DID YOU READ

15 Far-Out Facts About Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams

CHEECH AND CHONG’S NICE DREAMS, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, 1981, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Colle

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Laugh a little harder at the 1981 cult classic knowing these 15 behind-the-scenes tidbits.

1. Nice Dreams is the third Cheech & Chong movie and the second to be directed by Tommy Chong.

The first, Up in Smoke, was directed by Lou Adler. As director of Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie (the second film in the franchise) and Nice Dreams, Chong is officially credited as “Thomas Chong.” He would go on to direct two more films starring himself and Richard “Cheech” Marin.


2. Cheech and Chong were influenced by classic comedy duos.

For their characters, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong primarily drew comedic inspiration from other famous duos like Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Martin and Lewis.


3. The name Nice Dreams was inspired by a friend’s ice cream truck design.

Chong’s friend, who designed ice cream trucks, made a drawing in which he put an “N” in the front and drew a “D” over the “C” in “cream” (so it looked like “dream”). A version of the design appears in the movie.


4. The movie originally called for Cheech and Chong to play landscapers.

Before settling on the ice cream truck idea, an early draft of Nice Dreams cast the duo as landscapers who secretly grew marijuana all over Los Angeles.


5. Actress and comedian Sandra Bernhard makes her big screen debut in Nice Dreams.

She plays one of the patients at the mental hospital at the end of the movie and is credited as “Girl Nut.” A year after Nice Dreams, she starred in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, starring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis.


6. The bodybuilder whom Cheech ogles at the gym is Tommy Chong’s wife, Shelby.

She previously appeared in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie and would go on to appear in two more Cheech & Chong movies.


7. Actor Stacy Keach stars as the inept Sergeant Stedenko in Nice Dreams.

He previously appeared as the same character in Up in Smoke.


8. The script for Nice Dreams was allegedly only 3½ pages long.

The whole movie was storyboarded, but most of the dialogue was improvised.

9. Casa del Wacko, the mental hospital in Nice Dreams, was based on a real halfway house in Hollywood.

A friend of Chong’s was institutionalized there after being arrested for heroin possession.


10. Infamous psychedelic drug advocate Timothy Leary makes a cameo appearance.

He plays the doctor at the mental hospital.


11. Howie Hamburger Dude is played by Pee-wee Herman himself, Paul Reubens.

Reubens also appeared as an early incarnation of the Pee-wee character in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie.


12. The Donna character (played by Evelyn Guerrero) appears in three Cheech & Chong movies.

She’s in Nice Dreams, Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie, and Things Are Tough All Over.


13. The mental patient—credited as “Superman Nut”—who does the a cappella sound effects of a Jimi Hendrix song is actor Michael Winslow.

Nicknamed “The Man of 10,000 Sound Effects,” Winslow would go on to use his realistic sound effects talents in films such as Police Academy and Spaceballs. Nice Dreams was his first film.


14. You’ll soon be able to get some of Cheech & Chong’s ice cream for yourself.

A real life hemp-infused ice cream called “Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams Relaxation Ice Cream” is reportedly set to launch in the not-too-distant future.


15. Chong’s guitar playing isn’t just a hobby.

In real life, Tommy Chong was in a band called Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, which was signed to Motown Records in the ‘60s and ‘70s. They had one Billboard hit called “Does Your Mama Know About Me.”

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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