Cheech Marin talks comedy, cartoons, and weed (obviously)

If you've ever heard of marijuana, chances are you know about Cheech and Chong. The original stoners of comedy have one of the longest lasting careers in history, with dozens of albums, films, and even an animated feature to their names.

Thirty-six years after the release of their cult classic film, Up in Smoke, the duo is once again hitting the road, appearing this Friday night at Mystic Lake Casino as part of their "Up in Smoke" tour alongside funk veterans WAR.

Before he blazes up Mystic Lake, we talked with Cheech Marin about comedy, cartoons, and how much it costs to smoke with him and Chong (hint: more than you can afford).

[jump] Are you looking forward to touring around the country again?

Man, that's my favorite thing. Back when we split up all those years, I always missed it. I always say that getting out onstage is like going to the gym. It's something you got to keep doing if you want to stay in shape.

You named this tour after your very first movie. Is the material mostly classics or do you have new stuff as well?

We mix it up. Our act evolves every single night. There are some people who have come up to us after the show and been like, "Man, I just saw you guys six months ago and your act is completely different now!"

Now that you two are back on tour, any thoughts about doing a new album or a movie together?

We've thought about it. There aren't any confirmed plans right now or anything, but we've definitely talked about the idea of doing a new movie. It's an idea that kind of keeps evolving; it's like a slippery slope. Plus we have to make sure we could stand being around each other for that long.

You guys did release an animated movie this past year. Is it strange to see yourself as a cartoon?

When you see yourself as a cartoon you kind of relate to that character in third person. You don't know what people are going to think when you're voicing it; you just hope it's funny. Then you see the finished product, and you can watch it like it wasn't you voicing it.

What is it about your comedy that you think still resonates with people all these years later?

It's that marijuana culture, and it gets a revival every six or so years, you know? It's like the parents were into us and then their kids learn about us and now they're fans. It's crazy because we still get diehard fans who have Cheech & Chong tattoos and want to come backstage with us.

How weird is it when you meet someone with your face tattooed on his or her body?

It's freaky. I mean, that's commitment. But it's weird man.

Do you still get people after shows who ask to smoke with you?

Oh yeah. I tell them it's $30,000.


We had a charity reach out to us and ask if there was something we would be willing donate to be auctioned off, and all we could think of was, "Uh, smoke with Cheech & Chong." Someone paid $30,000 for that. I couldn't believe it.

Who supplies the weed in that case?

You pay $30,000 and we'll figure that out.


Cheech & Chong with WAR

8 p.m. Friday, March 21

Mystic Lake Casino

18+, $49