Cheech & Chong smoke The Paramount in Huntington
Cheech & Chong
Today’s society is more open-minded then ever to the use of marijuana. Part of its history is a deep routed comedic theme that is led buy two of comedy’s greatest, the Grammy Award winning duo, Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong. They started making people laugh with their stoner theme in the 1970’s and have become synonymous with the Cannabis Culture. The two met in the late 1960’s in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Chong was from, when Cheech moved there from Southern California to avoid the draft at the height of the Vietnam War. They paired up to perform stand-up shows and soon became a household name, with the help of many successful comedy records and starring in a series of movies, including the successful release of their first feature-length movie in 1978, Up in Smoke, which later became a cult classic.
In 1985 they released the album Get Out of My Room, which included the hit song, “Born in East L.A,” but after the release of the album Cheech separated himself from the duo to pursue what would become a very successful solo career. After their parting, the duo would spend years apart, but they crossed paths again during the 1990’s. In 1992 the two worked together voicing characters in the animated film FernGully: The Last Rainforest and again in 1997 when Chong made an appearance on Marin’s television series Nash Bridges.
Joining forces again, they voiced characters in the animated television series South Park for the episode “Cherokee Hair Tampons” in 2000 and in a 2003 episode of the television show Biography, Cheech & Chong indicated that they were willing to reunite. They were planning to reunite for a film but in February 2003 federal officials raided Chong’s California-based company, Chong’s Glass, and arrested him. Later that year, he pleads guilty to charges of conspiring to distribute drug paraphernalia in May, and in September he was sentenced to nine months in federal prison. After his release in July 2004 the duo planned to resume production of a reunion movie, however that film never came to be. But with much to the delight of their fans, in September 2008, Cheech & Chong joined together for the Light Up America Comedy Tour and they have been working together ever since.
Cheech & Chong are taking their show on the road again this year and they are not strangers to The Paramount in Huntington, NY; they last paid a visit in November 2016. This time they made a stop here on the cool spring Saturday evening of April 21 and their fans came out in droves to see them, from the very young to the very mature, and they were already smiling and laughing among themselves ready for the good time ahead.
Getting the laughter going was Shelby Chong, Tommy Chong’s wife since 1975. She is well known to Cheech & Chong’s fans for co-starring in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, Nice Dreams and Things Are Tough All Over and for live stage performances with her husband. She is also an associate producer for their movies Still Smokin’ and Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers. She started her stand up comedy career when she joined her husband on tour in 1996, as his show opener, and she has been touring with him ever since. And since Cheech and Chong’s reunion in 2008 she has performed as their opening act at sold-out shows all over the world.
With grace and style, Shelby Chong came out with a stunning smile, wearing a stylish dress and black high heels. She brought her own brand of raunchy humor; she had everyone laughing within seconds as she joked about things she knew best, life with her husband. She made light of the time he was arrested and made her fair share of marijuana related jokes. For just over ten minutes she had the crowd in stitches, proving she was the perfect act to set the mood for the night.
Rounding out her time alone on stage she introduced Cheech & Chong, then they came out on stage to a standing ovation and roar of cheering from their fans. Shelby remained on the stage with them during the first segment of the show, which was a summary of Cheech & Chong’s history, both as a comedy duo, and their times solo. After this segment of the show, the three of them briefly left the stage and when Cheech & Chong returned they were in the first costume change of the night. It was now time to really give the fans what they came for, classic stoner fun and the did a bit of their routine of “Dave” and when the line “Dave’s not here” came up, fans were shouting it out along with them.
Shelby returned to the stage long enough for the duo to leave and return in another costume change, she did this all throughout the rest of the show, keeping the laughter going and never missing a step. Cheech & Chong kept the flow going with the Driving Scene from “Up In Smoke,” again audience members joining in on the line “Am I driving ok?” Then they treated the fans to their music with “Basketball Jones,” “Me And My Old Lady,” “Save The Whales” and Chong’s “Does Your Mama Know About Me.”
After all that Chong remained on the stage and did some of his own standup, then Cheech took the stage to do the standup of Red Hickey. Then they treated the fans to some more music, first Chong as Blind Melon Chitlin, who played “Down Home Blues,” then Cheech as Alice Bowie who played the crowd favorite, “Earache My Eye.”
With the audience all revved up from the last bit, Chong returned to perform some more stand up and before long he asked Cheech to join him back on stage. They played the sing-along “Born in East L.A.,” “Mexican Americans” and closed out the show with “Get It Legal” and the crowd was chanting along to the words with them. Shelby joined with the duo to say “Good night” to the fans as they waved and bowed, everyone was standing and screaming for them as they left.
Cheech & Chong prove that they are still a comedy duo not to be reckoned with and just how timeless their comedy is. Their show is hilarious and for all the years they have been a team it is so evident as you see them effortless work together to make their fans laugh. As much as it is a joy to watch their movies, or listen to their records, seeing them bring their comedy to life on stage cannot be beat. With a calendar full of dates, there are plenty of shows taking place throughout the United States this year, so do not miss your chance to see them.