Unfinished business is the reason Cheech and Chong say they reunited two years ago after going their separate ways during the mid '80s.
"We still have something that only we can do," Tommy Chong said during a phone call from Boston. "If we don't do it now, we'll never do it."
The stoner comedy duo isn't getting any younger. Chong is 72 and Richard "Cheech" Marin is 63. They say their partnership provides a certain spark that doesn't get ignited when working solo or with other entertainers.
"There's no doubt about that," Chong said. "I remember watching Cheech when he was doing the show with Don Johnson (the TV drama 'Nash Bridges'). Don Johnson couldn't get what I can get out of Cheech. We make our own kind of magic."
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The act, which formed in 1971, starred in a number of hit films, including 1978's "Up in Smoke" and 1981's "Nice Dreams" and enjoyed cult status. But they parted company in 1986.
"It was just time to go and do other things," Chong said. "We were never friends. We got along but we were never pals. We had a professional partnership that went really well and then we had to do other things. It was the wisest thing that we didn't stay together like comedy teams like Abbott and Costello, who ended up hating each other, or Martin and Lewis, who were jealous of each other. We went our separate ways, but we always appreciated the films and albums we did."
Now, the two are touring the country with their stand-up act and are immersed in making an animated movie based on the bits that appeared on their early records. "I'm writing it now," Chong said. "I'm on the fourth draft."
The two will perform a sold-out show Saturday night at the Cotillion.
"We're having more fun now because we're older and wiser," Chong said. "When you're younger, your ego gets in the way of things. I have a better perspective on things now. We're so glad we're back."
Cheech and Chong had planned an earlier reunion, but that got derailed after Chong was busted in 2003 for selling drug paraphernalia online.
"I thought (former President George W.) Bush was so busy fighting that he wouldn't notice a few bongs for sale but how wrong we were," he said. "But he's gone and we're back doing what we love. I made the best of my time in jail."
The arrest and trial were chronicled in "a/k/a Tommy Chong," the 2006 award-winning documentary by Josh Gilbert.
Chong said he wrote about his experiences while in jail, which in 2006 became a book titled "Meditations From the Joint."
"They could stop me from doing a lot of things but they couldn't stop me from putting down my thoughts on paper," he said. "I survived that and lived to tell about it. Now I'm on to the next chapter of my life and I'm with Cheech. That's a good thing."
If you go
cheech and chong
What: Comedy concert
Where: Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
How much: Sold out
For more information, call 316-722-4201