Tommy Chong

In the next issue of Steppin' Out magazine, Tommy Chong sits down with editor Chaunce Hayden to discuss his time in prison, the Bush administration, Paris Hilton, OJ Simpson, Paul Rubens (Pee Wee Herman) and the possibility about a Cheech and Chong bio movie!


I loved it. I bear the burden of doing time in prison with pride. I not only made lemonade from my experience in prison, I actually opened a lemonade store! It's the most defining moment in my life because I became a martyr because I didn't want the feds to prosecute my wife and my children. And when Obama gets settled in the White House I'm going to apply for an expungement of my record. And I'm sure I'll get it. I could probably even do it with the Bush people but I'm not going to take that chance. I'm not even going to give them that opportunity to make it right. I'm just going to wait to Obama is in before I apply for the expungement.


I really represented America. I represented Bush's excesses and his miscalculations come full circle. My conviction showed you just how wrong that administration was in every respect. He actually put a comedian in jail for doing his act. They even said in the indictment that I deserved jail time because I made millions of dollars making movies that glorified drug use. They failed to mention that our constitution allows us the freedom of speech. What they were really saying was that I have no right to exercise my constitutionally rights.


You don't take any joy in seeing another person tortured. There's camaraderie there amongst prisoners. It really is terrifying going to jail like she did. It's just terrifying. She did not belong there. She went to prison because she's beautiful and she's in the news. She was just living her life and was seriously unaware of what she was doing. Obviously she was getting bad advice from somebody.


You see how Karma works. What goes around comes around. He was going to pay for that murder one way or another. That's why the bible says, “Judgment is mine saith the Lord.” I love the way people worry about the world staying in its orbit. Like they could do something about it. That's what I learned in prison, what goes around comes around. It's the law of Karma. It's the law of gravity. What goes up must come down. OJ is the best example of that. When he was acquitted I felt in my heart that he was going to live the most miserable life ever. Now I think he's at peace with himself. He's finally being punished. Stacy Keech once told me he wanted to get busted for drugs. He got caught bringing coke into the U.K. and he wanted to get caught. He had a coke habit and he was stupid. He tried to smuggle two shaving cream cans, one fake, one real into the U.K. and they caught him. He told himself, he wanted to go to jail. He wanted to clean up and he did. He got his life back together.

Chaunce Hayden: So you think OJ subconsciously did the Vegas crime to get locked up for his past sins?

Tommy Chong: Yeah, I do. In reality, OJ is a good guy. He just lost it. He has a terrible temper and he just lost it. It's like rough sex gone too far. He couldn't control his murderous rage. But deep down, he's still OJ. He made us laugh and he's a great athlete. He really was funny. Now he can be that again. He's where he belongs.

Chaunce Hayden: Speaking of Karma, you must have amazing Karma to be 70 years old and selling out shows coast to coast is remarkable.

Tommy Chong: It's totally amazing. It's amazing to have fans that just know me from “That 70s Show”. Now they get to see the other side of me. It's so gratifying. Cheech and I are having the best time. Cheech's timing has always been perfect. His timing to break-up was perfect and his timing to get back together is perfect.


We discovered Paul Rubens. We put him in one of our movies. At the time he asked what character he should be and I said, “Pee Wee, of course!” What happened to Paul goes back to bad karma. You got to remember Pee Wee went into the world of kids. When you go into that child world you're held to a higher standard then a stoner comedian. If Cheech and Chong were caught jacking off in a movie theatre it would have been the funniest thing in the whole world. But Pee Wee had a kids show. It's like a congressman or Michael Jackson getting caught in a sex scandal. When you deal with kids you're in dangerous territory because it's all perception. It's like Mr. Rogers getting caught playing with himself. That's why Paul Rubens will never do Pee Wee again. We tried to get him on our roast and he just won't do it as Pee Wee.


There very well could be a movie about us soon. Cheech came up with the idea for a play, which should be a movie. It's about the time when we were working in the strip club during the 60s. What an era and incredibly exciting. The music, the assignations, the riots, Motown walking on the moon and then Cheech and Chong. What a time that was.
Photo By: RD / Dziekan / Retna Digital