Tommy Chong and his comedic partner Richard “Cheech” Marin rolled into Tacoma Saturday November 8 for a show at the Emerald Queen Casino and bringing with them a big bag of tricks. They reached into their stashes and pulled out some jokes and skits they haven’t done live before this current tour. Off course, the stash packed full of stoner jokes and off-color humor. They treated the Casino crowd to quite an evening as they gave life to some of the skits that made them famous in the first place, like the iconic “Dave’s Not Here” bit and “Santa Claus and his Old Lady”.
Back in the 80’s at the height of their fame, the pair broke up one of the funniest and most successful comedy duos on the scene.The first movie made by “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong was the iconic stoner flick “Up In Smoke‚” which was the highest grossing comedy of 1978, with more than $100 million plus at the ticket booth. When they parted ways they concentrated on their solo careers for a few decades, but much to the delight of their adoring fans, the duo got back together in 2009 and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.
Chong has been in the spotlight more than ever before with a place on the smash TV hit, “Dancing with the Stars,” which finds him keeping step with professional dancer partner Petra Murgatoyd. Cheech joked that while he was landing roles in movies, Tommy landed in prison. Tommy explained they broke up because they got rich, REALLY rich. Then he asked the crowd, “Have you ever tried to get a rich Mexican to work” The EQC crowd burst out with laughter as the side-splitting pair delivered joke after joke. Chong laughingly took a shot at Enumclaw and then explained to Cheech why Enumclaw is famous. That got another roar out of the crowd.
One of the highlights of the night was seeing Marin, now in his 70’s, come out from behind the dark curtains dressed in a tutu with an unplugged electric guitar in hand, at once resurrecting the legendary “Alice Bowie” character and bringing her back to life. Of course the song was “Earache My Eye” a song with one of most recognizable guitar riffs ever. The adoring crowd, shouted out some of the the lines like, “Basketball coach, kicked me off the team” and “For wearin’ high-heel sneakers and actin’ like a queen” as a 68 year old Cheech danced and pranced around the stage. The pair also played their own brand of music including “Mexican/American and Born In East LA.
Tommy’s wife, the lovely Shelby Chong, started the evening off with a very funny stand-up routine that took shots at her aging but yet still youthful husband, his time in prison and his love for weed. She also used the opportunity to talk about the legalization of marijuana, much to the delight of the packed room that was for the most part in full agreement.
There were laughs a plenty all night and Cheech and Chong have not lost a step, they were as hilarious as they’ve always been.