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Comedic duo delivers high praise for cannabis

Comedic duo delivers high praise for cannabis

Cheech & Chong bring their “O Cannabis Tour” to the Visalia Fox Theatre on Sept. 14

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – They found comedic success as counter-culture symbols with “Up in Smoke,” advocated for the medicinal and recreational benefits of marijuana during their “Get It Legal” tour, and are now praising the passing of the joint to mainstream culture with their “O Cannabis Tour.” 

The comedic duo of Cheech and Chong is bringing their collective entertainment genius to Visalia as part of their latest comedy tour on Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Visalia Fox Theater. 

Since forming in 1969, the comedy duo of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong have earned high praise from fans and critics alike. They are best known for several films in the ’70s, including the 1978 hit “Up in Smoke,” and Earache, My Eye which got lots of play on rock stations by radio personality Dr. Demento in the 1970s and ’80s. “Up in Smoke” is the highest grossing comedy of the time topping $100 million at the box office. 

Richard “Cheech” Marin was born in South Central Los Angeles and met Tommy Chong in Vancouver, British Columbia as a political refugee. The duo moved back to Los Angeles and struck entertainment gold. Six of their albums went gold, four were nominated for Grammys, and Los Cochinos won the 1973 Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. The critically acclaimed duo made a fluid transition to films, starring in eight features together before Cheech broke off to pursue a solo career. Both men achieved success in their solo careers.

During a split with Chong, Cheech wrote, directed, and starred in the comedy Born In East L.A., a film based on a song Chong co-wrote before the break up. Cheech has appeared in over 20 films, including his scene-stealing role in Tin Cup. On television, Cheech was a sitcom regular before joining Don Johnson on the highly successful CBS drama, Nash Bridges (1996-2001). He later had a recurring role on the hit NBC show, Lost, and recent guest stints on Rob and Jane the Virgin.

Tommy Chong launched his own line of personally hand selected products under the umbrella of his brand Chong’s Choice, chongschoice.us. Using his lifelong connections in the industry, he has made it his personal mission to share the very best product available with his fans and fellow herb connoisseurs. Chong is also highly recognizable for his role as the aging hippie photo store worker “Leo” on Fox’s “That 70’s Show.”

After a nine-month prison sentence in 2004 for shipping bongs to Pennsylvania, the comic became a passionate advocate for cannabis freedom and fairness. Now that society has moved in a more positive direction regarding the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, Tommy’s voice continues to ring out loudly, touting its benefits and place in society. In 2012, Chong announced he was battling prostate cancer a decided to combat his illness with a controversial cannabis oil protocol. After an effective treatment, his cancer returned in 2015, and at 80 years old is still standing and advocating for the incredible healing benefits of cannabis. 

In 2009, everyone’s favorite duo reunited after 25 years apart for a national and international comedy tour, the Lights Out Tour, selling out everywhere. They also shot a full-length live comedy film Hey Watch This in 2010. The Get It Legal Tour followed, and they are now on the Cheech & Chong: A Joint Venture Tour.

Tickets for Cheech and Chong’s latest comedy tour range from $55 to $70 and can purchased online at ticketfly.com or by calling the box office at 559-625-1369. For more information, visit www.foxvisalia.org or stop by the Visalia Fox Theatre at 300 Main St. in downtown Visalia.

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