By Darren Eagles
Stoner comedy is alive and well, north of the border. Comedy icons, Cheech and Chong brought their big bag of… gags and music to the Casino Rama Entertainment Centre for a Valentines Day gut busting trip down memory lane.
Opening the show was Tommy Chong’s longtime sidekick and comedian wife, Shelby Chong. After warming the crowd up with some well received pot related humour, she took up M.C. duties for the show and brought out Cheech and Chong to rousing cheers from the room.
The boys started by answering audience questions that Shelby received from speaking to fans as they arrived for the show. Everything from how C&C met out in Vancouver when Cheech was up in Canada dodging the Vietnam War draft, to why they broke up. Chong quipped “we got rich”. “Have you ever tried to get a rich Mexican to work?” Each discussed their side projects as well, which included, “That 70’s Show” for Chong and Cheech’s many roles including Disney movies and Nash Bridges. But the subject of pot, whether it is smoking it, hiding it, stealing it, eating it, or legalizing it, was the basis of all their classic bits throughout the night.
The “Dave’s Not Here” segment from their “Cheech and Chong” album was originally just under 2 minutes in length, but was extended into a 15 minute over the top skit for the stage. They performed a few musical snippets including “BasketBall Jones”, “Save The Whales (But Shoot The Seals)” and Cheech’s tour de force “Earache My Eye” from “Up In Smoke”, complete with the roaring guitar, pink tutu, Mickey Mouse ears, blue mask and the stage strut that looked just as crazy as the day it debuted in the 70’s.
Both had solo spots during the show with Chong doing his bluesmaster extraordinaire “Blind Melon Chitlins” and Cheech pulling off his best Texas cowboy impersonation named “Red Hickey”. Together, one of the funniest skits of the evening had to be the jumbo joint bit when they were driving the car from “Up In Smoke”. The crowd was in stiches for the entire thing. Their timing, accents and chemistry is still spot on.
It’s hard to grasp the sheer magnitude of the comedic genius contained in one of their shows in just a few paragraphs. But it was literally non-stop one-liners, off colour jokes, cursing, female and male body parts, fart jokes and everything in between. They even hinted at a new Cheech and Chong movie the works. Judging by the packed house that came out to see the show on one of the most wintery of icy cold Canadian winter nights, the pot lovers sure love the Grand Daddy’s of cannabis comedy.