AKA Thomas B. Kin Chong
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Actor, Comic, Business
Executive summary: The stoned half of Cheech and Chong
Tommy Chong is an Irish-Chinese-Canadian comic, best known as the taller half of the comedy team Cheech & Chong, with Cheech Marin.
In the 1960s, Chong played guitar with a rhythm and blues band, Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers, and co-wrote the group's regional hit, "Does Your Mama Know About Me?" He then opened a night club in Vancouver, where he met Marin, an American dodging the draft. Their comedy act became wildly popular in the 1970s, leading to several stoned comedy films, including Up In Smoke, Nice Dreams, and Get Out Of My Room. Cheech & Chong split amicably in 1985, and while Marin went on to a successful career as a "straight" actor, Chong has kept up his stoner persona as a stand-up comic, often performing on stage with his wife of more than three decades, Shelby. He also played a perpetually stoned character on That '70s Show.
Chong claims he has never been more than an occasional user of marijuana, his spaced-out character being a mix of observation and exaggeration. When not acting, Chong is clear-headed, soft-spoken, and articulate.
Yet in 2003, Chong's home was raided by the Drug Enforcement Agency. More than a pound of pot was found in his house, but because the DEA had not listed marijuana on the search warrant it was inadmissible as evidence. Instead, Chong was prosecuted for possessing "drug paraphernalia" -- water pipes made by the Chong Glass Company, an enterprise co-owned by Chong, his wife, and their son Paris. Chong eventually agreed to a plea bargain and spent nine months in prison, in exchange for the feds dropping charges against his wife and son.
The Justice Department's prosecutor, Mary Beth Buchanan, told the media that Chong's career, "being involved in comedy and other endeavors, didn't make him the target. What made him the target was operating an illegal business". Buchanan's assistant prosecutor, though, seemed to admit that Chong was targeted in retaliation for his comedy, stressing in closing arguments that he had made his fortune "glamorizing the illegal use and distribution of marijuana and trivializing law-enforcement efforts to combat drug use".
During his imprisonment, Chong explored other religions by attending services with Jewish, Catholic, Buddhist and Lakota Sioux inmates. His probation stipulated that he could not profit in any way from his arrest and incarceration, which forced Chong to withdraw from the traveling stage production The Marijuana-Logues, since he could have faced additional jail time for cracking jokes about his prison stay.
In a 2005 interview, Chong said he has "a score to settle" over his imprisonment. "I'd seek revenge on first and foremost [former Attorney General] John Ashcroft, because he put me in jail for selling bongs. I'd tell him to go fuck himself, but I would do it on his terms and forgive him like a good Christian, which would freak him out. I'd probably hug him".
Wife: Maxine Sneed (m. 1960, div. 1970, two daughters, one son)
Daughter: Rae Dawn Chong (actress, b. 28-Feb-1961)
Daughter: Robbi Chong (actress, b. 28-May-1965)
Son: Marcus Chong (actor, b. 8-Jul-1967)
Wife: Shelby Feddis (actress, one son, one daughter)
Daughter: Precious Chong (actress, b. 1968)
Son: Gilbran Chong (yoga instructor, b. circa 1981)
Son: Paris Chong (lawyer, b. circa 1975)
Cheech and Chong
Marijuana Policy Project Advisory Board
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Advisory Board
Conspiracy to sell drug paraphernalia, arrested 24-Feb-2003
Chinese Ancestry Paternal side
Irish Ancestry Maternal side
Scottish Ancestry Maternal side
Risk Factors: Marijuana, Prostate Cancer
That '70s Show Leo (1999-2002)
FILMOGRAPHY AS DIRECTOR
Far Out Man (11-May-1990)
Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (27-Jul-1984)
Still Smokin' (6-May-1983)
Nice Dreams (24-Jul-1981)
Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (25-Jul-1980)
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
The Fluffy Movie (25-Jul-2014)
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (29-Apr-2011) · Stone [VOICE]
The Union: The Business Behind Getting High (8-Jun-2007) · Himself
American Drug War: The Last White Hope (2007)
Evil Bong (31-Oct-2006)
a/k/a Tommy Chong (14-Jun-2006) · Himself
Pauly Shore Is Dead (2003) · Himself
High Times Potluck (15-Aug-2002) · Himself
The Wash (14-Nov-2001) · Dee's Connection
Half Baked (16-Jan-1998) · Squirrel Master
McHale's Navy (18-Apr-1997) · Armando
Senior Trip (8-Sep-1995) · Red
FernGully: The Last Rainforest (10-Apr-1992) · Root [VOICE]
The Spirit of '76 (12-Oct-1990)
Far Out Man (11-May-1990)
After Hours (13-Sep-1985)
Get Out of My Room (1985)
Cheech & Chong's The Corsican Brothers (27-Jul-1984) · Lucian Corsican
Still Smokin' (6-May-1983)
It Came from Hollywood (29-Oct-1982) · Himself
Things Are Tough All Over (9-Apr-1982)
Nice Dreams (24-Jul-1981) · Himself
Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (25-Jul-1980) · Chong
Up In Smoke (15-Sep-1978)
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