Where do marijuana and coffee meet? For Rob Cantrell, it’s green tea.
Cantrell, best known at Tahoe for two performances of “The Marijuana-Logues” at the Crystal Bay Casino with Tony Camin and Dan Gabriel, is a contributing High Times writer and was a recent host of the Cannabis Cup, a tasting and potency competition in Los Angeles. And while “Coffee and Weed” is one of his most popular videos, Cantrell was abstemiously drinking green tea when we spoke last week.
It’s not easy being a ganja god.
“I like to blaze a lot, then I don’t,” Cantrell said. “You have to treat it with respect. ... It can help the analytical side (of your brain) and your creative side, but it can also burn you out. You’ve got to watch it a little bit. I tell people the less pot you smoke, the higher you are going to get.”
Cantrell headlines Tahoe Comedy North on Tuesday, then will join Camin and Gabriel in Reno March 2-3 for performances of “Marijuana-Logues,” a smoky spoof of the “Vagina Monologues.”
A standup performance by Cantrell might begin with 20 minutes of furiously delivered punchlines followed by stories with unexpected twists and turns, which makes listeners dizzy regardless of their mental condition. A lot of Cantrell’s content is about coffee, weed, women, music — hip-hop is his bent — and living in Brooklyn. His commanding delivery belies his off-stage persona.
“I’m very shy,” he said. “(Standup) is an opportunity for an introvert to let it all out.”
A former elementary school teacher, Cantrell was able to pursue his lifelong dream after a top-10 finish on “Last Comic Standing,” where he made the observation that surfing is the only sport where participants might be eaten alive.
“(Comedy) is a complete thrill,” he said. “It’s very similar to skiing and surfing. It’s like you are riding a wave. A wave is dangerous. You’ve got to respect it but once you start to learn it, you become a seaman. That came out weird. Back up.
“You can just read the crowd and read the temperature of the room and you learn from your mistakes and then your brain makes adjustments. It’s an exciting life but it’s really, really hard. For me, I get a huge sense of enjoyment from just stepping on stage.”
While he is busy appearing solo and with “Marijuana-Logues,” Cantrell might be at his funniest as a video producer. He said a couple potential television projects also are in the works.
“We Nice” is the title of Cantrell’s next video. It spoofs egotistical rappers.
“It’s very braggadocio about how nice we are,” he said. “We give blood three times last week, fly kites with homeless kids, get sound guy laid. We are taking the arrogance and being positive with it.”
Cantrell’s pot show partner Camin performed last week at South Shore’s Improv at Harveys Resort and Casino.
“The Marijuana-Logues” was written in 2004 by Camin, Arj Barker and Doug Benson. Cantrell first filled in for Barker in 2007. Tommy Chong also is an alumnus of the show. He quit because fans threw joints on the stage, which he feared would be considered a probation violation.