Mike Glazer wants to make you feel good. The relentlessly positive LA standup has amassed a varied resume of writing and performing gigs, from starring in web series like High Guys and First High to contributing to shows like The Late Late Show and Night of Too Many Stars, but his chief passions of comedy, cannabis and cooking, on display throughout, are all about getting people to enjoy themselves.
Audiences can catch up with him regularly through his monthly Hollywood Improv experience Glazed or Weed & Grub, the acclaimed podcast he hosts with actress and fellow cannabis advocate Mary Jane Gibson. DOPE spoke with Glazer about his background with cannabis, the existential origins of his sense of humor, the struggles of eating well at comedy clubs and his “donut destiny.”
DOPE Magazine: What are the origins of your relationship with cannabis, and how did you grow into this role, whether in comedy or your personal life, of being open about and an advocate for it?
Mike Glazer: Wow. I feel like I should stand in a spotlight, like I’m gonna do a one-man show. Let’s talk about it. I think my intro to cannabis was because I was a nervous fat kid with braces and a curly hair afro. It just calmed me down and allowed me to take a deep breath, and it also helped me get out of my own way, so that I could just figure out who I am and what my deal is. From an early age, my bones rattled in my skin a lot of the time, just because I didn’t understand why I was on earth. I was a little too deep and existential a little too early in my life, and it was a lot to grapple with while going through puberty.
So I found good people, I found cannabis, and both of these things I’m fortunate enough to carry through to today. I genuinely believe a good hang with a nice joke is the best way to make a new friend, and that helped me all the way through my life, up to this very day. It’s really been like a helping hand.
I know what you mean about helping you be present, in spite of all that existential fear and death.
[Laughs] Yeah. If you would’ve known me when I was growing up, every single joke I made was about death, and all of my Halloween costumes I was dead. I didn’t put two and two together, I wasn’t suicidal or anything. But I think about death a lot, and it’s nice to not think about that all the time and just be a person.
And how did you start replacing those death jokes with cannabis jokes?
I just put the word cannabis in front of everything. [Laughs] I still think, if you were to dig deep into everything that I do – man, this is a dark interview quick – but underneath all of it, I think you can take everything I do creatively, and one of the bottom lines is that this all comes to an end, so try and live as bright, fulfilling, generous, and kind a life as possible while handling your own shit, because that’s how I want to be remembered.
When it comes to doing Glazed, your pot-themed show at the Hollywood Improv, how do you define what makes a pot joke funny versus just played out?
I think there’s a universal relatability in being high, whether you’re using it as medicine or using it to make the Avengers more amazing. There’s still a universal truth to it. Cannabis, especially in Glazed, it’s not a crutch; it’s a tool, and a really great tool, almost like an Allen wrench – or Swiss army knife. Especially in Glazed, it’s a tool towards positivity, and a tool towards bringing everyone together. Some people show up 50mg deep in an edible, and they sit in the back, blink every 15 seconds, drink a bottle of water, and afterwards, they’re the people who come straight up to me and say, ‘I needed this so much, and I had the most wonderful time, I’ll see you next month.’ I’m like, ‘Are you sure, because you didn’t laugh once,’ but they’re there for the right reasons, so that’s what it’s all about.
It seems like there’s a ‘letting go’ aspect in common with being high and comedy, what it takes to laugh.
Yeah, exactly. And the best part is, the people who sit in the first four rows, they always make that choice because they’re the kind of extroverted people who want to lean in to what the show is about, and they also probably want to get some free gifts, so shout-out to that. It’s that contagious wave, that once they start going, everybody in the back who has their arms crossed and is a little inside themselves wondering what this is going to be, you can see everyone loosen up, because the tone has been set, and everyone at the front is having a great time. It’s one of the only times that the word contagious is used in a positive way, instead of a way where people aren’t getting vaccinated. Everyone should get vaccinated, don’t believe what you’re reading – get vaccinated.
Between Weed & Grub and Worst Cooks in America, how did food and cooking start to inform your comedy?
When I was a roly-poly little kid, my routine after school was come home, turn on Animaniacs, eat an entire container of sour cream Pringles, and then also eat all of the cream out of the middle of the Oreos, and put the cookies back into the box. Then I would have dinner, then I would do homework, then I would go to bed. And when those are your choices early in life, they carry over into when you’re an adult. It was just time to make a change, so I was really grateful to get on something like Worst Cooks, because it let me showcase who I am and what my vibe is, but it also just straight up changed my life. It gave me the ability to be self-sufficient instead of spending so much money on food. I still love going out to eat at ridiculous restaurants and trying to befriend chefs, but there’s nothing like chopping an onion while you’re a little bit high and listening to a podcast at two in the morning, to really bring some peace to my world.
