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Tommy Chong


Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong

Thomas B. Kin “Tommy” Chong (born May 24, 1938) is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, writer, director, activist, and musician. He is well known for his marijuana-themed Cheech & Chong comedy movies with Cheech Marin, as well as playing the character Leo on Fox’s That ’70s Show.

By the early 1960s, Chong was playing guitar for a Calgary soul group called The Shades. The Shades moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where the band’s name changed to “Little Daddy & The Bachelors”. They recorded a single, “Too Much Monkey Business” / “Junior’s Jerk”. Together with bandmember Bobby Taylor, Chong opened a Vancouver nightclub in 1963. Formerly the Alma Theatre, they called it “Blue Balls”. They brought in the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, which had never been to Vancouver before. Although Little Daddy & The Bachelors built up a small following, things soured when they went with Chong’s suggestion and had themselves billed as “Four Niggers and a Chink”. (or, bowing to pressure, “Four N’s and a C”) before taking on the moniker Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers.

In 1965, the Vancouvers signed with Gordy Records (a subsidiary of Detroit, Michigan’s Motown Records) and recorded its debut album, an eponymous release, and their debut single, the Tommy Chong co-composition “Does Your Mama Know About Me,” peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. While on tour in Chicago for a short time, the band followed opening act The Jackson 5. Chong later referred to the young Michael Jackson as a “cute little guy”. After the band released two further singles, Tommy Chong and Wes Henderson were fired by Clark and Motown producer Johnny Bristol for missing a gig to apply for Green cards. The group broke up shortly afterwards, when Chong attempted to have the Vancouvers’ contract halved, so that he, Taylor, and Henderson would constitute the group, while other members would simply be regarded as sidemen and session artists.

Chong directed four films, while co-writing and starring in all seven with Cheech Marin. Cheech & Chong, while a very successful comedy act, experienced creative differences and split in 1985. This was devastating to Chong. To him, Cheech Marin was “closer than a wife. Chong was a recurring character and later a regular character as the hippie “Leo” during the second, third, fourth, seventh, and eighth seasons of That ’70s Show. He also played a role as a hippie in Dharma and Greg.

Chong was originally going to voice the character of Shenzi, the hyena in the Disney film The Lion King, which would have had him performing once more with Cheech Marin, who voiced Banzai. (The Shenzi character was later changed to be female, and voiced instead by Whoopi Goldberg.) In September 2005 a/k/a Tommy Chong premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The documentary, produced, written and directed by Josh Gilbert, chronicles Chong’s comedic and personal history, and his prosecution by the Justice Department. The project features interviews with Cheech Marin, Bill Maher, George Thorogood, Peter Coyote, Lou Adler, Eric Schlosser and Jay Leno. In 2011 he appeared in an ironic role as a Judge in an episode of Franklin & Bash, who took an extremely strict position on a marijuana holder.

As of 2013 Tommy Chong hosts, The Chong and Chong Show, a weekly audio podcast. Focusing on legal issues and the cultural impact of marijuana, Tommy Chong’s Pot-Cast is an insightful and hilarious look at the world of marijuana focusing on both the impact it has had on culture and comedy.



Cheech & Chong’s Animated Movie Trailer


PODCAST

The Chong and Chong Show

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The Chong and Chong Show with Tommy Chong is an insightful and hilarious look at the world of marijuana focusing on both the impact it has had on culture and comedy.

Tommy Chong: The Chong and Chong Show – Salsa and Tango Changed My Life – Thursday, April 04, 2013


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