This weekend will see The Comedy Store team up with Puffco to bring laughs to the Rose Bowl parking lot for The Comedy Store Drive-In.
The two-night run will feature 18 of The Comedy Store’s biggest names, including Bill Burr, David Spade, Whitney Cummings, Jeff Ross, Iliza Shlesinger, Fortune Feimster and Donnell Rawlings.
Comedy Store regular Frank Castillo helped get the ball rolling as Puffco had already been considering involvement in socially distant festivities. In the end, few things pair better than great hash and good jokes. In addition to his stand-up, he dives into pot topics alongside his host JP on their podcast “Buddies!”.
What started as a general digital content idea turned into 400 parking spots after an email with Puffco about putting something together. Now it’s three drive-up comedy shows in the Rose Bowl Stadium parking lot H on March 26 and 27.
“Kim from Punch Extracts was the one who said, ‘You should just email Chelsea from Puffco and tell them your idea and then that’ll get the ball rolling.’ I was like, I don’t know, I don’t know if they answer emails,” Castillo told L.A. Weekly.
But they did! And they loved it. Castillo was quick to emphasize the crew at The Comedy Store and Puffco did the groundwork, he just helped connect the dots.
Castillo once even got written up at the Comedy Store for hitting his Puffco on the clock. “It was just so funny to be able to bring this all together and for it to come full circle. Because I love comedy, I love The Comedy Store, I love weed, and to be able to bring these two communities together was really dope.”
According to Puffco’s founder Roger Volodarsky, Puffco’s events lead Kevin Chapman had been mulling around how to make something happen all year. The company was a regular face on the cannabis events circuit even prior to launching the successful Peak. The Puffco Plus was the go-to concentrate pen for people that owned hash companies in the mid-2010s. But, like all, they didn’t get that precious face time with their base in 2020. Eventually, Chapman and Castillo would connect and found out they shared a fairly similar vision.
“It just seemed perfect, you know, in the middle of all this to be able to put on a comedy show where people can safely come out and chill in their cars,” Volodarsky told L.A. Weekly. “It just felt like the best thing we can do while we’re still getting through this pandemic and that’s kind of how it came to be.”
We asked Volodarsky about the synergistic aspect of weed and laughs coming together to help an institution put on its first big show for an audience in a year.
“I mean, honestly, dude, it’s an honor,” Volodarsky said. “I’m a New Yorker, I would say most of our employees are fans of comedy and go and watch stand up. They’ve been to lots of comedy clubs. And so, for me too, I was tripping out telling my girlfriend. Yeah, Bill Burr is gonna be there. I might get to meet Bill Burr, and I’ve been laughing at Bill Burr, I mean honestly, since I was a teenager. It’s the best kind of weird, you know? I feel like it’s very surreal to be working with people you have admired for most of your adult life.”
Volodarsky reinforced his hopes that everybody comes out and has a good time. “This is one of the first times that I’m leaving my house to be near anyone. Even though everybody’s gonna be in their car. So please come share this moment with us. It’s gonna be a blast,” he said.
The team at Alien Labs, famed for some of the best cannabis in the world, is also sponsoring the show.
“I feel like when everyone is looking at rappers to advertise their brand, we needed to find a new audience to resonate with,” Alien Labs’ founder Ted Lidie told L.A. Weekly. “I mean, how long have cannabis and comedy been intertwined? Since the beginning I feel like. Also, the cannabis community and comedian community are so damn similar. Everyone knows everyone. Just little culture pockets. And I’m pumped to be doing it with our longtime friends from Puffco. Together we have been creating new communities within this industry for the last few years. Happy to lead the charge!”
General admission tickets are $200 each and good for four passengers. There are also a limited number of $350 VIP admission tickets, also good for four passengers, and includes a front row parking spot.