August 4, 2021

Tommy Chong on Writing, Directing, Comedy, and the Secrets to Health and Happiness

Tommy Chong began his comedy career in the iconic comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Together they recorded numerous comedy albums and made multiple films throughout the 70s and early 80s, including Up In Smoke. After Cheech and Chong broke up, Tommy performed standup and booked more than 60 film and television roles, playing Leo for five seasons on That 70s Show, and Yax in the Disney film Zootopia, among many others. Tommy has also been a long-time supporter of the legalization of marijuana and has his own line of cannabis products throughout the United States.

Tommy ChongCheech and Chong






What you will learn:

  • Tommy reflects on how he got his start in comedy in the 70s, and how playing in multiple bands throughout the 60s prepared him for the world of entertainment. [0:00-12:52]
  • The process and inspiration behind Tommy and Cheech’s first, self-titled Cheech and Chong album, and how they trail-blazed through the LA comedy club scene. [12:52-21:21]
  • The tumultuous events behind the scenes of Up in Smoke, and the tensions that continued into future Cheech and Chong films. [21:21-36:07]
  • How, after the Cheech and Chong broke up, Tommy’s wife became an integral part of his comedy act, and what happened to that dynamic when Tommy and Cheech reunited. [36:07-47:10]
  • How Tommy approached comedy as a solo act and what parts of his Cheech and Chong persona he kept during his solo act. During his five season run on That 70s Show, why Tommy felt so comfortable playing Leo, even though he doesn’t really consider himself to be an “actor.” [47:10-56:06]
  • Tommy opens up about his unique upbringing, including his time spent living in an orphanage, how a number of tragedies instilled within him early survival instincts, and how he found passion and inspiration in music. Why his humble beginnings as a child still affect his world view on consumerism and his definition of financial success. [56:06-1:08:56]
  • Finally, Tommy talks about the medical benefits he has experienced using marijuana and CBD, and what plans he has in store for the world when his cannabis business flourishes. [1:08:56-1:18:30]


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