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Thursday, March 10, 2011


My father, a fairly straight laced individual, once told me a story about how he went to see a movie called UP IN SMOKE at a little theater in Corvallis, Oregon in 1978. He wasn’t expecting much, as all he knew about the film’s stars, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, were that they had made some funny adult records and featured a lot of drug humor in their act. 90 minutes later my father’s sides ached from belly laughs and he ultimately had difficulty sleeping that night as he lay remembering scenes from the film.

When I was old enough to view the film myself, I could see what he was laughing about. The Holy Grail of all pothead comedies, UP IN SMOKE is a comedy tour de force for the counter culture comedy team. Even conservative viewers have been known to laugh out loud at the film's simplistic yet hilarious humor. The movie's strength lies in the fact that Cheech and Chong are likable characters that aren’t out to hurt anyone; they just want to live life as high as possible. A great cast including Stother Martin, Tom Skerritt and Stacy Keach (who is great as Sargent Standako, a character from their albums), provide strong support in this comedy classic.

Note to party animals: the flick makes a great drinking game movie. Drink every time you hear the word “man” and I bet you struggle saying it yourself by the end of the movie (the word is said 295 times over the course of the film).