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Cheech is Not My Real Name

Cover of Cheech is Not My Real Name

Cheech is Not My Real Name

...But Don't Call Me Chong
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The long-awaited memoir from a counterculture legend.


Cheech Marin came of age at an interesting time in America and became a self-made counterculture legend with his other half, Tommy Chong. This insightful memoir delves into how Cheech dodged the draft, formed one of the most successful comedy duos of all time, became the face of the recreational drug movement with the film Up in Smoke, forged a successful solo career with roles in The Lion King and, more recently, Jane the Virgin, and became the owner of the largest private collection of Chicano art in the world.


Written in Cheech's uniquely hilarious voice, this memoir will take you to new highs.

The long-awaited memoir from a counterculture legend.


Cheech Marin came of age at an interesting time in America and became a self-made counterculture legend with his other half, Tommy Chong. This insightful memoir delves into how Cheech dodged the draft, formed one of the most successful comedy duos of all time, became the face of the recreational drug movement with the film Up in Smoke, forged a successful solo career with roles in The Lion King and, more recently, Jane the Virgin, and became the owner of the largest private collection of Chicano art in the world.


Written in Cheech's uniquely hilarious voice, this memoir will take you to new highs.

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About the Author-
  • Cheech Marin is an actor, director, comedian, author, musician and Chicano art collector. He's also half of a comedy duo called Cheech and Chong, man.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 12, 2016
    The comedy duo Cheech and Chong defined “stoner humor” in a series of wildly successful LPs in the early 1970s—and later in equally popular low-budget films—with jokes based on “observing this hippie revolution that was going on all around us,” as first-time author Marin describes in this enjoyable and insightful autobiography. “We didn’t become hippies,” he writes. “We were hippies.” And though their comedy was often lowbrow, Marin’s descriptions of how the duo perfected their act in a range of venues, from their early days in Vancouver (where they met) to countless sets in the famed Troubadour club in Hollywood, makes a strong argument that behind the stoner facade were two seasoned entertainers who, when improvising, “were like jazz musicians.” But the Cheech and Chong team is only half of Marin’s story. After an honest description of the duo’s break-up (“I didn’t necessarily want to be in control. I just didn’t want to be controlled”), Marin describes the development of his solo success as an actor in films such as Tin Cup and Machete. Bookended by looks at his youth growing up poor in South Central Los Angeles and his development as a now well-known collector of Chicago art, this memoir is fun, wacky look inside Marin’s imagination.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2017
    The straight dope from Cheech.Marin, half of the storied stoner comedy team Cheech and Chong, recounts his life and career with this slight, genial memoir. The son of a hard-nosed cop, Richard "Cheech" Marin (b. 1946) spent his early life in East Los Angeles' violent ghetto on the straight and narrow, earning good grades and serving as an altar boy. The Vietnam War changed everything, as Marin turned in his draft card and decamped for Canada, where he met local musician and scenester Tommy Chong and joined his improvisational comedy troupe. "I had turned in my draft card," he writes, "philosophically denying the government's authority over me and at the same time choosing to go to Canada to pursue my artistic calling as a potter. It was a philosophical two-fer." Marin and Chong hit it off, and their loose, rambling, pot-inflected comedy bits quickly made them a sensation, leading to lucrative tours, albums, and movies before the buzz wore off and the pair split in the mid-1980s. Marin is diplomatic about his clashes with Chong, who comes off here as aggressive and insecure about credit, leavening all complaints with affirmations of Chong's singular, charismatic talent. Mellow in his recollections to a fault, the author acknowledges his fondness for marijuana, but he does not offer salacious, drug-fueled anecdotes or other tales of wild, countercultural bad behavior. Instead, he focuses on the duo's creative process, warm family memories, post-Cheech and Chong collaborations with Robert Rodriguez and Pixar, and the creation of his personal film Born in East LA (1987). Droll and affable rather than outrageous and subversive, Marin is pleasant company, but general readers may wish for less data on the author's Chicano art collection and more hysterical, hairy tales of '70s-era excess. A mildly diverting, modestly charming memoir from a surprisingly multifaceted showbiz survivor.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Cheech is Not My Real Name
Cheech is Not My Real Name
...But Don't Call Me Chong
Cheech Marin
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