“There’s a lot of focus on how much people drink here at South by Southwest,” Jimmy Kimmel told his studio audience last night in Austin, Texas, where the late-night TV host has been spending the past week filming SXSW-themed episodes of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“People aren’t just drinking,” he added. “It’s a stereotype. People are also smoking marijuana.”
Truth. In the interest of keeping Austin weird — or in the interest of keeping themselves super-baked — SXSW attendees have been known to fire up a joint or two during the 10-day festival. They’ll tell you it makes the concerts sound better. They’ll tell you it makes the food truck tacos taste better. What they won’t tell you, though, are any names of current (or former) U.S. senators.
“This is something we do from time to time, back home in L.A.,” Kimmel continued. “We ask pot smokers what they know about a variety of subjects, and we thought it might be fun to do that here. It’s time for a special South By edition of ‘Pot Quiz.'”
In the clip above, an unseen reporter ventures into the thick of SXSW and conducts quick interviews with a handful of blazed music fans. Whenever the questions involve stoner-friendly shows like South Park, the interviewees tend to know the answers. When it comes to American history, though — say, rattling off a few details about the Battle of the Alamo, or naming the president who once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — everyone is stumped.
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Everyone except for Willie Nelson, that is. The country king of cannabis makes a “Pot Quiz” appearance at the very end of the segment, immediately firing off the correct response — “Mount Everest!” — when asked to name the highest mountain the world. He nails the follow-up question, too, naming himself as “the highest musician in the world.”
“I can’t believe he didn’t know that was FDR,” Nelson says after a pause, referencing the fried festivalgoer who attributed the “fear itself” quote to Ernest Hemingway. “He must be smoking better shit than I got.”