Their groundbreaking 1971 debut, produced by Lou Adler and featuring the classic Dave .
Though it sounds like it was conceived and recorded between bong hits inside a college dormitory, Cheech & Chong's 1971 debut album was actually the product of years of comedic honing. In the late 1960s, guitarist Tommy Chong founded a musical/performance art troupe called City Works. The venture was short-lived, but it introduced him to fellow boho-prankster Richard "Cheech" Marin. When City Works faltered, the duo hitched their wagon to the burgeoning drug culture of the day, and Cheech & Chong was born. Their brand of humor wasn't particularly innovative--after all, making comedy for stoners is like preaching to the choir--but it was unquestionably of its time, and more importantly, it took greater steps toward anesthetizing the "drug menace" than any government program ever has. Cheech & Chong
treats drug consumption as a harmless, hapless joke; "Drug Czar" William Bennett could learn a lot from these cats. --Matt Hanks