Cheech and Chong light up skits old and new

Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:49pm EST
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Cheech and Chong

By Erik Pedersen

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After 25 years apart, Cheech and Chong didn't have to worry that the humor they perfected, if not pioneered, would be stale.

Green leafy gags are hip again. And the duo that personified the genre in the 1970s is back after bogarting their successful multimedia career with an acrimonious split.

Richard "Cheech" Marin and his partner in da kine, Tommy Chong, are in the midst of the six-month Light Up America tour, their first together since 1983. And despite lots more gray or missing hair, it's like the party never stopped.

The impeccable comic timing remains, and despite the ugly breakup, their chemistry was evident. There wasn't the forced camaraderie that's so obvious in many reunited acts. And the material is as effective as ever.

The show was often racy, occasionally profane and genuinely funny. There were visits to Cheech and Chong's hit albums and bong-busying movies, but several bits were from neither and/or included new gags.

Among the material familiar to stoners galaxywide was the scene from "Up in Smoke" where Pedro and the Man first meet. There was a cringe-inducing yet knee-slapping new KY reference in the part about the quarter-pounder joint, and when Pedro asks Man if has he any speed, the newly added reply is, "I used it all last night cramming for my urine test."

The same was true for the classic "Let's Make a Dope Deal." The host (Cheech) tells contestant Bob Bitchin' (Chong) that there are prizes behind each of the three doors onstage. Bob replies with a line that would have worked great in the original bit: "Oh yeah, Morrison died."   Continued...

<p>Actors Cheech Marin (L) and Tommy Chong gesture as they arrive for the taping of the 2008 "NCLR Alma" awards at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, August 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>