Half Baked

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Half Baked
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTamra Davis
Produced byRobert Simonds
Written by
Music byAlf Clausen
CinematographySteven Bernstein
Edited byDon Zimmerman
Robert Simonds Productions
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • January 16, 1998 (1998-01-16)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million
Box office$17.5 million[1]

Half Baked is a 1998 American stoner comedy film starring Dave Chappelle, Jim Breuer, Harland Williams and Guillermo Díaz. The film was directed by Tamra Davis, co-written by Chappelle and Neal Brennan and produced by Robert Simonds. Though Half Baked was a box office failure and received generally negative reviews, it has since attained status as a cult film.[2]


Four lifelong stoners and friends (Kenny, Thurgood, Scarface, and Brian) live together in New York City. Thurgood, a janitor at a medical laboratory, brings home some unusually potent marijuana given to him by an unscrupulous scientist at the lab, and the four smoke it. When Kenny, a gentle kindergarten teacher, is out on a munchie run, he is arrested for accidentally killing a diabetic police horse by feeding it junk food.

His friends are forced to find $1,000,000 to bail him out before the other prisoners take advantage of his gentle nature.

Scarface gets the idea to have Thurgood steal medical marijuana from his work so that the three of them can sell it to raise money to free Kenny. While visiting Kenny in prison, Thurgood meets Mary Jane and pursues a romantic relationship, which is strained by his having to conceal his marijuana smoking and dealing from her, as she is adamantly anti drug.

When the success of the friends' marijuana business grows enough to raise the ire of local drug lord Samson Simpson, Samson extorts the friends for $20,000 a week. Mary Jane dumps Thurgood when she finds out Thurgood is dealing drugs. The friends plan a robbery of the medical laboratory to increase their earnings enough to both fend off Samson and free Kenny, but are arrested when they try to execute the plan.

Thurgood strikes a deal with the police to wear a listening device to a meeting with Samson in exchange for freeing Kenny and dropping the charges against him and his friends. The friends meet with Samson and the plan works. Kenny and his friends are freed and Thurgood meets with Mary Jane to say that he is giving up marijuana and wants to get back together. The film ends with the two reuniting.



Chappelle and Breuer shared a manager and had previously starred on the short-lived sitcom Buddies. In spring 1996, both were working separately on marijuana-related film projects. Chappelle and Brennan's script was complete, so Breuer was asked to join their project.[3]

The movie was filmed in Toronto in the summer of 1997. Dirty Work was filming at the same time, and the cast and crew stayed in the same hotel. Bob Saget, who directed Dirty Work, filmed a short, uncredited cameo for Half Baked.


Box office[edit]

Half Baked hit theaters in the United States on January 16, 1998, earning $7,722,540 in its opening weekend, ranking at No. 6, and, by the end of its run, grossed $17,460,020.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

While Half Baked received generally negative critic reviews—currently holding a 29% "Rotten" rating by critics based on 24 critic reviews, it also held generally positive user reviews (81% with 194,202 user reviews)[4] On Metacritic, the film received a score of 16 out of 100 from critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike". In a similar vein to Rotten Tomatoes, it received a more favorable rating from users at 7.8 based on 80 users reviews.[5]

Despite its negative reception, it has had several re-releases on DVD and to this day it is considered a cult classic.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Half Baked at Box Office Mojo". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Petty, Amber (May 18, 2016). "10 Things You Might Not Know About Half Baked". IFC. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  3. ^ Jim Breuer (2010). I'm Not High. Gotham Books. pp. 204–205. ISBN 978-1-59240-575-6.
  4. ^ "Half Baked". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  5. ^ Half Baked at Metacritic
  6. ^ Screen Crush https://screencrush.com/half-baked-then-and-now-done/. Retrieved 14 September 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]