Tommy Chong

December 22, 2015

Hey man, I'm Tommy Chong, 1/2 of Cheech & Chong & 77-year-old actor, director, activist, musician, who also occasionally smokes a little bit of pot...AMA!

Let me tell you guys first off that I’ve been the victim of a death hoax this week (see: I want to let you know that this is actually me and not my stoned ghost (see: ). I’m not actually dead! Woohoo!!

Cheech & Chong consist of myself and my comedy partner Cheech Marin. We released albums, movies and toured the country in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Our most famous movie without a doubt that people recognize us for to this day is “Up In Smoke.” The reaction to “Up In Smoke” was incredible and it is a movie I am most proud of. I directed Up In Smoke, Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, Nice Dreams, Still Smoking, Far Out Man and The Corsican Brothers. We have been credited as pioneers of the legalization of marijuana and the popularizers of cannabis in pop culture.

Something you may not know about me is that I was also in a band signed to Motown prior to being part of Cheech & Chong and we had a hit record and even played with the Jackson 5 once before they were famous called Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers.

Recently I’ve been working in my shed a lot making pipes and art in my house in the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. I have been out of jail for over a decade after being incarcerated in 2003 as part of Operation Pipe Dreams for the selling of bongs. I was on Dancing With The Stars a year ago, which was really fun. I made a web talk show over the summer and I'm going to be making more videos. Cheech & I are still very good friends. 2015 and the near future is almost like the completion of this plot arc of a movie I've been playing a character in my entire life and I am now seeing the dream of full cannabis legalization, actually come true. It's amazing and we have truly come a long way.

That being said, I want to make sure you know man that I am going to give you no filters here Reddit, you’re going to have to take my answers harsh and uncut. Feel free to ask me anything, let’s start this AMA man.

I'm on social media on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Instagram: @heytommychong, Twitter: @tommychong, Facebook: you can figure it out.


Next to marijuana, what would you say your biggest vice is?

My wife Shelby.

Smart man...

You know it. I play my cards right.

I'd play cards with you.

When do you want to play?

Any memories of working on After Hours and being directed by Martin Scorsese you can share?

Oh yeah. One memory is that they had me drive the van recklessly but they didn't tell me where to finish. And so when I careened around the corner there were a bunch of Japanese tourists that had come to watch the shoot right in my pathway... I stopped just inches from them. The look on their faces though, they were taking tourist photos. I learned I'm a pretty good stunt driver that day.

Yellowbeard was a great, great cast. (Cheech, Chong, Monty Python, Peter Boyle, many other great British comics.) Who were you most excited to work with?

Peter Boyle! I love that guy. I didn't get to meet the other Python's we didn't have a scene together.

Hey Tommy! Are you a glass or paper kind of guy?

Either or. Doesn't matter, whatever's there when I reach for it man.

What happened to the photo hut business man?

It's coming back. Oh wow.

It died with the show :(


Huge fan! Who were some of your idols in comedy growing up? And who do you contribute your own style to?

Let's see, growing up.. that was a veryy long time ago..

OK: Lenny Bruce was the first, Redd Foxx, and Richard Pryor.

Hey Tommy Chong! I saw you at Hash Bash last year and a couple of my friends actually had the pleasure of meeting you. I was wondering, who is your favorite Star Wars character, and why? Also Godspeed in regards to your bout with cancer, I had it a few years ago when I was 16, and that medicinal is some real shit. Happy toking and stay lifted!

I like Chewbacca. (bias?

Actually I've never really seen the Star Wars movies. I went and saw the original one in theaters the first time my son cried during the screening and everyone in front of me turned and was telling me to shut my kid up. After that I never really tried to go see it again.

At what age did you first smoke pot?

Years before I was born.


I'm very excited. Very excited. I knew it was coming eventually.

Do you have a special plan for the day change is enacted nation-wide?

Smoke a shit ton of weed. That was easy.

Hey Bob! Tommy! What have you been doing with all those degrees, I noticed you had a PhD, an MA and a BA, what have you been doing with all that knowledge?

