Cannabis Comedy to Premiere Ahead of 420 Celebrations
By Alfonzo Porter
This month, we would typically be in the throes of wild, freewheeling parties and events in celebration of 420 around the city of Denver and the State of Colorado. The air around town would undoubtedly have a strong aroma of a bouquet of cannabis strands wafting through the atmosphere as revelers rejoice, blazed and oblivious to the problems of the world.
Because the vast majority of Americans are currently under a variety of state orders and decrees to “shelter in place,” most of us find ourselves in a state of involuntary hypnosis in front of our television screens. However, a soon to be released Marijuana comedy might help with our 420 party withdrawals by spotlighting one of our state’s favorite substances—weed.
As part of our changing cultural norms, art is beginning to imitate life as well known comedian and actor Aries Spears announced the release of his new movie aptly titled, “The 420 Movie: Mary and Jane.” The comedic film is set to debut April 7 on most streaming platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, DirecTV, Spectrum, Vudu, Hulu and others. Spears stars as the “hilarious, off kilter and totally unfiltered patrolman Watkins.”
The plot takes place during the pre-legalization of marijuana and features two sisters, “Mary and Jane,” who concoct a scheme to create the first electronic blunt in order to save their father, Mayor Hightower, along with the city he loves from bankruptcy and a three foot tall Mexican drug lord.
Spears stars alongside Daniel Baldwin, Keith David, rapper Aaron “Shwayze” Smith, Lindsey McKeon, Kelley Jakle and the late Verne Troyer.
“This movie takes a comedic look at marijuana,” Spears said. “However, when we consider this issue seriously, I think that everybody who has a marijuana conviction today should be set free and their records completely expunged. They are in jail serving time for what is now a legal activity.”
Growing up in New York during the 1980s, Spears cut his comedic teeth at 14 performing stand-up at local comedy clubs around New York City. By 17 he was a regular at well known clubs like The Uptown Comedy Club, Indigo Blues, and Tribeca Comedy Lounge. Since 2009, he has also made a number of appearances in the comedy series, Laugh Factory
His first television appearance was on Russell Simmons‘s Def Comedy Jam, followed by It’s Showtime at the Apollo (1987). He moved to Los Angeles in 1992, landed a recurring role on A Different World (1993) and became a regular at The Comedy Store, The Improv and The Laugh Factory. Other television credits include Crosstown Traffic, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. (1993) and Soul Train.
At 16, Spears landed a part in the movie Malcolm X. Shortly thereafter, he was cast in a starring role opposite Glenn Frey in South of Sunset (1993). Spears’s other movie appearances include Home of Angels (1994), The Pest (1997), Jerry Maguire in which he played Teepee, brother of Rod Tidwell (1996), Out-of-Sync (1995), and The Proud Family(2003).
He is well known for his impressions of celebrities, including rappers Jay-Z, LL Cool J, DMX, and Snoop Dogg actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Denzel Washington, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as fellow comedians Eddie Murphy and Paul Mooney.
He has also been a constant presence on the small screen. In addition to his comedy work, he has acted in over two dozen television and film titles. Some of the TV series that he’s appeared in over the years include The Underground, Black Dynamite and The Boondocks.
Aside from comedy, he has also been picking up a number of acting roles over the past several years. For instance, he has played various characters in the series American Dad!, TripTank, and The 5th Quarter. On the big screen, he has also appeared in the films Promoted, Hood of Horror, and The D. According to IMDb, he is also slated to star in an upcoming movie called Chase.
Spears is the son of popular jazz singer, Doris Spears. He is the father of two children, Jordan and Jade. He currently resides in California.
The 420 Movie: Mary & Jane will air on most streaming platforms beginning April 7, 2020.