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Cheech and Chong take fans on one last journey in comedy documentary – The Daily Texan

Cheech and Chong take fans on one last journey in comedy documentary – The Daily Texan


Opening with smoke from a joint slowly rolling across the screen, Cheech & Chong's latest film premiered at SXSW Tuesday as a capsule of everything fans loved about the comedy duo for decades. To add to the entertainment of seeing Cheech and Chong's skits on the big screen, the documentary included never-before-seen engaging details about their personal lives and roots.

David Bushell directed the two-hour documentary and produced it with Robbi Chong, Tommy Chong's daughter. They told the story of Cheech and Chong through old interviews, film scenes, live performances, animations, photographs and new individual commentary from Richard Cheech Marin and Thomas Chong. Adapted to their personalities, the film sprinkled sketches and jokes to blur the lines between a comedy film and a documentary.

The film began by detailing the two distinct childhood and early adulthood experiences that preceded their meeting in 1968. Although they came from different backgrounds, Chong and Marin developed an early appreciation for entertainment , Chong performing in bands and Marin enjoying music and using his humor to deal with difficult school environments as a child. Adding to their childhoods, Marin and Chong awkwardly recounted their separate introductions to pot as young adults, a trademark theme for their characters.

Eventually, Marin and Chong's paths led them to meet in Vancouver, Canada. Chong owned a bar in Vancouver that featured a bizarre show including a musician, a mime, dancing strippers and improv comedy on a stage. The film's animations illustrate the absurdity of the act in the absence of photographs and images. When Chong hired Cheech to write scenes for the act, they laid the foundation for a blend of sex and substance humor, for which both were ultimately known and loved.

Soon, the two moved together to Los Angeles, California to pursue stand-up comedy and have now gone by Cheech and Chong. After struggling to work and struggling to support their family, producer Lou Adler took the two men back and helped them successfully become rock & roll's first comedians. In this second half of the story, recent comments from Marin and Chong explain how, following their success and entry into the film industry, the two men took separate career paths due to growing tensions between them in the 1980s. Old interviews of the two explaining their dynamic and fun scenes from their films together, such as the opening scene of Up in Smoke set to the song Low Rider by War Balance with Marin and Chong's commentary on their falling out.

A side sketch of Marin and Chong driving together on a desert highway, disagreeing over who was in the wrong during their professional arguments as the documentary nears its end. Although they fail to reach a concrete agreement on what led to their professional separation, they ultimately agree not to focus on the unimportant matter and that their friendship prevails. The film ends with them walking together dramatically into a cabin that houses a giant, flaming joint on its roof, a place that looks like the perfect hangout for Cheech and Chong. Ending in such a goofy yet heartwarming way may have provided the perfect ending to the last two productions together.

5 out of 5, man.




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