Tommy Chong will always be a part of our collective consciousness for his invaluable contribution to American counterculture when he was one half of the comedy team Cheech & Chong. This comedic duo was the first to successfully direct their energy toward the red-eyes generation. Driven by a constant high, Cheech & Chong ventured into the doperzone world of comedy through their outrageous stand-up, albums and movies. During their reign, the twosome recorded six gold albums, including the 1974 Grammy winner "Los Cochinos," and starred in seven films, most, of which Chong co-wrote and directed. This duo coined he very popular catch phrase "Daves Not Here," giving an otherwise run of the mill name a certain comedic cache. After UP IN SMOKE Cheech & Chong starred in a string of successful films. These films remain huge video rentals and a regular diet of daily television for Comedy Central. The other titles are: CHEECH & CHONGS NEXT MOVIE, NICE DREAMS, STILL SMOKIN, YELLOWBEARD and THE CORSICIAN BROTHERS.
A native of Edmonton, Alberta, born on May 24, 1938, Chong learned to play guitar while growing up in Calgary. When he moved to the West Coast, he formed the R&B band, Bobby Taylor and The Vancouvers, he wrote and recorded the 1967 Motown hit "Does Your Mama Know About Me?" which went to number one on the R&B charts and is consider a classic by todays standards. Chong also went on to record with George Harrison the classic "Basket Ball Jones." Chong even traded guitar licks with Jimi Hendrix one night in England. When he returned to Vancouver, he founded the improvisational comedy troupe "City Works" that worked out of the family nightclub. This led to a meeting with Richard "Cheech" Marin. The duo that would change the face of comedy.
Chong went solo in the 1990 Far Out Man movie which he wrote and directed. He appeared in the 1998 Half Baked film starring Dave Chappelle. Chongs name has also appeared in over twenty movies with credits like screenwriter, director and producer.
The king of dope wont shy away from a good argument and welcomes anyone to test his wits on the subject. Catching up with Chong to discuss the pragmatics of pot can be difficult, due to his performance schedule. Performing in front of a live audience and making people laugh is what he does best. "I make jokes and let people make up their own minds. Im a comedian, but I will challenge those whose rigid ideas on drugs use is hypocritical." He refers to legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco as twin pillars of the national drug problem.
When not crisscrossing the hemisphere selling out venues, Tommy is a busy husband to Shelly and a proud father to Rae Dawn, Robbi, Precious, Paris and Gilban.