Perhaps the biggest news in comedy this year has been the reunion of comedy team Cheech and Chong for a series of standup concerts starting next month. But a tour is only the first part of their renewed partnership.
On Howard Stern’s Sirius Satellite radio show this morning, Tommy Chong confirmed that he and partner Cheech Marin are actively looking at new film projects, the first of which will follow a concert movie to be filmed during their upcoming tour titled “Light It Up America/Canada.”
“We’re doing a concert movie for the Weinsteins, and then we’re talking about a series of [new comedies],” Chong stated.
The duo rose to fame in the 1970s based on a series of albums that mined material from the hippie and drug cultures. Their first film, 1978’s Up In Smoke was an immediate hit (pardon the oun) and lead to several more comedies including Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (1980), Nice Dreams (1981) and Things Are Tough All Over (1982).
Although acrimony had been slowly building between them, their partnership dissolved in 1987 when Marin was asked to star without Chong in the movie Born In East LA, although it was based on a song that appeared on the pair’s 1985 album Get Out Of My Room. The pair had previously discussed reuniting in 2003, but Chong’s conviction for “distributing drug-related paraphenalia” in May of that year and his ensuing nine-month prison sentance nixed any tour plans.
When pressed by Stern for more details about any forthcoming films, Chong said that they had not written any scripts yet. “So far it’s both of us, though,” joked Chong, referencing the pair’s split over Born In East LA.
The pair couldn’t have picked a better time to stage a reunion, as drug humor in comedies is definitely on the rise. Though he stated he hasn’t seen the recently released pot comedy Pineapple Express yet, Chong had nothing but praisefor its star Seth Rogen’s hit comedy from last summer Knocked Up. Still, Chong didn’t seem worried about competing against the current generation of comics making films.
“The great thing about comedians is that the older you get, the funnier you get,” he stated.