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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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.