Stereotypical Stoner Comedies Are Doomed, According to This Recent Study

Stoner comedies need to undergo a renaissance if the genre hopes to get into the hearts–and wallets–of today’s cannabis consuming market.

Jul 26, 2018
Seth Rogen smokes a blunt in the 2008 classic stoner comedy, Pineapple Express. However, a recent study reveals that, 10 years later, stereotypical stoner comedies are no longer resonating with a modern audience.

Seth Rogen as Dale Denton in the 2008 classic stoner comedy, Pineapple Express. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures)

It looks like the framework for stoner comedies might need some readjusting.

As Forbes points out, New-York based strategic marketing firm Miner and Company conducted a study last April and discovered that stereotypical cannabis-using characters, commonly found in many iconic stoner comedies, aren’t resonating with cannabis users the way that they used to.

It turns out that modern cannabis consumers are growing weary of the exaggerated caricatures and want an updated depiction. These changing attitudes serve as a threat to stoner comedies since the lazy stoner often serves as a leading proponent of film’s genre.

Of the study’s 800 participants, 51 percent stated that their motives for using cannabis were for recreational and medicinal purposes.

The study also found that 77 percent of users were working professionals who earned over $75,000 a year and 86 percent of the participants currently hold full-time positions. Not exactly the quintessential archetype found in stoner comedies.

As per the survey findings, cannabis users were more likely to respond positively to the portrayal of cannabis users as regular, functioning people.

Nearly three-quarters of survey participants felt that the media was responsible for influencing legislative decisions of cannabis through tired tropes. When considering the representation of cannabis in films, ranging from Reefer Madness to the Cheech and Chong franchise, those opinions are not unwarranted.

Survey participants also expressed that Hollywood should help dismantle negative stoner stereotypes so that people who enjoy cannabis can be more open about their use; also, that cannabis should see the same portrayal in the media that alcohol use gets.

“When a character on a show drinks a beer or a glass of wine, they aren’t presented as an out of control drunk or an alcoholic – but consumption of cannabis in any amount far too consistently turns that character into a zoned out bumbling stoner,” Robert Miner, president of Miner & Co. Studio, said in a statement.

Forbes notes that Hollywood should pay attention to this new shift.

Jul 26, 2018