Wednesday, October 8, 2008

FIRE UP AMERICA!

Cheech & Chong have made millions laugh over the course of their careers, and are looking to keep that tradition alive today. Many fans know the duo from their legendary movies like "Up In Smoke", "Next Movie", "Nice Dreams", and more. Some younger fans may know Cheech from his work with Disney Films, Robert Rodriguez, and Quintin Tarantino. For those who have yet to know these guys, there is an interesting story behind their union, break up, and reunion.


Back in the 1960's, Tommy Chong owned a bar in Canada. The bar hosted musical and comedy acts. Chong was a successful musician himself, having co-written at 1968 Motown hit titled. "Does Your Mama Know About Me", which was recorded by the Jackson 5 and others. Richard "Cheech" Marin was up in Canada with a comedy troupe, and ended up at Chong's establishment. The two hit it off as friends quickly, then decided to team up as comedians. The duo ended up establishing a stage act, with such characters like "Ralph and Herbie", the infamous "Dave's Not Here", and many more comedic gems. These acts popularity soon had them playing in Los Angeles. There, they were heard on stage by a record executive. He signed the duo, and Cheech and Chong would go on to win four Grammy Awards with their first three albums. After a tour of America, they decided to try the silver screen.


1978's "Up In Smoke" brought the guys instant success. It is considered a classic movie by many, and featured young actors like Tom Skerritt, Stacey Keach, Ellen Barkin, and Harry Dean Stanton. "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie" soon followed two years later. Pee Wee Herman, Edie McClurg, Rita Wilson, Michael Winslow, and the late Phil Hartman were all young actors in the movie who would later become noted stars. "Nice Dreams" followed the next year, and this movie is considered by some to be their best movie. Sandra Bernhard, Keach, Winslow, Herman, Peter Jason, and the late Dr. Timothy Leary were amongst the cast. "Things Are Tough All Over" followed in 1983. Comedians like George Wallace, Dave Coulier, and Rip Taylor appeared in the movie. After "Still Smokin", a movie parody of their stage act, followed the next year, the guys made the "Corsican Brothers" in 1984. Tommy's beautiful daughters, Rae Dawn Chong and Robbi Chong, appeared in the movie. By 1985, the duo was about to perform their last works together. Cheech parlayed "Get Out Of My Room" into a solo movie titled, "Born In East LA". Cheech and Chong then had a recurring role as two thieves in Martin Scorsese's highly acclaimed "After Hours". By then, Cheech had his eyes set on a solo career.

Though there are varying stories about the duo's split, the last appearance the two made on film together was when Cheech made a very brief cameo appearance in Chong's "Far Out Man", a 1990 movie that co-starred many of Chongs family. Since then, the two had not worked together in the same room since. They did provide their voices for an episode of South Park in 2000, but did so from different locations. Both have enjoyed very successful careers on their own since the 1985 split, but fans have spent the last 23 years hoping for this reunion. Though there was once talk of bringing Cheech and Chong's recurring movie characters, Pedro and Man, back onto the silver screen a few years ago. It never happened, but the guys are filming this tour, and plan to turn it into a movie.

This may be a one time thing. It has taken the legendary duo 23 years to work together again. Chong is now 70 years old, and Cheech is 62. Though many hope for many more bits from these comedic geniuses, there certainly are no guarantees on this reunion. If you are a fan of their comedy, or good comedy in general, this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to view these fantastic artists. Tickets are on sale, so hurry and procure yours. A VIP package to meet the duo is available.

Go to http://www.cheechandchong.com/news/ to find out if they come near you.



Here is a link to how they look today on the current issue of High Times:

http://www.zinio.com/express3?issue=293217234&pss=1

BTW = Tommy? THANK YOU for RAE DAWN!!!

2 comments:

CK0712 said...

great write up 3rd!! i love the old cheech & chong movies, um & i guess some might say i'm a bad mom, but my kid digs em too!

Lester's Legends said...

nice. I loved Chong on That 70's show.

Born in East L.A. is a winner.