantly. That’s how we all started, with Dutch Masters putting 5 on it. My entire experience with weed has been a mental “get past the hurdle” thing. I was really affected by being high initially. So much so, that the people who had been smoking regularly were annoyed to be around me. So, I had to learn to be chill and basically stifle my joy. It’s the same with edibles where I felt like I needed to be glued to the couch, or that was my compulsion. As soon as I started forcing myself to move around and get things done, it was almost like beating sleep on Ambien. It makes it that much better. You feel euphoric, you want to have sex—it’s an awesome feeling.

Starting with blunts goes hard. Who or what influenced that? 

Oh yeah. In the movie Kids, which is a remarkably fucked up movie, the blunt rolling scene in Washington Square Park kind of served as a tutorial for my use. We took that scene very seriously and perfected how to roll them up.

Was taking 150mg of edibles before your new special the plan or did you just start eating them and were like, wow these are delightful and I can’t stop eating them?

It was the plan really. The highest dose I’ve ever taken was in the 400-500 range. I remember the way I felt and there was no way I could’ve possibly performed like that. The idea came from the stress of putting together my hour of material. I put a lot of effort, time, production, and money into my other two specials and felt good about doing all of that, but I knew next time I pretty much wanted to do the exact opposite. I wanted an “I don’t care what this is, let’s have fun” kind of thing and that’s what came out of it. Nicole Lyons directed it, and she’s incredible. So, I knew 100mg gets me very high and I figured that 150 was above my regular dosage, but still below what would probably put me into a mental institution. I wanted to be super high, but also have the ability to verbalize what I was experiencing. I didn’t want to be completely comatose because I figured that wouldn’t be entertaining, so 150mg seemed like a perfect middle ground where it was a lot, but still manageable. The mission was to have a good time and it was a really a good night. Of course, there’ll be people like, “150mg? What an absolute pussy! I do that before I pick up my daughter from school!”

Did you have a plan for if you passed out on stage?

No! I went into it thinking it might be a 10-minute “fail video” though. Like, Mike Cannon tries performing on edibles and fails miserably! It turned out that everyone was there for the right reason. It was on 4/20, people were the right amount of stoned, and it was just a good time.

If you could pick a comic to eat 150mg and remake your special, who are you going with?

Joey Diaz. I have such reverence for him. He probably should’ve been the star of it in the first place, but hey, sometimes the availability doesn’t work out! I would love to see him, with whatever milligram he takes, just rip for a full hour with no plan. He’s one of the best doing it regardless, and then you add in all those edibles that he routinely takes? That would be insane.

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