You can blame the drugs. Or you can blame their, at times, rancorous relationship. But Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong haven’t toured in three decades. Now, however, the pair are back on the road, performing their unique brand of marijuana-infused comedy to fans across the country until spring. “We had to go on YouTube and check out our old routines” says Chong. “We had to study them, so we could see what we used to do. But as soon as we got onstage it started coming back easily enough.” EW spoke to Cheech & Chong about stoner comedy, their condom-marketing plans, and seeing Bob Dylan naked. The interview after the jump.
EW: Were you nervous about performing together again?
TOMMY CHONG: Our handlers – our managers – were more nervous than we were.
CHEECH MARIN: They think it’s going to fall apart. They thought we were going to break out in a fight.
Well, when I wrote a piece about Tommy for EW in 2005, you weren’ttalking at all. But, Cheech, you spoke to me on the phone and spenthalf the time saying what a genius Tommy was and the other half sayinghe was a dick.
MARIN: (laughs) Nothing’s changed! Actually, he’s less of a dick now.More of a genius. We’re like two halves of a treasure map. You can’taccess that treasure unless you put the pieces together.
What kind of crowds have you been getting?
CHONG: We get all political stripes. When we started, back in the day,if the same campaign was going on, we would have gotten all the Obamapeople. But now we get half and half.
MARIN: That stoner thing cuts across political lines.
Tommy, in your recent book, Cheech & Chong The UnauthorizedAutobiography, you wrote about playing basketball with Bob Dylan anddumping him on his ass. Is that any way to treat the Voice Of HisGeneration?
CHONG: It’s the way to treat a basketball player. See, it doesn’tmatter who you are. When you put on your shorts. And you’re coming infor a little ticky-tack lay-up…
MARIN: Not in my court!
CHONG: …and you get dumped on your ass. So be it.
MARIN: He was good. He had the basketball moves.
CHONG: Then we all ended up in the sauna together. We’re looking at Bob Dylan naked!
Cheech, did they pay you a TON of cash to for you voice work on Beverly Hills Chihuahua?
MARIN: Not at the time. But they will. Those things have a long f—-n’life. Last week I just recorded ANOTHER video game for cars. It musthave been the fifth game I’ve done just for cars.
CHONG: We’ll be coming up with our own Cheech and Chong version of agame. The idea I’m working on now is ‘Let’s Make A Dope Deal’ aboutdealers and growers.
I have no idea whether you’re being serious.
CHONG: Oh, I’m serious.
MARIN: We understand now, more than ever, that we have a brand. We’ve got t-shirts
CHONG: Cigarette papers. Incense. Lighters.
MARIN: We want to go for the Cheech and Chong “Can’t-Bust-‘Em” condoms.Double strength. It’s Cheech AND Chong. It’s double-bagged.
And will you be testing these yourself.
MARIN: Exactly (laughs).
But, Tommy, I’m guessing this time you’ll be staying out of the bongbusiness [in 2004 Chong was sentenced to nine months in jail fordistributing bongs].
CHONG: Uh, yeah. Officially!