It also sounds like you’re always had eating habits that are ripe for comedy.
Exactly! It’s so funny, because every comedy club it’s the same menu, it’s like nachos, chicken fingers, pizza, hamburgers, French fries. People who do comedy are kind of built for that, and then at a certain point you’re like, oh my gosh, my brain is smoothing out from these kinds of meals, I should eat something green other than iceberg lettuce, which is just water in crunchy form.
And the other thing, I started to realize after Worst Cooks, that there’s this amazing parallel between comedy, cannabis and cooking, where you are doing something that makes you feel really good, and also makes everyone around you feel really good. If you’re cooking a dish, you get to share it with people you care about. If you’re doing standup onstage, you’re getting to make people laugh and you get to leave there hopefully a little bit lighter. With cannabis, you roll that joint or you pass that bowl or whatever it is. The communal aspects that bring people together I’ve learned is really important to me, and those three things check all those boxes. That’s what I’m about man. I just want people to have a good time before we die.
Yeah. There are so many things out there that are just scaring or pissing people off.
Exactly. So if we can have a little relief from that, I’m not trying to solve the world’s problems, but I think I could shift them in the right direction … Would you vote for me if I ran for President?
I’m thinking about it right now! You’re making a great case – finally, someone who speaks my language, comedy and cannabis.
Right? I think it’s a good platform.
When it comes to doing your webseries First High, what most surprises you about getting to share people’s first cannabis experience?
I think what surprises me most is how fortunate, yet unfortunate I am to live in a bubble like Los Angeles, where cannabis is pretty accepted already. When I’m speaking to people from all walks of life who have chosen not to consume for whatever reasons make sense to them, I realize how big the world really is, and how far things still have to go. It’s a nice awakening to see their eyes light up and their skin relax when they realize what this plant is. And once they realize that, it’s like, ‘Oh, we are all the same. Oh, we are all human. Oh, everything I thought about this, it’s not that it was right or wrong, but I’m glad that I tried it and now I better understand it.’ I try to pop my bubble as much as possible, because it’s too cozy sometimes.
It does get hard sometimes to realize how much of a bubble you’re living in on the West Coast.
Yeah, exactly. Especially once I log onto Instagram, and the algorithms are taking over my life, and everything is suited for me. It’s hard to escape that, and it’s so important to escape it.
When you got to write for other shows like Night of Too Many Stars, what did you like or dislike about having to write for other people and go through agents for big name celebrities?
Well, it always feels good when you write a joke and somebody else says it, and it works. That feels real fucking good. They are a celebrity, and the words they chose to say were mine, and it got the response we were hoping for? Please, give me that for the rest of my life.
Onto another subject: what’s your thing with donuts?
Yoooooo. Sometimes I look at my bellybutton, and I’m like, oh, that’s the hole. I just feel like my whole life has been a donut, top to bottom. I don’t know, man – I grew up with the nickname donut, and I put that on the back of all my hockey goalie masks. On Worst Cooks, there was a blind taste test donut challenge, which I won. That cinnamon toast crunch chocolate ganache toasted marshmallow donut blew away the competition. And then, Dunkin’ Donuts happened this summer, and I don’t even know, what’s going to be next? Is Homer Simpson going to meet me?
Did you approach Dunkin’ Donuts, or…?
No, that was an audition, thanks to my awesome agent at DPN Talent, Jennifer York. For the audition, I was feeling really under the weather, and so it was one of those where I just walked in, like alright, just do the job and get out of here so you can go back to bed. I think that served me well, because I showed up, didn’t think twice about it, did the job, walked away. Was even sicker for the callback. Alright, adrenaline, please kick in for the next 15 seconds. I do the job, I walk out of there, I kinda think I got this. And next thing you know, I did. I guess the lesson is, every time you have an audition, maybe don’t get vaccinated, maybe get as sick as possible for every audition, so you can go in and not overthink it?
That’s awesome. It’s your donut destiny.
Oh, the donut destiny! I love that, absolutely. My live show at the Hollywood Improv is called Glazed, because I figured that would be a sticky title. That show is doing really well too, and the last one I surprised the whole crowd with four dozen Dunkin’ Donuts. If anyone out there has any donut ideas, I’m the one to do them, because like you said, it’s donut destiny.
What if I ran for President on a Dunkin’ platform? I think that’d be good. I think the whole Midwest would vote for me. If America runs on Dunkin’ … and Glazer?