High Times with Syd and Mike
Introducing the stoner comedy duo of Sydney Davis and Michael Holt better known as Syd and Mike. Their unique short video episodes explore the unique friendships among marijuana enthusiasts and their smoky shorts are now featured on High Times TV! I spoke to them about their inspirations and the role that cannabis plays in their comedy and lives.
What were your first experiences with cannabis?
S: Haha! I was 13 the first time I smoked. It was with my sister. I was wrecked after a bong hit. I knew it probably wasn’t the right thing to be doing. I remember all I was thinking was “This feels wrong, I haven’t even kissed a boy!!” I was so awkward, and coughing so much!
M: The first time I smoked, I was probably 13 or 14. My best friend had moved out of state. I was planning on going to visit him and he told me he had a joint. This was like a month or two before I was even supposed to come. We talked about that joint for like a month solid. When I finally got to his house, I saw it in all its glory. It was super tiny and by this time a month old. Hilarious! We smoked it in his back yard once everyone had gone to sleep. Then we came in and sat in his living room in complete darkness for like an hour just laughing and talking about how cool the blinking 12:00am VCR clock looked. It was TRILL.
How do the two of you meet?
M: We met back in 2011 in an acting class in NYC. We were paired together for a scene. One night (when I was much thinner) I was watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ and got the idea that “I could win this show. But I’d have to get really fat.”. I called Syd immediately and we couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous it would be to gain weight just to get cast on a reality show. So we wrote and shot our first short film together, ‘Preparing to Lose’ which will be available on High Times TV.
S: We quickly realized how well we work together, writing and making movies.
How do you come up with ideas for the skits?
S: The key when smoking is to write down the ideas you get. I can’t tell you how many ideas are gone forever because we were too high and didn’t write them down!!! We’ve all had those days when we’re like “what were we laughing about last night? it was so funny!”
M: NO CLUE!
S: We also like to think about what we want to see the other person do. We have a whole episode that stemmed from the original idea of Syd carrying Mike on her back.
Do you guys consume as much as it seems you do from your videos?
M: I wish. I’m not the super productive type when I’m high. I like to smoke before doing creative things and at night. But if I have a bunch of shit to get done I usually gotta wait till afterward.
S: Ha! I smoke a lot, but not hotboxing or making food pipes every day.
Does cannabis play a role in your creative process and if so, what role does it play?
S: Woohoo! Hell yeah! Weed helps set the vibe, it helps get the creative juices flowing.
M: Absolutely. It really helps you get on a different wavelength. It loosens me up and removes a lot of comedic inhibitions.
What’s your favorite way to consume?
M: I’m a smoker. Used to be blunts. Started with Phillies then went to El Productos when Biggie was rapping about them. Then to Dutch Masters. But then I kinda migrated over to glass for a few years. Now I love a cone, and hemp wraps. I really wanna try a Cannagar soon. Those things look AMAZING.
S: I love a joint. But I go through phases. Sometimes I get really into edibles, I’ll get how much I’m consuming down to a science! I also like vaping – the live resin is a game changer.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while filming the episodes?
S: Hmmm…probably when we were filming Syrah. We made the rig to hang the camera outside the car window and drove around Brooklyn.
M: Oh yeah, and for food pipes, you chainsawed a watermelon in your living room. That was crazy. Oh, and we also tried to start a #420Challenge when we smoked out of a fruit gravity bong in Whole Foods… that will be released on HTTV for 4/20.
Who are some dream guests you’d like to work with on your show?
M: We’re big fans of Seth Rogen and everything he does. Cheech & Chong would be pretty surreal to work with. They really pioneered stoner comedy and I think anyone in the space owes them a huge debt of gratitude. Half Baked and Friday are two of my personal favorite stoner films, so I’d have to say Dave and Neal. Cypress Hill is always super supportive of everything we do. I’m hoping to be able to collab with them one day. Snoop is another OG that I love. He’s gotta be the coolest guy on the planet.
S: Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, Bill Murray. Ah! There are so many. We had Kenan Thompson in one of our episodes, that’s a dream guest!
Who were your stoner duo influences?
M: Cheech & Chong, Craig and Smokey, Harold and Kumar, and I know there were 4 of them, But the Half Baked gang. Especially Sir Smokes A Lot!
S: Definitely the Half Baked gang. My favorite movies growing up were Dumb & Dumber and Tommy Boy. I love a dynamic duo. Beavis & Butthead. Pinky and the Brain. But I also loved the cannabis culture of the 70s – my parents are Deadheads. Runs in my blood.
You tackle more than just cannabis on the show (Friendships, racial dynamics, etc.) Do you make a conscious effort to deal with stigmas outside of just cannabis?
M: Absolutely! one of the big stigmas we’re excited to deal with is men and women being just friends. It seems like in entertainment there aren’t a lot of men and women who are just platonic friends. I think that’s a huge problem and doesn’t help toxic environments in the workplace and schools etc. We really want to help normalize the idea that men and women can be just friends.
S: I also have Crohn’s Disease, so we’ve incorporated that into the Syd & Mike universe as well.
Tell me about debuting on HTTV and what that means to you?
S: I am so pumped!! High Times is the OG cannabis brand. It feels great to be included into the family and connect with the HT audience.
M: High Times is hands down the most iconic brand in all of cannabis. They’ve done so much for the culture and community that it’s a huge honor to be affiliated with them. It’s surreal that a magazine I had to hide from my mom, I’m now collab-ing with and she’s super proud of me for it. I feel like the whole cannabis industry is really coming full circle and I never thought I’d see this day. It always felt like a pipe dream… pardon the pun.