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50 Years Ago Cheech & Chong Recorded Their Most Famous Skit, Simply Called 'Dave,' But Known as 'Dave's Not Here'

Cheech & Chong recorded "Dave" in 1971.

It starts with a simple knock on a door.

"Who is it?"

"It's me, Dave. Open up, I've got the stuff."

Dave knocks again.

"Who?"

"It's Dave. Open up, I think the cops saw me come in here."

Another knock.

"Who is it?"

"It's Dave, man. Will you open up? I've got the stuff with me."

"Who?"

"Dave - open up."

"Dave?"

"Yeah, Dave. C'mon, open up. I thnk the cops saw me.

"Dave's not here."

"No, man. I'm Dave, man."

Knocks again.

"Hey, c'mon man."

"Who is it?"

"It's Dave, man. Will you open up, I've got the stuff."

"Who?"

"Dave, man - open up?"

"Dave?"

"Yeah."

"Dave's not here!"

"I know, man. I am Dave. C'mon..."

Knocks again.

"Open up the door, will ya? I got the stuff with me, I think the cops saw me."

"Who is it?"

"Oh, what the hell?'

Bangs the door.

"Open up the door, it's Dave!"

"Who?"

"Dave! D-A-V-E. Will you open up the goddamed door?"

"Dave?

"Yeah, Dave!"

"Dave?"

"Right, man. Dave. Now will youi open up the door?"

"Dave's not here!"

This inspired sketch by Cheech & Chong, released 50 years ago in August 1971 on their self-titled debut album, remains the stoner comedy duo's biggest hit. It's simply titled "Dave," but is known to fans as "Dave's Not Here." The back-and forth between Cheech Marin (Dave in the bit) and Tommy Chong is reminiscent of Abbott and Costello's equally famous "Who's on First? routine. Like Abbott, Chong plays the straight man to Cheech's Costello.

Chong says it happened "by accident when we were rehearsing. I was inside a nice air-conditioned room. Cheech was outside. It was a really hot August day. The sun was beating on his head and the door was locked from the inside. Everytime he'd knock I'd torture him and say, 'Who is it?' I was supposed to open the door and let him in."

Marin adds: "I fell into character and said, um, 'It's Dave, open the damn door.'

Chong continues: "He kept knocking on the door and I said, 'Who is it?' He said, 'It's me man, I've got the stuff. Let me in.' Then he'd knock again. I'd go, 'Who is it?' Finally, he was dying of sunstroke and he goes: 'It's me, Dave. Let me in!' I said, 'Dave?' Then I said, 'Dave's not here.'"

"Tommy Chong torture," Marin acknowledges. "It started our career."

Like Abbott, Chong plays the straight man to Cheech's Costello.

"Dave" opens the second side, clocking in at just 1:25. The albun also includes "Blind Melon Chitlin'," "Wink Dickerson" and "Acapulco Gold Filters." Cheech & Chong was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Comedy Recording category.

They followed with four more albums, including Big Bambu with the large rolling paper in 1972 (also nominated for a Grammy) and Los Cochinos, their only Grammy winner, in 1973. By 1978, they became movie stars with the release and success of Up in Smoke.

Here's the version of "Dave" in Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie:

 

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

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