“Dangerous” Dick Spenneberg does stand-up comedy at local clubs in San Diego five nights a week, most often at the Comedy Store. From July 30 to August 2, he emceed the Cheech and Chong reunion shows at the Comedy Store in La Jolla.
“This was their first time performing together on stage in [almost] 30 years,” says Spenneberg. “Shelby Chong, Tommy’s wife, did 20 minutes. When she introduced Cheech, the audience still wasn’t sure if he’d really be there. She told the crowd to be nice to the next guy on stage, that they just picked him up on the side of the road. They played ‘Low Rider,’ and he came onstage wearing the same outfit from Up in Smoke. The crowd went nuts. They gave him a standing ovation.”
I saw the last show they did on Saturday, August 2. They performed a few of their famous characters: the dogs Ralph and Herbie in the alley, blues singer Blind Melon Chitlin’, and Cheech as an old lady. They did a new skit and said they were working on more stuff for an upcoming tour.
After the show, they took pictures with each member of the crowd. It cost $20 for a Polaroid, and they autographed any item you had. Some people had DVDs, others had albums. One person brought rolling paper to have signed. An older guy had a Cheech and Chong lunchbox.
Cheech saw my Buffalo Springfield shirt and started singing, “Stop, hey, what’s that sound/ Everybody look what’s goin’ down.” As we snapped a photo, I asked them to make it look as if they were toking a joint. They put their fingers to their lips. I told Chong, “I don’t even smoke pot either.” Chong said, “What? You don’t smoke pot?! Why not?” My girlfriend said, “We’re straight edge.” He looked confused and said, “You’re Swedish?”
Cheech and Chong will bring their reunion tour to Copley Symphony Hall on November 28.