Comedian Dan Soder On How 'Budtenders' Are Like Weed's Evil Mixologists

We're featuring Q&As from our recent Food Republic Interview Lounge at the W Austin during the Austin Food & Wine Festival and Moontower Comedy Festival, including video excerpts of the sessions with host Richard Martin. Next up, Dan Soder, a stand-up comedian who's a regular on MTV's The Guy Code, Conan and other fine comedy resources.

When I watched you on Guy Code, I was like, What am I going to talk to Dan Soder about? Because you're not one of the foodie comedians.

There are foodie comedians?

There are foodie comedians now.

Really? People that do material about how delicious food is?

Well you know, like Aziz Ansari and other —

That's that fancy, high-falutin' tuxedo comedy. I'm down with the normal people. I call myself McDonald's comedy.

Well one of the things I wanted to ask you about is, while you don't have to be totally into the whole food thing, it's kind of a funny premise to talk about dating and restaurants.

Well I think that's the most decent place to take a person if you're trying to mash privates. I mean yeah, you could be honest and just say we can go sit in my living room and have a couple drinks. But a restaurant shows you can interact with humans, like a decent person. I think that's the most important part. It's not what you order, it's how you treat the waiter. Yeah. Nothing is worse than seeing someone that you just met – watch them treat a waiter like garbage.

So what do you think a guy should do if he's taking a girl out on a date –

What should he do in general? Oh – that is a laundry list, my friend.

But say at a restaurant. Can he call the waitress sweetheart for instance?

I don't know, are you dating a 60-year-old man? Possibly a widow? The best thing a guy can do is treat the waiter with respect, listen to what the girl has to say, don't get too drunk, and chew with your mouth closed.

That's really good advice.

And these are all things your mother should have taught you. If you're learning it from me, you're an animal. That just escaped from the zoo. And you shouldn't be dating human women.

So tell us about life on the road. Are you traveling a lot?

Yeah. I live in hotel rooms. I mean life on the road is – everyone thinks it's – it's not glamorous!

Well what's your home base?

I live in New York.

What are you gonna do when you get back to New York? What's the first thing you're gonna do?

Take a nap. Were you being literal? Probably play Xbox.


Yeah. I'm a giant child. So I'm gonna play Xbox and maybe – smoke pot. Or not. I don't do drugs. I'm kidding. You could tell by my t-shirt I do. Uh –

Have you played in Denver yet?


What's the deal with pot being legal there? Are people smoking in your audience and laughing hysterically because they're so high?

I think it's because of my well-crafted jokes. But it could be because of the legal marijuana. I grew up there [in Aurora, Colorado]. So I've watched it go from me having to buy weed in a Taco Bell parking lot to being able to walk into a store. Here's the thing I love about legal weed. Pretentiousness has already infected it. Because [the dispensary workers are] called budtenders.


Swear to God. You're a stoner! You're not a budtender!

Who's calling themselves a budtender?

The people that work at dispensaries. By the way, Rory, my budtender, was excellent. He gave me just the perfect hint of paranoia. With heightened appetite. This is the problem with legal pot, is we're such a pretentious culture now that that's where it's gonna land.

Do they actually talk about the mix and the names and stuff like that?

Yeah, they're like oh you want a nice's weed. I'll be okay with whatever you give me. I like it all as the saying goes.

Are you into the whole edible thing? Will you eat it?

Edibles make me come unglued to the point where I cannot do them.

It's kind of intense –

Well you're into food. Would that be a thing for you, if someone was like – we've got a cilantro, weed-infused aioli. And you're like oh this is fun, and then you're like my brain's melting!

But there is something about eating it. I mean I had a little cookie.

Yeah. How did that feel?

I thought it was like oh, it's a little cookie, it can't do anything. The next thing I know...

You're crying in your hotel bathroom, wondering why you're dad didn't hug you enough. No I know. I've done edibles. I've been there. It is horrifying. 

Presented by our friends at the W Hotel Austin.