Comedy Central’s new show “The High Court” challenges the notion of being “sober as a judge.” Starring comic and cannabis connoisseur Doug Benson, two parties agree to have their small claims court cases heard before a stoned judge and a guest comic/personality bailiff.
The premise of the show, which airs weeknights at midnight on Comedy Central, with two hits on Thursdays, is a cross between Benson’s popular YouTube show “Getting Doug With High” and “The People’s Court.”
After hearing the evidence provided by the plaintiff and defendant in each case, the judge and bailiff proceed to the court chambers to empty their bong chambers and decide the turnout of each case.
A nice twist is that the judge and bailiff are seen getting high on air so you can watch their buzz progress “Drunk History”-style. This allows the two to vamp and bounce ideas off each other with a distorted sense of justice.
The cases have been pulled from actual Los Angeles County Court Files and the decisions in each case are legally binding. The show offers one of the two parties restitution, but ironically, no jail time seems to be getting handed out.
The cases are offbeat, of course, and seem to be geared toward everyday stoner problems caused by being high and slacking off.
In one episode, a mother claims she lent her daughter $3,800 to buy a car, but the daughter never paid her back. The defendant daughter claims she drives her mother everywhere so she doesn’t owe her mother anything. Judge Benson ruled in this case that the court would pay the mother off on the initial loan and give the daughter a smaller loan to pay off.
Another episode has a man suing his uncle for $500 for letting his pet snake escape while pet sitting. The defendant uncle says the snake escaped on its own. Judge Benson orders the defendant to pay the man the $500.
One of the funnier cases deals with a comic claiming another comedian stole one of his jokes. The defendant claims he changed the joke enough to make it different. Judge Benson orders the defendant to pay the plaintiff $35 restitution.
What seems like a basic premise turns out to be hilarious as each story unfolds. The devil is always in the details, and that’s where the comedy and outcome end up coming from. In the case of “The High Court,” justice is not blind, but it is seen through bloodshot and glassy eyes.
The final verdict: “The High Court” is funny for stoners. The short episodes are the right dose before you start getting annoyed.