When I started writing for Cannabis and Technology Today, friends would suggest questions to ask during celebrity interviews. Often, people wanted to know who he would like to smoke with and why.
The viral YouTube series The Dab Roast takes this premise to the next level, inviting celebrities to smoke hash while answering increasingly difficult questions. The show marked some big names ready to take on the challenge. Actress Rose McGowan, former NFL athlete Ricky Williams, comedian Doug Benson and many more stepped up to offer viewers a fascinating look into the minds of celebrities.
Scott McKinley, co-creator of The Dab Roast, sat down with him Cannabis and Technology Today via conference call to discuss what inspired its inception and how he’s reimagining the series for streaming platforms with director and executive producer Redman. To hear the full interview, including McKinley’s favorite celebrity encounters and funny behind-the-scenes stories, check out CannaTechToday.com/podcasts.
Cannabis and Technology Today: What inspired you to create the original Dab Roast?
SM: I wanted to do something that would put people out of work. I love getting someone to relax enough to tell you the truth. We thought long and hard about what questions to ask these people to create viral moments that wouldn’t damage their reputation.
We didn’t want to cheer anyone up or have powder bits, but we wanted to do something that was real and get real answers and not make it all cannabis. So softball questions are one and two, like, “What’s your favorite kind?” But once we get into it, after the fifth hit, it’s game on.
C&T Today: How did you connect with Redman?
SM: Caviar Gold hired me to run their music label, Caviar Gold Records. So I started working with Robert Lang Studios and getting a whole bunch of artists together and recording them under our own label and releasing a bunch of weed music.
I met Redman on a video shoot with all these other stars, and it was like a month-long video shoot in several different mansions and several different states, [it] cost ungodly amounts of money. I was Redman’s basically roommate or roommate the whole time we were doing this music video and we just got to know each other really well… This was 16 years ago and I’ve talked to him three to five times per week since then.
C&T Today: How did he become interested in the show?
SM: I was doing The Dab Roast as a podcast because it was funny and fun and I was getting a lot of celebrities to come through. I was building something that I thought everyone would love just because it was shocking. When we play these at our release parties, we play them to a packed audience. All come and all brands come out. We have big smoke parties that we’ve filmed and recorded tons more content from all the parties.
At these parties, we play the videos and about halfway through, everyone starts smoking, partying and leaving the video – it just starts to get boring. Redman, we played his Dab Roast video and halfway through it started happening.
He’s in the building watching with everyone and he pulls me aside and says, “No, we’re not releasing my episode, and in fact, you shouldn’t be releasing any more episodes. I am your friend and I want to help you. And I have to be honest with you, this is boring as shit. You have a podcast that’s based on another show, it has shock value with celebrities making movies, but it’s boring after the first two minutes of watching it.”
Says Redman: “If you’ll let me come, I’d love to be the executive producer and direct and take this off the YouTube platform and put it more on a Netflix platform. Can I write you some ideas?” I said write some ideas and I’ll listen. So the next morning he sent me four pages of notes formatted by the director, like a movie scene, everything he was going to change and how it would change it, the focus of the story, the theme, the color and the music; he went deep. I read every single note. So I called him back and said, ‘Let’s run your way.’
C&T Today: How does this iteration differ from the original?
SM: We have two brands featured with five segments and we still have a celebrity taking five questions, answering five questions. This gives us 15 segments. And in between these segments we have The Dab Roast, which is two comedians taking das and brutally roasting each other. It’s hilarious.
Then all the sights of simple parties, extreme cannabis, giants, crazy brands, all kinds of things. So it’s just the extreme of cannabis culture. We’re showing you all the extreme content, but in between we have 15 segments of educational and fun stuff. We would consider ourselves the grown-up version of Sesame Street, where we have a short attention span and a lot of content, with 15 main segments in each episode.
SM: We’re pairing pilots based on two brands per episode. We want three episodes as pilots so we can give any brand that gets us enough runway to run it while we go get more. We’ll go to Netflix first because Redman is currently working with Netflix. He has people there willing to look at it as soon as we do the three pilots.
In the meantime, we want more fresh content, so we decided to organize a festival together called Cantanna Fest. We’re filming everything we can, building up to this first year of our festival that we just finished with the Tech N9ne headliner.
This year was our test of a festival. Now for August 2024, we have three days at Franklin Farms in Snohomish Washington with four stages with 93 artists and a car show … We are hustling and working to get the pilots done so we can go to a network and say, “Here are the pilots. We have this great festival to keep the content going. Are you going to buy the pilots and fund us to continue filming this festival and more brands and more celebrities participating?”
We’re going to have a whole lineup of 93 celebrities and artists at this festival that we can get to do The Dab Roast, get them to do a five-dab session with us and just build a bunch of episodes quickly. We have positioned ourselves in terms of content for success, where we have a lot of content in the vault. It will shock the world because no one has published content like this.
This article first appeared in Volume 5 Issue 3 of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.