Doug Benson is a very funny guy. You may have seen him on TV or at a local comedy club; he tours all the time. Or you may be familiar with his stoner documentary Super-High Me. But I’ve gotten to know Doug because he hosts a podcast called Doug Loves Movies (formerly known as I Love Movies) that’s recorded in front of a live audience at L.A.’s comedy hotspot, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The heart of every show is a competition he calls—no kidding—The Leonard Maltin Game.
Doug is a dyed-in-the-wool movie buff, as smart as he is funny, and every week he gathers fellow standup comics and actors to play the game, in which he serves as quizmaster. The object is to guess the name of a movie based on—
—the cast list in my book, Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide—reading from the bottom up—and a few isolated phrases from my review. Contestants bid against each other on how many (or few) names it will take for them to identify the film. Guests have included Sarah Silverman, Patton Oswalt, Jon Hamm, Kevin Pollak, Bob Odenkirk, Tom Arnold, Tom Lennon, and Weird Al Yankovic, to name a few.
I didn’t know about this right away, I must confess. It took my uber-hip daughter to turn me on to the show and the game; that led to my first appearance as a guest with Doug early this year. I can’t believe how many people have commented on it since! I was happy to make a return appearance last week, along with actor-comedian Samm Levine (who was Private Hirschberg in Inglourious Basterds) and comedy writer-performer Morgan Murphy (who’s currently a staff writer on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon). Like Doug, they know their movies pretty well. We all had a good time, and I can assure you, playing the game isn’t easy! If you’d like to download or stream the show—or past episodes—you can find it at the iTunes store (free of charge) or at www.douglovesmovies.com.