Cheech & Chong are a Grammy Award-winning comedy duo consisting of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong who found a wide audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis.
Marin has become perhaps one of the most well-known and respected Chicano achievers in the world of entertainment. As an actor, director, writer, musician, art collector and humanitarian, Cheech is a man who has proven that he has the intellect and wit to make a simple smile appear in any situation. At the side of his partner Tommy Chong, he enjoyed immense off-color comedic success in the 1970s before moving into a diverse range of roles, having appeared in more than 20 films, including Spy Kids, Tin Cup, and Once Upon A Time In Mexico. His television credits include co-starring with Don Johnson in the popular CBS drama, Nash Bridges, a recurring role on the hit series Lost, and a guest appearance on Grey’s Anatomy. His latest films include The Perfect Game (Lions Gate Entertainment); Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Race to Witch Mountain (Walt Disney Pictures); and The Miracle of Dommatina (Hallmark Channel). Marin has also become a well-known collector of Chicano art and is thought to own one of the more prevalent private collections.
A third-generation Mexican American, Cheech has received numerous awards for his work on behalf of Latinos, including the 2000 Creative Achievement Award from the Imagen Foundation and the 1999 ALMA Community Service Award from the National Council of La Raza and Kraft Foods. In 2007, he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts for his contributions to the creative arts from Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and received the inaugural Legacy Award for Arts Advocacy from the Smithsonian Latino Center.
Chong is legendary for his invaluable contribution to American counter-culture. During their reign, along with Marin, he recorded six gold comedy albums, including the 1973 Grammy winner ‘Los Cochinos,’ and starred in eight films, most of which Chong co-wrote and directed. The first, Up In Smoke, was the highest grossing comedy of 1978, topping $100 million at the box office. Others were Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980), Nice Dreams (1981), Things Are Tough All Over (1982), Cheech and Chong: Still Smoking (1983), and The Corsican Brothers (1984). Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Tommy began his entertainment career as a musician in a Canadian-based rhythm and blues band. Eventually, he landed a gig with the “Vancouvers” and co-wrote the band’s 1960’s hit, “Does Your Mama Know About Me.” From here, Chong eventually turned towards life as an actor. The first step was forming “City Works,” an improvisational group where he consequently met his future comedic partner, Richard “Cheech” Marin.
Throughout the 1970’s Cheech & Chong earned a massive following until eventually, the duo had run its lengthy and prosperous course and they both embarked on solo careers. Tommy has appeared in several films including 1990’s Far Out, Man! and National Lampoon’s Senior Trip (1995). Chong has also starred, most notably, as “Leo” on Fox’s That 70’s Show, and has guest starred on ABC’s Dharma & Greg and The George Lopez Show. Chong released his new book entitled Cheech and Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography about the exploits of the infamous duo’s smoke-filled world. This book serves as a follow-up to his New York Times Best-Seller The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint which chronicles Chong’s arrest for shipping bongs across the country as well as his days in jail and the humorous encounters of his 9-month prison stint.
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