The 1998 stoner comedy Half Baked, directed by Tamra Davis, is one of my favorite comedies of all time. It is so iconically mid-to-late Nineties (you know, the Happy Place within my cranium in which I dwell at least half the time).
While ostensibly a vehicle to showcase the talents of then-burgeoning newcomer Dave Chappelle (who co-wrote the script), the entire ensemble cast—including Jim Breuer, Guillermo Díaz, Harland Williams, and Rachel True—has room to shine.
Here are my five favorite scenes from Half-Baked:
This fantasy sequence, in which the magical weed lends our hapless trio of protagonists flying abilities, is pretty much a love-letter to the great old-time pot movies of the past.
Chappelle has double duty in this scene playing both our hero Thurgood and the rap star Sir Smoke-a-Lot. The latter is a histrionic hot mess, and the weed hasn’t seemed to mellow him out any. But truly, the main reason I love this scene is the word “backiotomy.” It makes me laugh so hard I pee every time.
3. Brian Quits The Record Store
I have quit jobs in the past utilizing both of the methods on display in Half Baked, and I have to say…they don’t age well. But a young goofy Jim Breuer in a tie-dye shirt can really pull it off. Bonus: when he asks Jan to be his girlfriend (also, that he doesn’t act like a dick when she politely turns him down).
2. Scarface Quits The Burger Joint
Scarface walking off the job is such a small scene…and so good. It’s just perfect. If I had to pick between this and Brian’s scene at the record shop, well I guess this is #2 so I already picked it. “You’re cool!”
1. Jon Stewart’s Cameo
I suppose it’s every middle-aged faux edgy hipster’s nightmare to end up like Jon Stewart’s cringey conspiracy-minded character in Half Baked. Thank God it never happened to me! “Red Team Go! Red Team Go!” Pay attention to Guillermo Díaz unable to keep a straight face as Stewart riffs.
Bonus: Bob Saget
I think I don’t even need to say a thing here.