It’s hard for me to imagine a world without Cheech and Chong and the influence they’ve had on pop culture and comedy.
Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong brought their two-man and one woman ( Chong’s wife, Shelby Chong) to the IP Casino Resort in Biloxi on Friday for 90 minutes of rowdy, filthy and irreverent fun. And yes, they talked about weed.
They also took plenty of shots at GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, including a reference to the misogynistic comments made by Trump that were making headlines on Friday. Yes, Cheech and Chong are still topical.
Shelby Chong opened the show and acted as the emcee. She has been married to Tommy for decades and offered some glimpses into their life together, including the time they were arrested for selling glass bongs, which led to Tommy serving nine months in prison. By the way, Tommy now has his own cannabis store online, which shows just how much marijuana culture has changed in the past 10 years.
Shelby Chong was later joined on stage by her husband and Cheech and they did an extended set of improvisational material. If all you know Cheech and Chong for is their drug humor, then you’ve probably failed to recognize how skilled they are at the art of improv. They are masters of improv comedy.
They also performed some classic skits including “Dave” and “Cruisin’” before doing a selection of musical numbers such as “Basketball Jones.” One of the highlights of the night was when Cheech revisited his Alice Bowie character and performed “Earache My Eye” in the classic pink tutu and Mickey Mouse ears.
Tommy also delivered a mini-solo set, which was poignant at times as he discussed both his time in prison and his battle with cancer.
They closed the night with another anti-Trump message, this time using Cheech’s solo hit “ Born in East L.A.” as a statement against Trump’s plan to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. And there’s no doubt what statement they were making by closing the show with “Mexican Americans.”
You could tell by the groans and pro-Trump shouts that it made some people in the audience uncomfortable. And comedy works the best when it makes people uncomfortable.