International Cannabis Business Conference

Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong
Tommy Chong is a blues guitarist as well as a comedian.

"Dave? Dave's not here, man!" That's Tommy Chong's signature comedy routine, but it's his lifelong use of marijuana on and off the silver screen that he's best known for.

Born in Edmonton, Alberta on May 24, 1939 to a Scotch-Irish mother and a Chinese father, Chong met his comedy partner Richard Marin in Vancouver in 1969 and formed Cheech & Chong. Prior to this, Chong had a career as a guitarist with the Motown band, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers.

But he ultimately preferred comedy to music. Cheech & Chong recorded albums like Big Bambu before launching their movie careers with Up in Smoke in 1978. Chong appeared with Marin in six movies. After the duo went their separate ways, Chong continued to play stoners in films and TV - such ahead-shop owner Leo on That '70s Show.

Busted in 2001, he was convicted and spent nine months in jail for selling bongs across state lines. In 2006, Chong was the subject of Josh Gilbert's documentary, a/k/a Tommy Chong, which chronicles the government's war on him and his bong company, Chong Glass.

In 2008, Chong reunited with Marin for their first concert tour, Light Up America, in 27 years. Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This, a concert movie documenting the tour, was released in 2009. In 2010, the duo embarked on the Get It Legal tour with Chong's wife Shelby as the opening act. Check out their tour dates here.

He wrote The I Chong: Meditations from the Joint about his jail experiences. His next book, Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography, came out in 2009.

Chong also penned the foreword for Pot Culture - co-written by CelebStoner's Steve Bloom - and Cheech & Chong were interviewed in Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide.

In 2012, Chong revealed he has prostate cancer and has been using the controversial hemp-oil therapy to treat it.

Chong has been married twice. He married Shelby in 1975. Chong has five children, including actress Rae Dawn.

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, editor-in-chief of Freedom Leaf, co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness, and the former editor of High Times.