Ben Stiller Recalls A ‘Sweet’ Phone Call With His Dad Jerry Stiller in the Netflix Doc ‘Have a Good Trip’
Netflix recently released Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, a documentary by former Simpsons and Late Night With David Letterman writer-producer Donick Cary. Featuring comedians, actors, and musicians sharing their experiences with hallucinogens, the film is accompanied by intermittent animations to dramatize the stories and includes commentary on the potential medical benefits of psychedelic drugs.
Celebrities such as Sarah Silverman, Sting, Paul Scheer, Will Forte, Rosie Perez, A$AP Rocky, and Nick Kroll are interviewed, as well as Ben Stiller who shared a somewhat funny yet touching account of his experience that did not go as expected.
‘Zoolander’ star decides to experiment
In recounting his story, Stiller revealed that his first venture into the world of psychedelics hadn’t gone as planned when he gave it a try with a friend.
“I was so not ready to take acid. It was a huge mistake,” Stiller admitted, laughing, in the Netflix doc. “In retrospect, I didn’t realize how much it was going to change my life. Because it really changed my life for a long time.”
The actor was expecting some sort of introspective enlightenment upon taking the hallucinogenic. “I just thought ‘Alright, here we go, this is gonna be great.’ ” Stiller recalled. “I was hoping for some sort of psychedelic revelation… just some sort of opening into some sort of other form of consciousness. And it was not that at all.”
For Stiller, the experience was actually quite terrifying. “It was just fear and anxiety being amplified,” he said. “Who needs that? Who needs to take a drug to have that happen?”
Ben Stiller and the Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Dodgeball star shared that he decided to increase his intake of the drug when he didn’t sense any effects at first. After another dose, Stiller definitely felt it.
“Immediately I started to freak out and get really scared,” he remembered. “I’m freaking out. I said ‘Let’s just go to my house.’ And we were walking towards where they blow up the balloon animals for the Thanksgiving Day Parade and I started to trip out on that idea.”
The elaborate imagery of the parade paraphernalia began to take a toll on Stiller while he was under the influence. “Evil, giant, inflated characters were flipping up and coming out of 77th Street. … I had no idea where I was, who I was, or what the whole context of life was,” he explained of what he was seeing, adding that he then made a judgment call. “I decided that I needed to talk to my parents to tell them what was happening to me.”
Imagine talking to Jerry Stiller about this
Though his parents, comedy actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, were away filming a TV sitcom, Stiller was able to reach his dad.
“My parents were out of town filming a Love Boat episode. I called Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara on the phone,” he shared, laughing. “I said, ‘Dad, I took some acid.’ And he said ‘What? What is acid?’ I think he might have thought I drank some battery acid or something. It wasn’t like my dad was Jerry Garcia. He’s Jerry Stiller.”
Hoping to give his dad a better understanding of his predicament, the Meet The Parents actor clarified his actions. “I said, ‘LSD.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, LSD,'” Stiller said. “I could hear him processing it. I think the immediate thought was, I think he was thinking he’d failed as a parent. I think that was what was probably going through his mind.”
Stiller’s dad tried to relate to what his son was dealing with by sharing his own story. “My dad said, ‘I understand what you’re going through. When I was ten years old, I smoked a Pall Mall cigarette and I was sick for two days,’ ” the Tropic Thunder star shared. “And I said, ‘No, Dad, that’s not what I’m going through. This is a whole different experience.’ “
Though Stiller felt that his dad may have been a bit off on the situation, he revealed that Jerry was a great comfort to him in that moment. “I tried to explain to him what it was,” Stiller said. “He basically said, ‘It’s going to be okay,’ which actually was really…. sweet.”
Jerry Stiller passed away on May 11 and is being remembered by his friends, fans, and family, including Stiller who made the announcement on Twitter.
Have A Good Trip is now available on Netflix.