Raunchy and irreverent, Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong captured the spirit of the 70s counterculture with an authenticity that couldn't be denied. Keep watching to discover the untold truth of this iconic duo.
Richard Anthony "Cheech" Marin was born on July 13, 1946, in South Central Los Angeles. His father Oscar was an officer with the LAPD, while his mother Elsa worked as a secretary. He received the nickname "Cheech" from an uncle who joked that baby Richard looked like a fried pork rind, "chicharrón" in Spanish. While still a child, Marin moved with his parents to the suburb of Granada Hills, where he attended a Catholic high school. He had musical aspirations and performed in bands with his friends. He was a straight-A student, but he also had a reputation as a class clown, which frequently landed him in hot water.
After high school, Marin attended California State University at Northridge, where he tried marijuana for the first time. Upon taking his first puff, the formerly straightlaced Marin was transformed. Dismissing the propaganda that adults had fed him about the drug, he mused,
"What else have they been lying to me about?"
Marin also became active in the anti-war and draft resistance movements while in college. With draft resisters being imprisoned, he escaped to Canada with the help of his pottery teacher. He then worked as an apprentice to a famous potter and settled down to rustic life in a secluded log cabin in the Canadian wilderness.
Watch the video for more on the untold truth of Cheech and Chong.
Young Cheech | 0:00
Young Chong | 1:20
When Cheech met Chong | 2:34
Becoming legends | 3:42
Conquering Hollywood | 4:55
Changing direction | 5:55
Splitting up | 7:02
Cheech without Chong | 8:20
Chong vs. Cancer | 9:30
Together again | 10:21
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