Cheech Marin's chronic humor

By Paysha Rhone
Globe Correspondent / December 12, 2008
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Comedian Cheech Marin, stopping by WGBH for an interview with Maria Hinojosa today (Friday), took time out to give us a quick call and update us on his antics. What’s next for the “Up in Smoke” star? A Christmas flick, a comedy, more touring (he was at the Orpheum with partner Tommy Chong this week) and lots of altered-state golf.

Q: So how’s the tour going? Is it good to be “Cheech and Chong” again?

Cheech: “It’s so much fun; we’ve been having such a good time on the tour. We’re booked into April – we do three days on and then get to go home for a few days. You get to see your kids grow…or, in our case, your grandkids grow!”

Q: Tell us about this movie you’re directing and starring in, “Angel of Oxnard.”

Cheech: “I’ve been trying to get it off for a long time. It’s set in a Chicano neighborhood in L.A. It’s about a little guy who runs a little (T.V.) station in Oxnard, and his face gets burned into a tortilla and it sets off a chain of mini miracles. It’s a phenomena that constantly happens; it’s like Mary in the cheese sandwich.”

Q: We had that here, when the face of the Virgin appeared in a hospital window. It was big news

Cheech: “People need their faith reaffirmed. I was raised Catholic, and Catholicism leaves room for comedy.”

Q: Speaking of how you were raised…your dad was a cop. How did he feel about Cheech and Chong’s love of weed?

Cheech: “He loved it. Cops are our biggest fans. He worked in juvenile all those years and he would say ‘You know Cheech? That’s my son. Come talk to me.’ It was his entrée.”

Q: What else you got cooking?

Cheech: “We’re working on a Cheech and Chong movie. It will probably be a Christmas story, about Santa Claus and a little old lady.”

Q: Will Willie Nelson make a cameo?

Cheech: “I just went through my last bag of Willie weed! He said, ‘This is for the green.’ Golf is my new religion.”

Q: So you must be pretty stoked about the new Massachusetts pot law?

Cheech: “It’s amazing. I just think Massachusetts could be the embryonic region for growth of that movement. It started with the tea party; it’s just a different kind of tea. Maybe in some ways, Massachusetts will always be revolutionary and evolutionary. I hope it will spread. And Cheech and Chong will be the spokesmen.”

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