I'm 50: Cheech & Chong, CHEECH AND CHONG
August 1971: the worlds of rock 'n' roll and comedy collided in a whole new way with the late summer arrival of Cheech & Chong's debut album. Discovered by Rock Hall of Fame Renaissance man Lou Adler, the duo's repertoire of stoner comedy was a hit in nightclubs up and down the West Coast. Ever the visionary, Adler was confident that Cheech & Chong's act would work on record. The duo committed 11 of their most popular routines to tape, resulting in the debut LP that hit record stores across America during that fateful 1971 summer.
A huge hit on underground FM radio, Cheech and Chong will forever be most famous for introducing the world to the opening track on Side 2: "Dave." The bit, which feature the iconic line, "Dave's not here," helped power the album up the Billboard charts, peaking at #28 on the Billboard 200 for the week of March 4, 1972. The #1 LP in the country that week: Don McLean's American Pie.
Cheech and Chong also garned the duo's first Grammy nomination, with the album up for Best Comedy Recording at the 14th Grammy Awards less than two week's after the record's chart peak on March 14, 1972. The award went to Lily Tomlin's This Is a Recording. Cheech & Chong finally secured their first (and somehow only) Grammy win at the 16th annual Grammy Awards for third LP, Los Cochinos.
When asked about the duo's enduring popularity, Tommy Chong said the formula was pretty simple: "We communicated with people. They would get high to come and see us. and then we'd act crazy and make them laugh."