Cheech Marin, the comedian and actor, is adding author to his list of accomplishments as he debuts his memoir titled, “Cheech is Not My Real Name, but Don’t Call Me Chong”.
It’s a fitting title for a lifelong connection that he hasn’t been able to shake.
As one half of the infamous 70’s era stoner comedy duo, Cheech & Chong, Marin has been trying to distance himself from his former partner in crime since their falling out.
Last week, Cheech visited the CBS morning newsroom to talk about his love of art, and pot. He also made an appearance on The Chew, and ABC Radio, to name a few media outlets.
On the cooking show, The Chew, he joined the ‘pool party’ themed extravaganza of food and cocktails. His specialty was a lobster and corn salad, and you can find the recipe here.
Re-emerging on his own again with the launch of this book, Cheech told CBS morning news about how he had to find his own identity apart from Chong. He also spoke about the current state of cannabis.
“Legalization has changed a lot,” he says, “now there’s drunk white dudes in business suits that rush the stage.”
On his tumultuous tenure with Tommy Chong, he remains quite open about the whole issue.
Cheech and Chong have a history of successful comedic movies as their legacy. But Cheech and Chong’s relationship went up in smoke (pun intended). It’s been said that the pressures of the partnership, and behind-the-scenes tensions were detrimental to the friendship – and ultimately, their business partnership.
“I came to the conclusion that we were brothers,” Cheech tells ABC Radio. “As brothers, you can hate each other, love each other…but you always have each other’s back, because you’re brothers.”
As of 2008, the duo came back together for an official tour.
“We could argue – which I think teams should do,” he tells ABC Radio. “It’s the irritant that creates the pearl, you know?”
A friendly feud, the two always keep up on one another’s musings. As ABC’s Dancing with the Stars coming back to the nightly line up, ABC Radio also asked him what he thought of Chong’s performance on the show three years ago.
“He was the oldest guy to make it that far,” Cheech jokes, “And you could see him waning every week. Finally, they just sat him in the chair and the dancers danced around him. He couldn’t wait to get off that show.”
Chong was voted off on the tenth week.
The funny thing is, Cheech explains, “even though all those years of estrangement…we’d go away and be adversarial in the print or on radio to each other — and then come back, ‘Hey, how ya doing? How’s the kids?'”
By the way, Cheech’s real name is Richard Anthony “Cheech” Marin.
He was affectionately given the nickname “Cheech” when he was very young. It comes from the Spanish dish, Chicharrón, which is a favorite of many Spanish influenced countries.