Legendary comedians Cheech & Chong celebrated at Grammy Museum

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Cheech and Chong are still rolling 40 years after their breakthrough film "Up in Smoke." The comedy duo are celebrated at the Grammy Museum in Downtown's L.A. Live for their Grammy Award-winning and nominated work.

"It's about time," said Tommy Chong. Cheech Marin added, "Yeah. We were musicians 'cause part of our hits were music hits. We had number one music hits as well as the comedy and albums and movies. So we belong here. These are our people."

The 1978 film "Up in Smoke" earned more than 100 million dollars at the box office, made Cheech and Chong household names, and helped change attitudes about marijuana across America.

"Up in Smoke" went beyond just a stoner movie. It was like a spiritual awakening for a lot of people. We took out the myth that marijuana was an evil drug and we turned around and showed everybody that marijuana is a harmless, fun drug," said Chong. "And we also showed the immigration problems that were going on back then, 40 years ago they were still doing what they're doing now."

Coming to L.A. in the early 70's changed everything for the musicians turned comedians, but it was no surprise to them.

"We harmonized, like the Everly Brothers harmonized when they sing together, its harmony. That's what we had," said Marin.

"Once we got in, down to L.A. and we knew, you know, what we had because we really didn't know what we had in Vancouver," Chong said. "And we knew. It doesn't matter what we got paid, if we got paid."

Marin said, "You could tell from the audience. It was gonna happen eventually."

The exhibit not only chronicles the success of their first feature length film, you'll also see some of Cheech Marin's one-of-a-kind artwork by Chicano artists.

"I've commissioned like the top 13 Chicano artists that I knew to do this whole collection of guitars. I want to show off and they're featuring I think 3 of them here," said Marin. "It's just another aspect of Chicano art and culture that we want to share with the people. Many of whom are Chicanos."

Chong said, "It's art, and that's what Cheech and Chong are, art."

You can check out Cheech and Chong's "Still Rolling: Celebrating 40 years of 'Up in Smoke'" exhibit at the Grammy Museum through Spring 2019.

For more details, visit www.grammymuseum.org
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