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15 Far-Out Facts About Cheech & Chong: Things Are Tough All Over

THINGS ARE TOUGH ALL OVER, Tommy Chong, Cheech Marin, 1982, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

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Before tuning in to the 1982 comedy, check out these 15 behind-the-scenes tidbits about Things Are Tough All Over.

1. Things Are Tough All Over is Thomas K. Alvidsen’s only directorial effort.

Alvidsen previously served as editor on Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie and Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams.

2. And it’s only the second Cheech & Chong movie not directed by Tommy Chong.

Up in Smoke, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin’s first full-length film, was directed by Lou Adler.

3. The original title of Things Are Tough All Over was Riding High.

4. The movie was inspired by the 1979 oil crisis.

Cheech knew he wanted to make a Cheech & Chong movie about the event, and the script eventually evolved from there.

5. Cheech and Chong do double duty in the film.

In addition to playing themselves, they also appear (in brownface) as the movie’s stereotypically insensitive villains, Mr. Slyman and Prince Habib.

6. “The Fifis” are played by Cheech’s and Chong’s real-life wives, Shelby Chong (credited as Shelby Fiddis) and Rikki Marin.

Both previously appeared in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie and Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams, and would also go on to appear in Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers.

7. The Fifis are French in the movie because Tommy Chong’s wife had recently moved to Paris.

Her Francophilia must have rubbed off on Chong—after Things Are Tough All Over was released, Tommy and Shelby Chong moved to Cannes, France.

8. The hitchhiker Donna appears in three Cheech & Chong movies.

Donna, played by Evelyn Guerrero, is seen in Things Are Tough All Over, Nice Dreams, and Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie.

9. Cheech & Chong don’t actually smoke any marijuana in the movie.

The only drug taken in the entire movie is Peyote.

10. “Things are tough all over” is the last line of the movie…

… but Cheech and his other character, Mr. Slyman say variations of the title twice before the final scene. Cheech says, “Things were tough all over,” in the beginning of the movie and Slyman says, “Things are tough every over,” [sic] later on in the film.

11. A pre-Full House Dave Coulier makes an appearance.

You can spot him at the restaurant in Las Vegas. He is listed as “David Couwlier” in the end credits.

12. One of the other restaurant patrons is played by famous British comedian Ruby Wax.

Wax is best known for creating and starring in the British sitcom Girls on Top and also for her guest appearances on the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous.

13. It’s the only Cheech & Chong movie in which the characters live in Chicago.

14. The guy who picks up Cheech and Chong while they hitchhike is popular prop comedian Rip Taylor.

He is perhaps best known for his appearances on 1970s game shows like Hollywood Squares and The Gong Show.

15. The music in the movie was written by musician Gaye Delorme.

Delorme is most well known for co-writing the Cheech & Chong song “Earach My Eye.” That song appeared in their first movie, Up In Smoke, and was first used on the duo’s 1974 comedy album, Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…