Cheech and Chong plan joint tour
Will begin stand-up comedy dates in September
Alice Bowie blared on the P.A. as Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong took the stage together Wednesday for the first time in a quarter-century to announce a reunion stand-up tour. The duo held a brief news conference at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, the place they were discovered in 1970 by producer Lou Adler.
Why did it take so long for the old buds to party together again? "We were fighting," Chong said. Marin added, "We ran out of shit to fight about."
The Cheech & Chong: Light Up America tour, presented by Live Nation, will hit two dozen U.S. cities starting Sept. 12 in Philadelphia and and running through Dec. 20 in Denver. Marin noted that tickets go on sale "on 8/8/08 -- at 4:20 p.m."
Marin, 62, and Chong, 70, offered a few rejected names for the jaunt, including Hey, What's That Smell? and Catch 'Em Before They Croak.
"We have such a legacy and such a history," Chong said. "We just looked at each other and said, 'We better do this now.' "
The shows will feature new material along with bits from their classic '70s albums -- three of which made the top 10. Chong's wife and collaborator, Shelby, will be the opening act. Chong said the tour will spawn a film because "everything you do nowadays turns into a movie." Marin added, "We're gonna call it 'Batman 4.' "
In their career as a comedy duo, Cheech & Chong released nine albums from 1972-85 and won a best comedy recording Grammy for "Los Cochinos" in 1973. The pair also co-wrote and starred in eight films, starting with 1978's "Up in Smoke" and including "Cheech & Chong's Next Movie," "Nice Dreams" and "Things Are Tough All Over."
Asked whether the green, leafy substance sprouting from four large pots onstage was authentic, Marin said, "The last time we used real pot in a movie, it got stolen by the Teamsters."
The Los Angeles native sidestepped a question about whether he still inhales. "I get transfusions now," Marin said. "Montel Williams turned me on to breath strips." But the news conference ended with a sober take on the medicinal benefits of marijuana. Noting that he's "as old as (John) McCain," Chong said he credits pot for "all of my youthfulness, my ... uh ..." -- "Memory," Marin chimed in with a grin.
Here are the dates of the Cheech & Chong: Light Up America tour:
Sept. 12: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)
Sept. 13: Washington (Warner Theatre)
Sept. 19: Indianapolis (Murat Center)
Sept. 20: Detroit (Fillmore State)
Sept. 26: Atlanta (Tabernacle)
Sept. 27: Miami (Fillmore Jackie Gleason)
Oct. 24: Westbury, N.Y. (Westbury Theatre)
Oct. 25: Minneapolis (Orpheum Theatre)
Oct. 31: Houston (Verizon Wireless)
Nov. 1: Dallas (Majestic Theatre)
Nov. 7: Wallingford, Conn. (Chevrolet Theatre)
Nov. 8: Rosemont, Ill. (Rosemont Theatre)
Nov. 14: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)
Nov. 15: Austin (Austin Music Hall)
Nov. 21: Sacramento (Memorial Auditorium)
Nov. 22: Berkeley, Calif. (Berkeley Community Theatre)
Nov. 28: San Diego (Copley Symphony Hall)
Nov. 29: Seattle (Paramount Theatre)
Nov. 30: San Jose, Calif. (San Jose PAC)
Dec. 6: Los Angeles (Gibson Amphitheater)
Dec. 12: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
Dec. 13: Atlantic City, N.J. (Borgata Music Box)
Dec. 19: Reno, Nev. (Silver Legacy Casino)
Dec. 20: Denver (Paramount Theatre)