I have a confession to make: I am probably not your typical Cheech & Chong fan. I haven’t seen all of their movies, listened to their albums, or been a part of the ‘illegal substance’ culture that revels in their humor and connects with them on that level. With all that being said I’m sure you’re questioning why in the world would I be in the audience of Hard Rock Live to see them perform tonight? There are a number of reasons; first and foremost they’re funny as hell. I don’t have to be out of my head to appreciate their comedic genius and chemistry with each other. Besides it’s not every day I can see living legends perform in their element; live on stage. Second, their show this evening benefits the Broward House;
South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS Community Service organization that provide services up to and including medical care, substance abuse and mental house counseling and, in some cases, housing to over 6,000 Florida residents. If charity does indeed begin at home what better reason can one have to come out (during the holidays especially) and support our community at large?
Tommy Chong’s wife Shelby started out the evening as an emcee with her own stand-up routine. Though her message in regards to the legalization and benefits of pot are warranted she overemphasized her case and went on a bit too long with the shtick. I whole-heartedly agree with her stance, even as a non-smoker. In regards to her comedy, it was hit or miss and seemed more as a fluff routine used as a filler.
Once Cheech (Marin, 67) & Chong (Tommy, 75) took the stage the laughs really began. Though none of us are kids anymore they still look and act the same, with exception of a few more gray hairs and a couple of wrinkles. To see their classic routines live was a kick and real treat. With a few modern changes and twists added they cleverly updated “Dave,” Up In Smoke’s famous car scene, and “Santa Claus and His Old Lady.” There was also a fair share of sexual and bodily function humor that wasn’t half as funny as their routines but seemed to fit within the shows content and kept it moving at a good pace. The first half of the show started with a question & answer session (I love this kind of stuff even if it seems a bit premeditated) featuring questions from the audience compiled before the show. This segment covered a cornucopia of subjects including their appearances on TV and movies, Chong’s cancer battle, his re-occurring role on ‘That 70’s Show,’ the ups and downs of their forty plus years friendship (including their break-up a few years back) Cheech’s TV roles, and their history and love for marijuana. Cheech & Chong’s off the cuff remarks were nothing short of hysterical, ending the segment with a bang.
Part two of the show focused more on music and music related skits. “Earache My Eye,” and “Born in East L.A.” were particular favorites. “Basketball Jones,” lent itself to an audience sing along while other hits kept the set light and fun. Chong got to show off his guitar skills proving beyond a shadow of a doubt he’s a formidable axe man. The show ended with a new song about legalizing pot, which was no surprise and seemed to be the running theme for the show. I have to say I had a rather festive time tonight with Cheech & Chong at Hard Rock Live. Better yet, the audience contributed to a worthy cause and had a great time to boot.