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Story and photos by Andy ArgyrakisFrom the early 1970s through mid-80s, the comedic duo Cheech & Chong was virtually unstoppable, cranking out nine comedy albums and eight Hollywood blockbusters. Along the way, the pair was nominated for four Grammy Awards (taking home the coveted "Best Comedy Album" for Los Cochinos), found Big Bambu earning the biggest selling comedy album of all time title (up until that point) and saw the flick "Up In Smoke" become the highest grossing comedy of its year.
Though both stand-ups went on to successful solo careers, this highly anticipated reunion tour marked their first in over 25 years, leading to a sold out Venue at Horseshoe Casino. Despite Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong looking a little balder/greyer and heavier/higher since fans last saw them on stage together, their return was nothing short of uproarious thanks to a 90-minute night cast in their irreverent tradition.
Considering this outing is billed as the "Get It Legal" tour, it didn't take long for the fellas to dive into one of their favorite subjects from the hippie era. Conversations about smoking pot, legalizing cannabis and pretty much every other tidbit relating to their drug of choice was right out in the open as the pair recalled their infamous history with a little help from the age-defying Shelby Chong (Tommy's wife) as host.
It certainly wasn't for the morally faint at heart, but it sure was funny as the guys rolled through a series of skits and songs addressing everything from drug dealing to draft dodging to immigration and Chong's trip to jail. Perhaps the funniest story centered around the time the pair had a huge stash of pot stolen on a movie set, but because it was insured as a "prop," they were able to get it all replaced (with cops guarding the restocked trailer no less).
At face value, it would be easy to accuse Cheech & Chong of a mere nostalgia trip that highlighted some of their most famous gags (which admittedly ran a little long towards the end), but what set this show apart was the fact they were constantly poking fun at the present and updating their arsenal towards today's societal trends. (Name drops included Charlie Sheen, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and 50 Cent, plus all the usual political suspects). In that regard, it's no wonder why the pair's often considered the most successful comedy duo of any decade, and as they left their faithful with the promise of a new film sometime soon, Cheech & Chong could be on the verge of an even wider spread cultural comeback.
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