New Cannabis Comedy ‘Wilfred’ Debuts On FX


Photo: Cheryl Shuman
From left, Jason Gann (Wilfred), medical marijuana consultant Cheryl Shuman, Elijah Wood (Ryan) and David Zuckerman (executive producer)

​​Ever noticed how often TV shows get it wrong when it comes to the telling little details of marijuana culture? Inaccuracies, large and small, can diminish our enjoyment of a show because they call our attention to artifice rather than art.

Well, I can assure you those kinds of details are going to be correct in “Wilfred,” a new pot-based comedy debuting tonight on the FX television network. How am I so sure? Because, in what appears to be a first, the producers had the good sense to hire Cheryl Shuman (yes, the well-known cannabis activist and Kush Magazine media director) as medical marijuana consultant.

Photo: Cheryl Shuman
The accuracy of “Wilfred’s” dispensary scenes like this one is due to the expertise of the show’s medical marijuana consultant, Cheryl Shuman

​This show has “hit” written all over it, and I’m not just talking about the bong kind. Shuman told Toke of the Town that “Wilfred” is breaking new ground when it comes to the public perception of cannabis use, both medicinal and recreational.
Mega-star Elijah Wood (of Lord of the Rings fame) plays Ryan, a suicidally depressed medical marijuana patient whose life is saved by an unexpected bond with a — get this — talking, pot-smoking dog, the titular Wilfred. 
You see, Wilfred looks like a regular ol’ dog to everyone else, but to Ryan, he’s a six-foot-tall, anthropomorphic, recreational pot smoker.
See what they did there? We have a medicinal cannabis user and his dog, a recreational marijuana smoker. Bada-bing! Both ends of the weed spectrum covered, with plenty of low-hanging funny fruit just waiting to be harvested.
“This show will be edgy; I guarantee you it’s going to offend a few people,” Shuman — a 20-year veteran of Hollywood, medical marijuana patient, and cancer survivor — told me. “But it’s also really, really funny.”
Written and produced by David Zuckerman of Family Guy fame, “Wilfred” is a great opportunity for the medical marijuana community to rebrand itself to the mass American public. As such, it features authentic dispensary interiors, overseen by pot consultant Shuman.
Hey, if it a takes a few off-color jokes and a pot-smoking dog to get America to talk (and laugh) openly about cannabis, I’m all for it!
Don’t miss “Wilfred,” premiering Thursday, June 23, at 10 p.m. Pacific on FX.