It's almost hard to believe that iconic pot humorist and marijuana advocate Tommy Chong started off as an R&B guitarist in the 50's. Since hooking up with Cheech Marin to create the legendary duo "Cheech & Chong," everything fired up leaving him with a resume that includes box office breaking films, hit comedy albums, and even Grammy nominations and an award. Your chance to see this celebrated man is rolling up fast as he's recording his podcast "Chong & Chong" along with his son (and special guests) at the Ontario Improv July 24th. We talked to Chong before his Improv gig and quickly realized that if you like to get high on life and with the laughs, tickets need to be grabbed fast for this smoking hot evening!
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Do people constantly give you weed and want you to get high with them?
Tommy Chong: Oh yeah, always! I deal with a lot of growers, compassion clubs, and distributers so I'm getting more weed than I could even sell. [Laughs.]
But you wouldn't sell it of course!
Oh no, no! I'm happy to give everything away!
Good boy! I assume that you've had the pleasure of smoking with some pretty epic people over the years. Do any of them stand out as being extra enjoyable?
Not really. You know, I have a motto and that is, I usually take anything given to me by a naked lady. I've smoked with naked ladies many times and I've also smoked a naked lady. [Laughs.] In fact, that's a good name for a strain isn't it?
Yes! I know a few people who'd like to partake in smoking some "Naked Lady."
I think I'll call my strain "Naked Lady." I like that! [Laughs.]
I do too although, maybe you should call it "Naked Lady Ali" so I can be part of it somehow.
[Laughs.] OK I'll do that! No problem!
Thanks. I know you like to keep it old school but, how do you feel about dabbing and vaping?
I'm not a big fan of dabbing myself and vaping is certainly good for people that have to function, so that's actually good. To me, vaping is kind of like drinking wine that has been filtered. I like the raw taste. For myself, I use a one hitter. I make one hitter pipes, like the ones I went to jail for making. [Laughs.] I call them art pieces now though.
Haha yeah, calling it a piece of art is much smarter! So besides getting older, how have the crowds that you attract changed over the years?
Well it's a strange phenomenon. The ones that grew up with us are older but now, we're getting their kids and grandkids! The grandkids are just getting turned on to us so to them, we're brand new. I guess it would be like people who got turned on to Jackie Gleason or George Burns. Yeah, George is a good example. He was three different people because he was a singer, the he became a vaudevillian, and then he became a television star. The younger crowd knows us from television and movies so it all works out fine.
It's really cool that everything you do transcends age range. That must feel really great.
Yeah! Well you know, I think Cheech and Chong has done more to keep families together than anybody! [Laughs.] The kids couldn't come in to see the movies so they had to bring their parents or the kids would bring their parents anyway, so it ended up being a big bonding thing. And it still is!
That's awesome. You've done so many things in your career, do you have a favorite out of them all?
Each one is different but I love performing live. I think that's probably the ultimate because when you're doing movies, television, or a book, that's ongoing. It never ends. I like that with performances, there is a beginning, a middle, and an end. Then it's on to next.
Speaking of movies, do you have any plans in the works for one anytime soon?
Yeah! Cheech and I are working on a movie right now and actually, it's moving along well. We should be shooting in a few months.
Nice! Regarding your podcast, I love that it's a real family affair. I know in Ontario you'll have Susan Pinsky with you but, is there anyone else that'll be there too or any topics that you want to tease us with?
Well you know, it's a podcast so we'll have a lot of intelligent conversation mixed in with some craziness. Dr. Drew is going to be on there too so I'm really going to nail him because he was against pot! [Laughs.] I'm going to get him on that! I've been on his show a bunch of times and we've always had a lot of fun. My son is also my producer and co-host and he's coming into his own as a personality himself. He's the young part of the whole equation. He's the one that anchors me to what's going on in the world. We'll also have some surprise people show up too and I do a meet and greet after the show. It's going to be fun!
Catch "The Chong & Chong Show" at the Ontario Improv on July 24th, 4555 Mills Circle Ontario Mills Ontario, CA 91764, (909) 484-5411. For tickets go to www.Improv.com. Subscribe to "The Chong & Chong Show" and follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyChong.