Thursday 13 November 2008

Book ~ "Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography" (2008) Tommy Chong

From Amazon ~ Tommy Chong, America's favorite stoner comedian, he takes us on a nostalgic trip through his career with partner, Richard "Cheech" Marin. Over the course of their decades-long partnership, Cheech and Chong performed to sold-out crowds across the country, made nine hit albums, starred in eight blockbuster movies, and created memorable and iconic characters that still resonate with fans today.

But the good life didn't just appear in a haze of smoke. It all started during the late 1960s in a strip club in the fragile heart of Vancouver's Chinatown, where Tommy was winding down his career as a Motown recording artist and starting an improv comedy troupe, and Cheech was a draft-dodging, pottery-throwing, underground music reviewer. Together they came to define the hippie-era counterculture, and their celebrated movie debut, Up in Smoke, remains one of the highest-grossing Warner Bros. films ever.

In his very own unauthorized autobiography, Chong reveals his unique relationship with Cheech and recalls the inspiration for their most beloved bits. He introduces famous guest stars like Peter Sellers, John Belushi, Jimi Hendrix, Dan Aykroyd, John Lennon, Diana Ross, and Jack Nicholson, and examines the influences that had the greatest impact on his comedy -- from R&B musicians and Redd Foxx to Lenny Bruce and (of course) marijuana. Finally, with keen insight and utter candor, he explores the rift that has separated the legendary comedy team for more than twenty years.

From pot smoking to politics to the universe at large, Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography is the closest you'll ever get to sitting in a van made entirely of marijuana, trading stories with an unlikely legend, and feeling ... well ... funny.

I'd seen Cheech and Chong's movies when they first came out in the 1980s. They were funny in their day ... would they hold up today? So I was interested in reading about them.

The writing style is casual and conversational which I liked ... lots of F-sharps, etc., though. Not a big surprise, right?

Before I read his book, my impression of Tommy Chong was that of a laid-back likeable stoner. I can't say that I came away liking him as a person when I was finished. His story and experiences were interesting. But he's 70 years old now and at times came across as a dirty old man. Yuk. Other times I found him to be very arrogant and self-indulged.

So I would recommend this book if you were/are a Cheech and Chong fan.

They are currently touring together and I can't see how that would work. Two old dudes trying to do the routine they did 30+ years ago when they were still living it.


Mia Celeste said...

It's interesting when people write books. I actually didn't know Cheech and Chong were still around. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Demeter said...

I was never a big fan, but the book does sound interesting :)

Teena in Toronto said...

It was interesting reading about his meetings with Jack Nicholson, Liberace, etc.

Swordsman said...

Some of their old material would work on-stage, the ones where they dressed as old guys, but most routines they would be to old to pull off.

I feel old having seen them live in their Hayday at Massey Hall back in the very, very early 70's.

Teena in Toronto said...

You're waaaaay old, Rumrunner. Ha!

John Mutford said...

I'd seen Cheech in many things, but had no idea Chong was still around. Amusing book title.