After years apart (not counting some sporadic reunions), the stoner duo Cheech and Chong look set to reunite for a new movie. Tommy Chong has just revealed that he and his erstwhile partner in smoke Cheech Marin are working with the Broken Lizard comedy troupe's Jay Chandrasekhar on a brand new project. "It's going to be a lot of fun," wheezes Chong.
Cheech and Chong first teamed up in the early '70s for stand-up shows and comedy albums, and made their first film, Up In Smoke, in 1978. They made six more movies (plus appearances in others) over the next seven years before a parting of the ways in 1985, when Marin set out for a more mainstream career, citing creative differences with Chong.
Marin's first solo outing was as director and star of Born In East LA (based on a Cheech and Chong parody song; you can see why Chong might have been miffed by that), followed by five years on Nash Bridges and copious film supporting roles, including regular outings for Robert Rodriguez. Chong fared less well until he scored a stint on That '70s Show, but even that was interrupted when he was busted for selling weed paraphernalia through his online company Nice Dreams and served nine months in jail in 2004.The pair reunited in 2008 for some comeback touring, and there's since been Cheech And Chong's Animated movie, which used some of their archive recordings for the audio and with which they weren't directly involved. But with stoner comedies on the rise again in recent years, the time is clearly ripe for them to reclaim their rightful territory.
Chandrasekhar directed, co-wrote and co-starred in Club Dread, Beerfest and the really rather good Super Troopers, and is, says Chong, "working on a script right now for us. We've had some preliminary meetings. It looks really good, really funny. It will be about us going to a festival called The Burning Joint. All sorts of shenanigans happen..."
Chandrasekhar lit up the idea with Marin's manager Ben Fagen, and Chong says it's now being "fleshed out and made budgetable", with a view to a possible shoot as early as this summer.