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Cheech and Chong to Reclaim the Cinematic Bong

History’s most famous stoners reunite after 20 years in the straight desert:

    The comedy duo is reuniting after 20 years for a new feature set up at New Line Cinema that will catch up with Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong’s wacky stoner personas in the present day.

    The untitled project is in the early stages of development at New Line. Marin and Chong already have worked out a story line and will pen the script along with an additional writer to be recruited by New Line. Robbi Chong, one of Chong’s daughters, will serve as a producer on the project.

    “The world is ripe and ready for a new Cheech & Chong movie, especially considering they have a whole new generation of fans out there,” said New Line senior vp production Kent Alterman, who is overseeing the project alongside New Line production president Toby Emmerich. “They came in and told us that they’re ready to do something again, which we think is a great idea.”

    ….Marin, who is busy preparing for the start of production on his new Fox sitcom “The Ortegas,” said the two have been approached many times over the years to reunite, but the timing never felt right. After their partnership broke up, Marin maintained a laser-like focus on establishing himself as a successful actor in his own right.

    “The time finally came where I felt I had distanced myself enough from the old Cheech persona; people have accepted me as an actor,” said Marin, who starred opposite Don Johnson in the CBS cop show “Nash Bridges” from 1996-2001. “I think Tommy and I have a better understanding of each other now, too. Creating with him again is the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It’s so intuitive for us.”

    Chong, who most recently has been seen in a recurring role on Fox’s “That ’70s Show,” echoed Marin’s sentiments.

    “It feels so good,” he said. “When you’ve been together with someone as long as we were together, there’s a oneness that can’t be broken.”

    ….For the pair who first hooked up in 1968 in Vancouver — when the Canadian-born Chong was running an improv theater group out of a topless bar — the staying power of their older material, especially the success of the DVD release of the first Cheech & Chong flick, 1978’s “Up in Smoke,” has been gratifying.

    “We’ve seen our audience grow and grow, even in the 20 years since we stopped creating stuff,” Marin said. “The albums and the movies have become a rite of passage for each generation as they grow up.”

    Chong noted that a little stoner humor from the masters of the form should be a welcome tonic for the turbulent post-Sept. 11 era.

    “This is going to be just what everyone’s been needing,” Chong said. “‘Up in Smoke’ sort of put the ’60s in perspective. Now we need to put the ’90s and 2000s in perspective and tell everyone that you can still laugh a little.” [Hollywood Reporter]

Though Up In Smoke was pretty good, none of the films really captured the spirit of their classic records, which were a series of mini-productions rather than live standup like most comedy records. I’ll never forget the first time I heard “Dave” (“Dave’s not here!!”), “Blind Melon Chitlin” (“gonna go downtown, gonna see my gal, gonna sing her my song” – yes, the group was named after this character), “Sister Mary Elephant” (“class, class, class, SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!”) Classic. The essence of doper humor is the creation of an arificial state of innocence (aka “stupidity”) through which Truth can emerge – that and munchies jokes.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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