There has been a lot of talk this week of stoner comedies, what with Natalie Portman developing the female answer to Harold & Kumar, a pot-centered road movie titled Best Buds. And rumors have (again) been circulating about sequels in the works for both Pineapple Express and the grandfather of cult cannabis classics, Up in Smoke. None of these are certainties, mind you, but given the apparent hotness of the concept at the moment, may I suggest Universal get things lit up for…
Half Baked 2
12 years have passed since Half Baked hit theaters — successfully I might add (Hollywood barely noticed because Titanic was still the box office sensation at the time) — and it’s only become more popular as a cult favorite, partly due to Dave Chappelle’s rise in fame through his popular sketch comedy show. The movie actually saw some continuation through The Dave Chappelle Show with Jim Breuer and Guillermo Diaz reunited with their Half Baked co-star for two skits in which the trio reprise their roles from the film. Now it’s time they all got back together for another feature.
For those who haven’t seen Half Baked, it’s a pretty silly movie, even for a stoner comedy (Chappelle sees it, negatively, as a “weed movie for kids”). Chappelle, Breuer, Diaz and Harland Williams are just a bunch of pot-loving buddies. When Williams’ character goes to jail after an accident involving a police horse, the other guys become drug dealers to raise money to free him. Meanwhile, Chappelle falls for a girl (Rachel True) who doesn’t go for ganja smokers, Bob Saget tells us what it really means to be hard up for drugs and Steven Wright sleeps on the couch. Oh, and Chappelle also plays a rapper named Sir Smoke-A-Lot.
The main difficulty in the development of a sequel would certainly be Chappelle. He has gone on record as being disappointed with Half Baked, claiming his original script was much funnier than what ended up onscreen. And let’s not forget the comedian’s more infamous career trouble: his sudden departure from his TV show and subsequent absence, for the most part, from the industry in general. Still, if he wanted to make a big comeback with something his fans could easily get behind, Half Baked 2 (or, well, a Rick James biopic) is it. And he’d probably have a better shot at getting his whole script shot the way he intends this time.
What about the other players? Breuer hasn’t had much screen work to show for since Half Baked and his exit from Saturday Night Live save for a decent stint as John Dean in Dick. Mostly he seems focused on stand-up, and his Comedy Central specials tend to get great ratings. Diaz was a semi-regular on Weeds and now appears full time on the NBC medical drama Mercy (he also may or may not be in Cop Out?). These two, as well as Williams, True and Wright, shouldn’t have much in the way of getting them to return. And if Tamra Davis hasn’t completely left immature comedy for documentary (her doc on Basquiat premiered at Sundance last month), she should be brought back, too.
Wouldn’t you like to see a Half Baked sequel?
By Christopher Campbell