Sorry, just had to do that. Seriously, though, when I was in college (pre-internet, mind you), we all listened to your albums, and there were rumors that you had actually earned a Phd for real. Just to settle the matter between me and my old college buds, what is the highest (ha ha) level of professional education you’ve earned?

I dropped out of school in 11th grade. I got part of my 11th grade done thought. I failed my GED in prison, I couldn't pass algebra, and they wanted me to cheat but I refused to... I have morals.

Good sir. If you could remake any decisions in life, what would they be and why?

I would not have sold my Venice beach house that I bought in 1972 for $30,000...

Hey Tommy!!

I'm a huge fan of that 70's show and Leo is one of my favourite characters! Do you have any fun stories from the set? Did any of the cast actually blaze? if so, who?

Thanks in advance!

Nobody in the cast smoked...with me, at least. However, I would get high with all the cameramen a lot.

The producers and Katie Couric were talking while we were filming and I went over to them to ask them to quiet down. We weren't actually filming and I just wanted them to be quiet because they were loud. Same thing happened in prison. I was shooting a documentary in prison and the warden let us shoot the documentary in there and while we were shooting I peaked my head out the cell and asked everyone if they could quiet down. That time I was actually filming, and it worked then too. The power of cinema really does affect every part of the world.

That's awesome! I might try that some time.

Glad you're planning on making more movies man! Good luck in your future endeavours! And thanks for everything you've done for comedy and for legalisation!

Thank you!

What is your new years resolution?

My new years resolution is to remember to keep my last year's new years resolution.... To lose weight. Actually, I did. Cancer is truly the new Hollywood diet.

When you get older you just end up making the same resolution each year and forgetting it.

Can I burn one with you man?

Come over. See you soon.

Do you still do acid?

In my dreams. It's hard to get away from the flashbacks.

Were you in on the Yorkville scene in Toronto, or did you high tail it out of Canada and never look back?

I was around but I was from Vancouver, so I wasn't really in Toronto for that scene. But yeah, I knew the Yorkville scene. For those who don't know, the Yorkville scene was Neil Young and all those guys from that era. Toronto's a really good music scene. Nothing changes and it hasn't there.

How are you so cool? Any tips?

Smoke a ton of weed.

Already on it my friend.

Pass me that virtual joint.

Has someone ever outsmoked you? if so who?

Let's see...who's outsmoked me...

Mike Stetler from Pueblo Colorado and he owns Marisol Therapeutics, a cannabis dispensary. He knows what he's doing.

Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin?

Led Zeppelin. Never was a Pink Floyd guy. I was once with Robert Plant and I drove a Citroen at the time and he told me "You drive the nicest car in the world, Tommy"

what's your favorite pair of shoes you own?

I got a pair of Blue Nikes, I guess. Not a big shoe guy.

Indica or Sativa?

Tough question.

Indica when I want to sleep. And Sativa when I want to stay awake.

How many joints do you smoke per day?

Always when I'm watching the news. It helps make the awful things that are going on in the world easier to digest.

I also hate all the commercials that are on the news these days, especially during the daytime. One thing I've noticed is that they are all marketed to my age demographic and they want to remind you how fucking old you're getting.

Every commercial...pharmaceutical brand, life alert, cialis.. I know that my erectile dysfunction is real. If you're not getting the news from the actual news broadcast you're getting all the other news about your impotence and old age from the commercials.

Not sure if that answered your question but I smoke a lot.

Have you smoked any Labrador lately?

My two dogs are always running around the house. Who knows. Yeah, probably.

How are you feeling?

Pretty frisky.

Hi Tommy, with all the people you've known (Michael Jackson, Jordan Belfort among the many) and places you've been, I think you should replace the Dos Equis guy as the most interesting man in the world. Anyway, my question is: Who is the most interesting person you have ever met? And why?

That's a difficult one... I've been around for a while and I've definitely met a lot of people in strange places, but I've got a good story about Jimi Hendrix, who I think is one of the most interesting people I've ever met.

