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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.”

IFC_Portlandia-S8_best-of-skits_subaru-blog

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 IFC.com

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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.

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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…