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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.