He was so mysterious, and so far ahead of everybody in his industry, but so humble. So humble. I met him because he wanted to sit in with the band I was in, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, and he came to the club when we were in England and the club was empty and the door opened and Jimi walked in and there was about 300 people behind him.

He walked up to the stage and he called me by name, he said "Hey Tommy," I handed him my guitar but he only played left handed guitar, and I was right handed, but he could play a right handed bass despite all that. We played the show and then we partied after, at the hotel room. He spent a long time in the bathroom. But we smoked weed outside waiting for him. He was a man of few words. So cool.

when was the first time you smoked pot?

18 years old in Calgary Alberta Canada...

Let me take you on this journey with me.

I had a jazz club. It was at night.

Raymond Mah gave me a Lenny Bruce record and my first joint.

I was listening to an Ornette Coleman record to a tune called "The Lonely Woman."

Changed. My. Life.

[No question]

Just letting you guys know I'm watching golf right now. It's some kind of PGA tournament. It's a nice, cool, overcast afternoon in the Pacific Palisades at my house in my office. I'll send a pic with this comment in a minute. Wish you were all here with me...

Tommy! What is your favorite movie, and why is it Blade Trinity?

My favorite movie is Rampart.

Hey tommy! What kind of pizza do you like?!

Pineapple, of course.

What are your favorite subreddits to browse, besides /r/trees of course?

r/TIL kind of always surprises me. I like to get shocked by news and interesting stories I didn't expect I'd want to learn about.

Other than that, obviously r/BlackPeopleTwitter is my second favorite. That's the funniest page you guys got.

Other than the smoking and medicinal benefits of Marijuana. Have you ever thought of also advocating the use and possibilities of the hemp industry for all its other benefits?

There's so much potential for hemp in other industries, and I do see a lot of future for hemp in those fields.

Building materials is a major, key one. They've got hemp cement that's stronger, lighter and more durable than normal cement!

The fabric industry as well, nothing beats hemp canvas when it comes to fabric.

Also, did you know that canvas is a derivative of cannabis? Canvas was always made of hemp.

There's countless uses of hemp in various fields. It's proven at this point that the usage of this plant goes far beyond what we typically give it recognition for and it's a generally accepted fact at this point.

Hey Mr Chong! What's your favorite way of consuming the reefer? :) and your favorite strain?

I like to inhale.

Do you ever take tolerance breaks? If so how long?

It was part of my contract while I was on Dancing With the Stars, actually. But no, not really.

How do you like your eggs?

Very scrambled.

Have you met tech n9ne? Did he approach you about being in his music video for blunt and a ho? If so what was it like?

I heard about it a little while back before it was released and got to see it before it came out. It is just really flattering to still see music videos and recognition like this. Especially a full out "Up In Smoke" music video like they made. It was pretty funny and I liked the production quality of the music video and the song they made.

Rock, paper or scissors?

Got any papers for me? I don't know if the rocks or scissors are going to be that helpful.

Dear Mr. Chong Would you ever consider playing the role of Mr. President in a movie? I feel this would be good vibes all around.

Yeah sure I would definitely consider it.

What is your favorite song right now? "Drop It Like Its Hot" by Snoop Dogg. I've been relistening to it and it's become better with time. Truly a classic. Whattup Snoop!

Hey man,

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Coconut. Next question.

How did you get so good at guitar and who is your influences?

Wes Montgomery was my guitar influence and Hendrix, of course.

And to get good at guitar its just practice, practice, practice.

Hey Tommy, I run into this situation all the time. You only have enough tree for a bowl, do you use a pipe and conserve what you got left or use a bong and rip it all at once?

Bong and rip it all at once. I've never run into this problem though, I never run out of weed. So I might not be much help.

You and Cheech were some of the only hispanics in a very white hollywood in the 70's and are huge role models to many do you see a change in the way minorities are treated in hollywood now vs back then? Any stories of how it might have affected you and your career?

Yeah, actually, we see a big change. I am not by blood hispancic, but I do consider myself hispanic.

