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Cheech & Chong are a Grammy Award–winning comedy duo consisting of Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong who found a wide audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug and counterculture movements, most notably their love for cannabis.
Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American comedian, actor, voice actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s and early 1980s with Tommy Chong, and as Don Johnson's partner, Insp. Joe Dominguez on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney productions, including Oliver and Company, The Lion King, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
Thomas B. Kin "Tommy" Chong (born May 24, 1938) is a Canadian comedian, actor, writer, director, activist, and musician. He is well known for his marijuana-themed Cheech & Chong comedy albums and movies with Cheech Marin, as well as playing the character Leo on Fox's That '70s Show. He became a naturalized United States citizen in the late 1980s.
The duo met in Vancouver, British Columbia in the late 1960s. Chong was a Canadian citizen, and Cheech had moved there from Southern California to avoid the draft at the height of the Vietnam War. The pair performed stand-up shows, released many successful comedy record albums, and starred in a series of low-budget films. Some of their best-known comedy routines and songs include "Earache My Eye", "Basketball Jones", "Santa Claus and His Old Lady", and "Sister Mary Elephant". Perhaps their most famous line is "Dave's not here", from their self-titled debut album.
Their early success culminated with the release of their first feature-length movie, Up in Smoke, in 1978. It became something of a cult classic, and was also successful enough at the box office (grossing over $44 million despite a skinny budget) to warrant two sequels: Cheech & Chong's Next Movie in 1980, and Nice Dreams in 1981. These were followed by the less successful Things Are Tough All Over (1982) and Still Smokin (1983). The pair attempted a departure from their stoner comedy with 1984's Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers.
Tommy Chong directed four of their films, while co-writing and starring in all seven with Cheech Marin.
They also appeared in smaller supporting roles in Graham Chapman's Yellowbeard and Martin Scorsese's After Hours.
In 1985 the duo released their album Get Out of My Room, which included the novelty hit song, "Born in East L.A." (based on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A."). This song would later serve as the basis for the 1987 film of the same name, in which Cheech Marin played the starring role. Immediately following the release of the album, Cheech Marin separated himself from the pair's drug-inspired act by working on a solo career.