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Comedy: Cheech and Chong

By Aaron Epple · January 27th, 2009 · CityBeat Recommends

“Misunderstanding” is a word that crops up a lot when discussing legendary comedy duo Cheech and Chong, whether it’s the reasons behind their original breakup, what their comedy is really about or the U.S. government's 2003 decision to send a SWAT team to arrest a then-65-year-old Tommy Chong for selling bongs over the Internet.

After a decade of talks, C&C have finally embarked on their “Light Up America” tour, returning to their old live performance template of music and individual comedy sketches, the kind featured on their albums and (occasionally) in their movies.

“It's a nature thing; it's all ordained,” Tommy Chong says by telephone.

"Cheech came to my house on my 60th birthday to talk about doing a music tour and now, 10 years later, we're doing it, with lots of old material, new material and in-between material. We were able to put aside our differences."

And the nature of those much-speculated-upon differences, rumored to be everything from standard-issue ego battles to the long, theoretical strong-arm of Nancy Reagan?

“It was just a misunderstanding," Chong says. "Cheech wanted his own voice and to do other things. Whenever we tried to deviate from the ‘Pedro and Man’ thing, it was never as successful. The nice thing about being away for so long is that we're not defined by anything anymore. We have a huge catalogue to pick and choose from and we can reinvent ourselves however we like.”

Read a full interview with the duo here.



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