Yes I see a big difference in cultural change, back then if you had a headband you were like a gangbanger, and they considered most hispanics racists, murderers, and drugdealers. Cheech & I have showed them that we can also be famous actors.

I met you when you were in south Florida doing your stand up tour many years ago, I just wanted to thank you for being so awesome. It was a dream to meet one of my heroes and you were so warm and friendly. I got to sit on your lap and take a picture with you and I felt like a little girl taking a picture with Santa Claus. I'm supposed to ask a question, so will you smoke with me next time you're here?


Salutations Tommy, I understand you may not be able to answer this question but my curiosity is getting the better of me. Have you ever smoked DMT, and if so what did you think?

DMT: Probably once or twice.

Your an amazing dude, will you come to my 21st birthday?


Hello there Mr. Chong! Big fan of your movies.

I'm just wondering if you've ever been to Iceland? You might have heard about it's weed-smoking percentage hahaha :) But just as an update: We still haven't legalized but the majority supports it (even though it would just be for "medicinal purposes").

No, but I've been to Winnipeg. Never been to Iceland. But I want to go though. Let's smoke when I'm there.


Performing with Cheech for the first time. That was in 1973. We were at the Jubilee Hall at the time.

Here is one Tommy! From your perspective and in your opinion. Who smokes more weed? You, Snoop Dogg, or Willie Nelson?

Also What is your favorite munchy food?

Granola is my favorite munchies these days, to be honest, gotta worry about my health.

I smoke the most. Without a doubt. It's my job.

Snoops a rapper. Willie's a singer. I'm just a dope smoker.

What do you like musically? Did you ever get the chance to light one up with Jim Morrison or Jimi Hendrix?

I did smoke with Jimi. But nope, never Jim. Came close with Jim, he was living at the beach when I was out there but I never got to.

Hey, man. What was the most bizzare scenario you've found yourself in?

Trying to hide from an irate husband with a gun.

My mom got rid of my Sister Mary Elephant 45 when I went off to college. Can you send me a new one?

I don't have anymore. I think they're out of print now. Otherwise I would send you one. Check ebay.

Hi Tommy,

Big fan! I enjoyed being part of the tour tech crew on a few occasions.

My 8 year old daughter is requesting more Christmas stories, any way that might happen??

As soon as I smoke some Christmas Kush SantaChong will be back down the chimney with some more stories he might forget.

Was there ever a time when you looked down on pot smokers?

Looked down on pot smoking. No, never. I was always looking up.

I enjoy listening to you every Saturday morning on NPR. How do you know so much about cars?

Because I've hotboxed most vehicles in production from 1960-2015.

What's your favorite place to get a taco?

Kogi. Roy Choi's place. It's Korean/Mexican fusion and they're in Venice a lot and they started the modern taco truck movement which has spread across the country. Love that spot and what they've done.

I need a job. Will you hire me? I can do anything except work hard.


Hey Tommy!

A while back you did a halloween video for funny or die I believe. When asked if you ever had a memory that wasn't yours you said yes. Care to elaborate on what that memory was?

I don't remember. But it was awesome.

This is cool, what's up Tommy? Long time fan, I'm now 34. Grew up watching your wild movies with Cheech and also seeing your life unfold. I think it is amazing I get to see your responses to this AMA. You're a good guy, hope you have a Merry Christmas!

edit: far out, man!

Merry Christmas to you too!

Hey Mr. Chong, I'd like to know , what is your favorite color and why ??

I guess black. Because of the blues.

Hey Tommy, I can't resist and nobody else has asked yet... Where the heck has Dave been, man?

Dave...Dave got deported. Thanks to Donald Trump.

Hey Man, what was your favorite movie that you guys made?

Probably my favorite movie was Still Smokin. Made the most money. We were in Amsterdam where weed was legal and we were there for like a month and everybody kept bringing us more weed that we could smoke while we were filming. Gooood times.

If you can split a joint with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

Probably Moses. I was going to say Jesus but he was such a Pacifist. Probably Moses. I like Moses. He was a badass. And he had a great publicist. God even appeared to him as a burning bush.

