Cheech and Chong Suprise SXSW with Appearance at Club

“Holy s—,” an audience member shouted as Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong took the stage at C-Boy’s Heart and Soul, an off-the-beaten path Austin nightclub that hosted a brief reunion by the legendary stoner comedy duo, who came to SXSW to shop their feature documentary “Cheech and Chong’s Last Movie.”

As the pair ambled on stage, Chong picked up an acoustic guitar and gave it a strum. Marin, 77, cringed as it became immediately clear that the instrument was woefully out of tune. Chong, 85, who wore a varsity sports jacket bedecked with marijuana leaf motifs and “Team 420” emblazoned on the back, changed it out for an electric Gibson that was camera-ready to play.

“Oooh, he’s going electric,” Marin joked. Chong hit a few more notes and then Marin introduced what he described as “a song of my people.” The tune was in keeping with Cheech and Chong’s classic routines of story songs.

“Mexican Americans/don’t like to just get into gang fights/they like flowers and music/and white girls named Debbie too.”

“Mexican Americans/love education/and so they go to night school/and take Spanish/and get a B.”

“Mexican Americans/don’t like to get up early/But they have to/So they do it real slow.”

Chong then picked up the song, using a derogatory term for Mexicans that underscored the hollowness of racial and ethnic bigotry.

All told, the reunion of Cheech and Chong was brief and was not publicized in advance. The small crowd at C-Boy’s was thoroughly excited by the performance, which lasted about five minutes.

“Cheech & Chong’s Last Movie” traces the pair’s long careers and partnership that began in the early 1970s. The documentary, directed by David Bushell, will have its world premiere at SXSW on March 12 at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

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