Friday, April 17, 2009

Cheech and Chong

Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong define the 70's and 80's generation of hippies, free love and the drug culture.

They became a successful comedy team by releasing many successful comedy albums and starred in a series of low-budget commercials before releasing a series of cult classic feature-length movies.

My first recollection of Cheech and Chong was their all-time most famous line "Dave's not here,"
from their self-titled debut album. When they came to the local university to do a show, I was there . . . and never laughed so hard in my life. They were fresh new talent with a rude audacity that was almost unbelievable back in the day.

Little did we know that these two unknown rude and funny guys would end up becoming the symbol of a movement that was soon to take over my generation and change us forever.

The following is the original trailer for the 1978 movie, Up In Smoke that became a cult classic, followed by Cheech and Chong's Next Movie in 1980 and Nice Dreams in 1981.

Cheech and Chong released their album Get Out of My Room in 1985, which included the novelty hit song, "Born in East L.A." (based on Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.") which was followed in 1987 with a film of the same name which Cheech Marin played the starring role.

Cheech Marin performed voice parts for several animated feature films, including Disney's Oliver and Company (1988), The Lion King (1994), and Cars (2006).

Marin also starred in various comedy films and in several television series . . . Nash Bridges (which featured Chong in one episode and treated fans to "Dave's not here, man", to which Marin replied "Let's not go there") and The Golden Palace, as well as a recurring guest role on Judging Amy, the part as a bartender in the film Desperado, as well as other roles in successful Robert Rodriguez films, and has a recurring role in the popular ABC series Lost.

Tommy Chong also pursued a solo career, starring in such comedies as Far Out Man, co-starred on the FOX Television series That '70s Show in which he played Leo, a burned-out hippie very similar to his character in the movie Up in Smoke. He also made a cameo appearance in the U.S. Bicentennial movie spoof The Spirit of '76 and was in Dave Chappelle's 1998 comedy film Half Baked.

“Free Love” was a part of the hippie culture . . . meaning loving all people as sisters and brothers . . . but didn’t this culture usher in the sexual revolution? Free Love and the Flower Children is a post I wrote in my blog PeaceLoveHappiness.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hula hoops . . . awesome childhood memories

The hula hoop . . . a plastic toy hoop that is twirled around the waist, limbs, or neck . . . what a fabulous fad it was . . . Wham-O sold 25 million hula hoops in the first four months and over 100 million in the first year it was released.

It is no wonder we didn't have the weight problems back in the day since hours were spent outside in the Florida heat and humidity, sweating profusely and perfecting the art of keeping the hula hoop up. The big challenge for me, my brother and friends was to see who could keep the hula hoop up the longest . . . and we were pretty good!

The dogs even loved the hula hoop! We always had at least five dogs at a time that stayed in the back yard who tried to get in on the action. You know how dogs are, they always think it is about them :) After getting caught in the hula hoop a few times, they quit trying to jump into the action. Dogs are so funny . . . they used to mess up our games of jump rope too!!

Even the adults got into the action and loved to hula hoop . . . we had many a good time with the endurance competitions . . . it is awesome family fun that really did bring our families together since everyone loved it.

Wham-O again struck it lucky with another toy fad . . . the release of the Frisbee after the hula hoop fad wore down . . . much to the delight of dogs everywhere . . . now they can really participate!

Even more facts and history about the hula hoop . . . click here.

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