[No question]

How about that Ronda Rousey...Man... She got whipped. I'm watching ESPN now and they're playing that fight. She should have been moving her head a little bit more. Jesus. Poor girl.

As an old head, what is your opinion on wax? Either dabbing or using a vape pen. If you've tried it, how did you like it?

Same as hash. Everything's the same as it boils down. Wax is just more refined. I love the high...It'll fuck you up.

By "occasionally smokes a little bit of pot", you mean obscene amounts of pot on a daily basis, right?


Hey Tommy, I'm a huge fan!

Apart from your own work, what's your favourite movie/tv show where the characters are weed smokers?

I'm a fan of a whole lot of movies these days, I loved This Is The End, and I loved Narcos.

I'm 24 and have never smoked weed (or anything) Would you recommend that I try it?

Break out of the monastery first of all. And then start with just a tiny little bit of sativa...or a huge dab.

What do you get when you mix olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper and marijuana?

Cheech marinade.

Hahaha. Funny.

Do you prefer apple or android?

I have an iPhone. But I'm impartial.

I'm reading all your replies in your voice. Can you hear my voice when you read my question?

Yeah, I can. I know exactly how you sound.

Stepping aside from weed, what item has the most emotional value to you, and why?

I'm really glad that I'm not sleeping right now and I've found your thread, nightly greetings from Poland (you're known even here:))

I guess my guitar. It's been my passport to fame and fortune.

Tommy, rumor from my hometown in Ohio is that you used to come to Nelson ledges to party all the time. Is that true, or just a rural legend?

That's true. Played a show with Chong & The Family Stoned. That was my band back then - my sons Paris, Gilbran, and myself. We would party at the Nelson Ledges. Play music and party.

You had to be careful not to pass out in the bushes because you would get run over by a tractor. Everybody there was stoned, even the tractor drivers.

What do you think of the Stoner Sloth campaign created by the Australian government to scare teenagers away from pot?

Typical bureaucrats. Australian bureaucrats all wear t-shirts showing their ass from a hole in the ground. Because they don't know the difference.

Hey Tommy,

I was cleaning out my closet the other day and found this:

I had bought this with every intention to use the paper about 10 years ago but never found enough friends to contribute. I would love to see the doobie this thing could roll and I doubt I will ever find that drive again but I could think of no better person to pass it along to than you. So my question is simple, would you like me to send you it?

Yes. Absolutely. Please send it to me. I'll smoke it with you next time you're here.

You seem to be proud of your family name. I like to ask half-Asians, how Asian do you consider yourself?

Depends on where I'm eating. On Christmas Eve I'll be eating Chinese food.

Is there any show that you really wish you could cameo on?

Saturday Night Live. Because we've been barred there.

The last thing they wanted back then when Belushi and Aykroyd were doing dope jokes was Cheech & Chong to come on there and represent that culture. But they've parodied us plenty.

Who's the worst person in hollywood you've smoked with?

John Lennon. He was a huge lightweight. He wouldn't smoke. He was scared of getting deported.

Tommy Chong, If the moon was made of cheese, would you eat it?

Depends on the flavor. If it were fried cheese, then yes. Or maybe a moon quesadilla, mmm.

Is it true you went to high school at Bonnie Doon in Edmonton?

Nope. Went to high school at Crescent Heights in Calgary. And I dropped out in 11th grade.

Hey Tommy Chong!!! What was Jordan Belfort aka The Wolf of Wallstreet like? I read that you guys shared a cell when you were incarcerated, and that you were the one to push him to write down his story! Was there anything significant you remember from your time with him? Also massive fan! I love your work, you and Cheech are legends!

Jordan's one of the few geniuses that I've met. He could multi-task like crazy, just a genius. As he's proven now, he's not only an author, he also lectures.

I was writing my book and Jordan asked me what I was doing one day in there, that was how he decided that he was going to write a book. Later on he showed me one page of what he had written, and I kind of looked it over and critiqued him and he got a little pissed off but he listened to me and he ended up writing a bestseller, "The Wolf of Wallstreet." Kind of crazy how that worked.

