Tag Archives: Paul Scheer

Have A Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics

IMDB would have you believe that mixing comedy with a thorough investigation of psychedelics, ‘Have a Good Trip’ explores the pros, cons, science, history, future, pop cultural impact, and cosmic possibilities of hallucinogens. But that’s a bold-faced lie. You want to know how little science there is? The scientist is played by Nick Offerman, that’s how. Have A Good Trip is a terrible way to learn about psychedelics academically, but a pretty entertaining way to learn about psychedelics anecdotally.

Several first-rate story-tellers, mostly comedians (as theirs is the only career path that couldn’t be negatively impacted by admitting this on tape), offer up fun tidbits from past trips. Lewis Black, Sarah Silverman, Nick Kroll, Rob Corddry, David Cross, Will Forte, Paul Scheer, Marc Maron…this list goes on for quite some time, so perhaps I’ll let you be delighted with the surprise of so many familiar faces (and just fyi, a couple of recently departed ones – Carrie Fisher and Anthony Bourdain).

Acid trips are like dreams (as I write this I realize this is true in more ways than one): nobody wants to hear about yours. And even from the mouths of our favourite funny people, sometimes accompanied by clever little animations, or less clever reenactments, most of these takes still land in the awkward category of “you had to be there.” Acid trips are not movies. They do not have plots or characters or crucially, a point. Of course, neither does this movie, which again, IMDB has generously categorized as a “documentary” but actually feels more like someone’s answering machine after they spent a weekend at work while all their buddies went to the desert to munch through a bag of mushrooms.

If you’re predisposed to liking the comedians involved, it’s not such much “worth your time” as “a semi-entertaining time waster” – bonus points if you’re 35-45, because the drug references are pretty dated.

Poop Talk

Poop. Everybody does it; polite people don’t talk about it. Poop Talk features very few polite people. Make no mistake, Poop Talk is a documentary but it will not enlighten you or educate you. Instead it assembles dozens of your favourite comedians and asks them to relate their best bits about poop. Whether or not this documentary will entertain you depends entirely on your tolerance for scatological humour.

Personally, I have likely never laughed at a poop joke. I believe there’s a reason that we build sacred rooms in our homes devoted to just one thing: pooping. Bodily functions are private. Why bother doing them behind closed doors if we then fling the door open and MV5BMTA5ODIxN2ItMTE0My00NjZkLWEyNjEtZTcxNzVhMzQwMzQwXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjMyOTQ5OTA@._V1_proudly boast about our most disgusting feats? Having recently spent quite a lot of time with nephews aged 3,4, and 6, the phrase “no toilet talk” has left my lips more times than I can count. And now I realize I’m happy to do my part in teaching the future generation what’s appropriate to talk about in public and what’s not if it means no one has to sit through such a “frank” documentary every again.

Nicole Byer, Eric Stonestreet, Rob Coddry, Pete Holmes, Aisha Tyler, the Sklar Brothers, Nick Swardson, Paul Scheer, and Kumail Nanjiani are among the film’s culprits. Each brings a poop story to the table: airplane poops, public restrooms, bidets, sullied pants, ruined Passovers. Nothing is off-limits for this documentary, though it exists in a world where poop is still probably our favourite taboo. We may all be responsible for approximately 365 pounds of it per year, but most of us prefer to do it behind closed doors. Comedians, however, are not normal people. Emancipated from shame, they lay bare their most intimate poop details, and you can choose whether or not to laugh and commiserate. Eric Stonestreet is a notable exception: his list of places he won’t poop is extensive, and almost as long as mine. Thank you, sir, for being the single voice of reason.

Using almost exclusively talking head interviews, director Aaron Feldman keeps things simple and straight-forward, and never in my life have I been more grateful for a lack of illustrative graphics. I was one cutesy animation away from losing my shit. If we truly¬† must do this, then let’s get in and get out as quickly as possible. A tight 75 minute running time is a blessing. The film’s philosophy is elemental: the more we share openly about these things, the more united we’ll be in our human experience. Around the globe and across all cultures, everybody poops. And some rare specimens have learned to turn shit into comedy gold.