Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong are seizing the moment.
Thirty years after firing up the stoner comedy genre with their first feature, “Up in Smoke,” the duo are reuniting for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years.
If the B.O. success of the “Harold and Kumar” pics and the anticipation for Judd Apatow’s pot-fueled romp “Pineapple Express” are any indication, pop culture would welcome a fresh dose of Cheech and Chong. And given the strong biz that top comedy tours are harvesting these days, the B.O. potential for such a legendary team is no pipe dream.
Plans for the Live Nation-promoted comedy tour, dubbed “Hey, What’s That Smell?,” will be unveiled Wednesday at a news conference at West Hollywood’s Troubadour, where Cheech and Chong’s druggie buddy act first gained traction in the early 1970s. From 1972-85, the pair released nine comedy albums and eight features, all of which were helmed by Chong.
Since they parted ways in the 1980s, Marin has carved out a niche as a character thesp and become a prominent Latino arts advocate. Chong’s career has been choppier, hitting a low ebb in 2003 when he was arrested and subsequently served a nine-month prison stint after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia through his Nice Dreams-branded water-pipe business.