Monday, December 22, 2008

Cheech and Chong: Roasted, Rolled and Smoked

Cheech and Chong Roast Reviewed By a Guy Who Never Even Saw The Roast.

Recently resurrected and reunited for a new comedy tour, aging dopers Cheech and Chong tolerated a tepid roast by a bucket brigade of washed up entertainers without once looking even mildly amused. That’s what happens when you quit pot. You didn’t have to be stoned to enjoy the roast because it really didn’t…I mean wouldn’t have helped anyway. With the likes of Tom “Throw Me-a-Bone” Arnold and Greg ‘Can-You-Hear-Me-Now” Giraldo, Geraldo Rivera ended up being relevant and funny. Sure, it’s that gay porn mustache, but he actually did say a few funny things, too. OK, nothing memorable, but with the level of the room teetering between the brain-dead “Still Smoking” and the undead “Corsican Brothers” even Bill O’Reilly would have been a laugh machine at this gig.

Rev. Al Sharpton was originally in this hack line-up, but a no-show, replaced at the last minute by a black guy with a sign around his neck like a piece of “Plug-and-Play” hardware without a soundcard. A notable video appearance by Martha Stewart failed to legitimize Cheech and Chong but did create a lot of speculation about what bad habits she may have picked up in prison. Shelby Chong was present primarily as eye-candy, in a well-preserved candy corn kind of way, but also served to raise the question: “Hey, where’s Cheech’s wife?” They could have put a box of pop tarts in a chair along with a Yoko Ono soundtrack and no one would have noticed, really.

One confusing set of participants were Penn and Teller. Not known for comedy as much as magic, Teller apparently tossed the rabbit in favor of pulling a bong out of his ass. Even the jokes made at their expense by the other roasters barely got above the “you guys are gay” level. Putting those two in this forum was like putting the Olsen Twins in Snoop Dogg’s “Girls Gone Wild.” Yeah, you can hear Snoop now:” Aw, HELL naw! Somebody rub those skinny bitches together and make me a fire so I can light this blunt.”

Greg Giraldo would have had more laughs if he quit trying to yell a joke like a carnival barker. Seriously, dude, Sam Kinison still owns that gig, dead or not, so there’s no need to wake him up. The surprise of the evening was Andy Dick on good behavior. For once, his routine was topical and not rabid, proof positive that Cheech and Chong really do bring the “good stuff”. Steve Carrell, meanwhile, was self-serving and someone you WISHED would get stoned enough to see the banality of his entire shtick outside of “The Office”. But, at least he was recognizable….Wilmer “Who Dat” Valderrama from “That 70’s Show” appeared to be either in the middle of an image make-over from hell, or an episode of Ashton Kutcher’s “Punk’d”.

Host Brad “Please-Kill-Me” Garrett was serviceable in his role and sufficiently large as not to invite TOO many jokes at his expense. He had some good lines, but it was all too plain to see that without his “’Till Death” co-star Joely Fisher’s ubiquitous knockers to act as his straight men, his timing was waaaay off. I suppose in lieu of Fisher’s boobs, Penn and Teller could have sat in since their act is starting to sag with age anyway.

But the surprise of the evening was the nonchalant manner in which Cheech and Chong dispassionately endured this menagerie of schlock without killing each other. Sometimes resembling two men preparing to enter the Thunderdome, it wasn’t difficult to discern the absence of camaraderie between these two newly “reunited” stoner icons. Tommy Chong was not only the more glib of the former duo, but also the most restrained. Doing time will do that to you. Cheech, on the other hand, looked bored with the entire spectacle, simply going through the motions for the free advertising. A successful TV series will do that to you. He was lucky he didn’t get shanked. Needless to say, if the chemistry between these two doesn’t improve, not only is Dave not here, he won’t be coming back.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on Cheech and Chong. They're old. Respect the classics, man!!