Hey Tommy! Blondes or brunettes?

Blondes. (see: my wife.).

Have you ever found anything that really is bad about smoking pot?

Not having enough pot to smoke.

Hey Tommy, Big fan. I was wondering what would be the best car to hotbox ?

'57 Chevy. Roomier and lots of style. Classic. That was before bucket seats and seatbelts.

Irish here.

What's your favourite type of potato dish?

Scalloped potatoes. French fries. Scalloped potatoes are great though, love those. I've always loved them. Love potatoes in general though. I'm part Irish, in case you guys didn't know. A quarter Irish, to be exact.

Hey Tommy! Quick question man. Have you ever had the chance to smoke with Snoop Dogg? I'm sure he would love that if you haven't!

Yes. Many times. Love Snoop! And he always bogards the joint. He always forgets he has it in his hands while we're talking, and we talk a lot when we hang out and get high.

Could you tell us about your most memorable acid trip?

Let's go on this journey together.


Denver Colorado.

Actually it was Aspen. No, it was Denver.

Took a tab of Window Pane.

Then went and saw Thumbalina with my wife and 3 year old daughter.

The movie freaked me out, I mean the story was about a woman marrying a rat. The showing we wsaw was a matinee so there were kids everywhere at this screening and they were running up and down the aisles. Being on acid, you can imagine this freaked me out quite a bit. A lot, actually.

So we left right after that and my 3 year old daughter had to call me and my wife a cab to get us home.

Hey dude. Who was the most surprising pothead you've encountered thus far? Rock on, Brother.

Tony Dow from Leave it to Beaver. Now that's a good one. He was Leave it to Beaver's big brother.

Is anyone else reading EVERY post by by him in his voice?

Me too.

Why do you do the things that you do?

Because I know what I'm doing.

Any chance of one last cheech and chong movie?

We're always working on one. I've been working on one for many years.

[No question]

Looking forward to hearing this new Wu-Tang album.

[No question]

It's almost 4:20 so I think I'm going to call an end to my AMA since I've got some other business to attend to.

What's your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is... Being on stage at a comedy store, about to nail them with a big punch line and the microphone goes dead.


You gave my mom away at her wedding! I've heard some stories about the times you spent with my folks. My mom is Andrea, and my dad is George. Might be a specific question but, any memories in particular stand out that you had with my parents that I can relish in?

Andrea the dance teacher? George the surfer? I remember them.

Memories... Too many, it's so nice to hear from you. George played in a band, he was one of the first punk bands that I'd heard. I had heard his band was pretty awesome.

I can't really remember the wedding, I was too stoned to remember.

Mr Chong!

What was your favorite part about directing? Any tips for an up and comer in the biz? Keep being real either way.

Great Question! As far as directing goes... be true to your vision. Directors are like headlights on a car, they show you where to go.

Hey Tommy, greetings from Edmonton! With Canada set to legalize marijuana nationally soon, can we expect you to come back home to celebrate the day it's officially legal up here?

Also, earlier this year a friend of mine developed rectal cancer and is still undergoing treatment for it, what were the best ways your friends/family were able to cheer you up while you were dealing with it yourself?

Absolutely. I'll be up there in Edmonton.

While I was going through cancer treatment I got cannabis oil massages, unlimited weed from friends/family. It's always good to get support from the ones you love.

Are there any drugs you've done that you really hated?

Alcohol. I'm not much of a drinker. And cocaine. It makes you think you know what you're doing. Whereas when you're smoking weed you know that you don't know what you're doing, which makes you learn new things.

Oh shit I've never made it to one of these on time!!

What's your favorite way to get high? (Blunt, joint, pipe, bubbler, bong, concentrates, edibles)

Favorite rap album?

Also, whose (genius) idea was it to have you at the end of Dr. Dre's 2001? Is he a big smoker?

It was Dr. Dre's idea.

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Tommy Chong conducted on Reddit on 2015-12-22. The Reddit AMA can be found here.