NEW YORK, NY—Cheech and Chong turned the Beacon Theatre’s gold enameled interior into a smoky clubhouse of stoner jokes, party anthems and potty humor on this, part two of their latest Get It Legal reunion tour. This time around they added a few more routines to their glassy eyed revue with the help of the deliciously titillating Ms. Shelby Chong who was the glue to the gramps comedic takes on Mary Jane nation.
Ambassadors to and of the weed, they put their collective stamp on the wild and wooly ‘70s. Big Bambu, Los Chochinos and Sleeping Beauty became dorm room staples and their albums gatefold sleeves, gloriously functional pot seed cleaners. Movies like Up in Smoke, Next Movie and Nice Dreams turned them into counter-culture icons before the dawning of Reagan’s “just say no” campaign put the party to rest.
Since then, Cheech Marin’s been recording children’s albums, promoting Chicano artists and starring in films like Masked And Anonymous, a politically-charged apocalyptic indictment of a futuristic America, with Bob Dylan and Jeff Bridges that also deserves to become a cult classic. Tommy Chong guested on That ‘70s Show, got busted for selling bongs and starred in the off-Broadway production of Marijuana-Logues a few years back after his release from the slammer.
At the Beacon, they took on their old routines solo, and as a pair filled the spacious void with an infectious dose of BUD-ee banter. Shelby opened the eve playing emcee to the “grumpy old stoners” as she lovingly laced into papa Chong‘s member adding “its like fine aged wine, you have to smell it before you put it into your mouth.”
Cheech and Chong joined her for an unplugged question and answer addressing their breakup (Chong: “I didn’t know we broke up until I wasn’t in the next Cheech and Chong movie”), and how they met in Canada while avoiding the draft. Classic routines like “Dave” and “Lets Make A New Dope Deal” from their 1980 album that had the crowd fumbling for their bowls.
A medley of greatest hits including “Basketball Jones” from Los Chochinos (that Beatle George Harrison actually played on), went into “Santa Claus and His Old Lady.” Chong laced into his sordid past with quips on cocaine “You talk so much you piss yourself off,” then lamented his brief stay on That ‘70s Show, where he said he had no one to light up with.
On “Earache My Eye,” Cheech wore pink leotards and pranced across the stage, lip-syncing the words and preening like a heavy metal queen. Chong countered as Blind Melin’ Chitlin wearing a red beret and mumbling his words on the verses like an old drunk stoner and farting his way thru the choruses. Cheech’s Red Hickey even put in an appearance as a country crooner.
A sing-along to the legalization of marijuana ended it all with “Lets make it legal and I don’t care how” that had the crowd chiming in to the virtues of Proposition 19 in California, joints… ahem, arms and limbs held high of course.
Raucous, racy and ever so politically incorrect, the duo’s still got the chops and the comedic timing to pull off a big-time gig. A perpetual giggle-thon of gags and insider jokes to the wacky weed left will have you jonesing for some good stuff, or at least the memories of it…