[JPL] Cheech and Chong Express Love for Smokin' Hot Jazz

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Thu Jan 22 22:09:50 EST 2009

In the more than 30 years since they started in standup comedy, Cheech 
and Chong <http://www.spinner.com/tag/CheechandChong/> have played with 
some of rock's biggest names, including the Rolling Stones 
<http://www.spinner.com/tag/RollingStones/> and Bruce Springsteen 
<http://www.spinner.com/tag/BruceSpringsteen/>. But when the recently 
reunited comic duo talked to Spinner for an in-depth interview, Tommy 
Chong admitted it was jazz that inspired his comedy. "The reason I was 
into jazz was that there was a little jazz club in Calgary, which was 
the only place open at night," Chong says. "And because I was a rock 'n' 
roll musician, I loved the life and I learned to love jazz."

Surprisingly, Chong found a lot of humor in the jazz world. "Every jazz 
musician I talked to was a comedian. They had that sense of humor; like 
Louis Armstrong was one," he says. "Louis Armstrong smoked reefer all 
his life. And that was the other similarity; all jazz musicians not only 
smoked dope, but they used hard drugs, too."

Aside from the shared extracurricular activities, though, the symmetry 
between jazz and comedy goes back to the humor. "You see, it's all about 
timing; when to tell a joke, how to tell a joke," Chong says. "And 
that's where my craft came from and Cheech's ultimately came from the 
same area because it's an attitude. "


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