Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980)

Roger Ebert said, “This movie is embarrassing. There’s no invention in it, no imagination, no new comic vision, no ideas about what might be really funny — instead of just dope-funny, something to laugh at if you’re in the bag anyway.”

Variety called it “a laborious disappointment in which the freshness has vanished and the laughs come few and far between.”

As for me, I’ve been watching it for forty plus years and laughed out loud before I even knew what a drug was.

There’s less of a story than just meandering around in search of something, which is usually a source to gain marijuana. It’s all about the gags along the way, like Chong playing his guitar so loudly that flowers die, travel down Sunset Boulevard, get abducted by aliens and do stand-up before Paul Ruebens calls the police (his line, “I think they’re Iranians!” has been censored for years, ADR’d to say “I think they’re hippies!”).

Evelyn Guerrero plays Donna, the name she uses in most of the Cheech and Chong films. The first Latina to pose for Playboy, she’s also in The Toolbox Murders and was married to Pat Morita. Bob McClurg — who founded The Groundlings — and his wife Edie — who is hilarious in every bit part she got — are in this, as are other Groundlings like Gary Austin, John Paragon (Jambi!), Phil Hartman and Cassandra Petersen (Elvira!).

Plus, Rita Wilson is in this, as are Lupe Ontiveros (Selena), Faith Minton (Big Mama in …All the Marbles), John Steadman (Papa Jupiter’s dad in The Hills Have Eyes), Michael Winslow (Police Academy), Jake Steinfeld (who did the exercise show Body By Jake, as well as playing the killer in Home Sweet Home), Paul “Mousie” Garner (whose vaudeville career stretched back to being one of Ted Healey’s Stooges) and Marcus Chong (who was Tank in The Matrix and is Tommy Chong’s adopted son).

Strangely enough, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were filming The Blues Brothers on the same lot and when they visited, Tommy Chong turned over the director’s chair to Aykroyd for the scene where Chong urinates from out of his window.

I can totally see why some people would hate this movie and I have no defense why I love it. Sometimes you just have to enjoy things.

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