After announcing a special hemp treatment cured his prostate cancer in 2012 and again in 2015, cannabis rights advocate and the stoner comedy pioneer Tommy Chong, turns 80.
Chong started his career as a singer. “I played guitar to make money. I was about 16 when I discovered that music could get you laid, even if you were a scrawny, long-haired, geeky-looking guy like me,” Chong once said in an interview.
After releasing 3 singles with his band in 1965, the band broke up and Tommy ended up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Maybe thinking his music career was over, he ran a couple of local strip joints with his brother. However, destiny has brought him there to meet Richard Martin who has asked Tommy to join the house band. This was to be the beginning. They started playing sets together, while sprinkling in a few stoner jokes and then made history
With the name ‘Cheech and Chong,’ they released their self-titled debut comedy album in 1971, which was nominated for a Grammy and then went on taking home the prestigious award in 1973 with the album Los Cochinos. They released their first movie in 1978 and became an instant cult classic for the pro-cannabis counterculture. It was followed by 2 successful sequels, and some other lesser-renowned films.
In 2003, he was arrested and spent 9 months in prison, with fans questioning whether his fault was actually the status as a stoner comedian. Now he has his own special brand of weed: Chong’s Choice. Things do turn out funny sometimes, don’t they?