STARING: CHEECH MARIN, PARIS CHONG, LOU ADLER, SHELBY CHONG, ERIC SCHLOSSER, PETER COYOTE, JAY LENO, GEORGE THOROGOOD, BILL MAHER, AND TOMMY CHONG.
WRITTEN , PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY: JOSH GLIBERT.
RUN TIME: 75min.
<VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD>
Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin, most people know them as “Cheech and Chong”, were riding a comedy high during the counterculture that took place during the late 60’s and 70’s. The movie Up In Smoke was a huge comedy breakout film for the two comedians, however over the decades of successful films and stand-up they eventually split up. Cheech, went on to work in films, and also had a success tv career, Nash Bridges. Chong, did the same, and recently had a recurring role on That 70’s Show.
Tommy Chong also had a successful (tobacco) pipe company “Chong Glass”. This is where the story begins as documentary filmmaker Josh Gilbert, takes us on a trip along with Tommy Chong, as they chronicle the events that have led him to a 9 month federal jail sentence for selling (tobacco) pipes. Sounds crazy but its sadly true, as we see in this film how certain steps were taken to insure he would have no choice but to serve jail time for illegal sale of (so called) drug paraphernalia.
The documentary goes back to the comedians origins as the film follows him along for his last 2 weeks before reporting to prison. The film shows a lot of classic footage on how Tommy met up with Cheech, and how the whole “Cheech and Chong” machine got started. There’s also some classic “Cheech and Chong” movie, and stand-up footage. Intermixed along with the chapters on his life and career Tommy talks about why he believes he was targeted by the feds in a drug sting because of a joke he made about the Bush administrations “War on Drugs”. There’s some great interviews with Cheech Marin, Tommy’s, legal defense team, Chongs family, celebrity interviews, and some great news footage.
I found this documentary very informative, compelling, sad, and humorous. It provided a transparent explanation as to what really happened to, “a/k/a Tommy Chong.”
The Dvd contains Chapter Selection, Deleted Family Footage, and an interview with “Cheech and Chong” on the origin of the “Dave’s Not Here” bit.