DID YOU READ

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.

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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.