I always loved Cheech and Chong. Sure, we know them for their drug humor. It's always been their trademark. But Cheech and Chong always meant more to me than their positive stance on marijuana.

To me, Cheech and Chong represented my generation's distaste for our parents' values. We rejected them, and along with various rock stars and writers, Cheech and Chong were champions of the counterculture.

Then there was the dope humor too, which was always dead on target.

We, the fans, knew them from their records, and later, the movies. Up In Smoke was a triumph, and Cheech and Chong's Next Movie was just as funny. And if the quality began to go down in their ensuing films, our admiration for them never did.

It had been a long time since we had any new Cheech and Chong material. Then the much-publicized arrest and incarceration of Tommy Chong brought them back into the public's consciousness. Upon his release from prison, Tommy Chong's career began anew, and interest in Cheech and Chong rekindled.

Naturally, a new live comedy tour was scheduled. I never got to see the show, but I was glad to learn that a DVD was made of the show.

Part of me worried. What if their act was nothing more than a tired, embarrassing retread of their earlier successes? Would it be, like some other reunions I could easily name, something that was better left undone?

Happily, my trepidations were unfounded. The bulk of the comedy in Cheech and Chong: Hey Watch This, is recycled from their early acts. But the material is still fresh, and Cheech and Chong are funnier than ever. It's wonderful to see these guys, these survivors, still having fun doing their thing again. The audience on the DVD all seemed to be having a great time, and I laughed through the entire show.

Looking back at it all, Cheech and Chong now seem almost---innocent. Their humor is rarely hateful. It's joyous and infectious. Drugs have became ugly since the days when Cheech and Chong first sparked up their career. Crack, crystal meth, gang violence, deaths. The war on drugs almost seems justified. It's all gotten away from the fun, harmless days of Cheech and Chong passing an enormous joint back and forth, goofing on the law and middle America. But we can still enjoy the fun in Cheech and Chong's Hey Watch This. I highly recommend it to fans old and new.

No comments

The author does not allow comments to this entry