Exclusive Interview: Tommy Chong Talks BUD FARM and Getting High in the Age of Coronavirus
Tommy Chong is a pop-cultural icon, a comedian and actor who horror fans loved in films like Evil Bong and Richard Stanley’s The Color Out of Space. It was only inevitable that Chong would bring his classic, 1970s-era stoner persona into the world of video games.
Cheech & Chong Bud Farm (coming soon) is created by LDRLY Games, the world’s largest publisher of cannabis games. The developers of Pot Farm, Bud Farm: Grass Roots and Bud Farm: Idle Tycoon have been developing weed games for a decade. LDRLY Games are leaders in the cannabis industry being first to market on Facebook, Android and iOS.
Cheech and Chong find themselves stranded in the tiny hamlet of Hierba Verde. With no dope to be found, they start growing their own, and stumble ass-backwards into a lucrative business empire. With the crooked mayor in their back-pocket, the boys are on their way to striking it rich and living out their days lying on a beach like sun-kings. Unfortunately for them, Sgt Stedenko is hell-bent on putting them in jail for life. With the help a freaky cast of supporting characters, Cheech and Chong will chase their dreams of fame and fortune, while staying one step ahead of the law.
As the host of Chronic Horror, I’m always down to chat with Chong about his projects. You can read our discussion of Color Out of Space in the link below followed by our recent Bud Farm interview.
Dread Central: Let’s talk about Cheech and Chong Bud Farm. Tell me a bit about what makes it so special.
Tommy Chong: Well, it’s about making money selling weed…you don’t have to do a whole lot, but it’s just a lot of fun. It’s so much fun and so addicting. Like at casinos: you can play your favorite slot machine or whatever it is, hours can go by, if not days.
DC: What are some of your favorite video games?
TC: I’m not a video game guy, never have been. This is really the first game that I’ve really been involved in. You know, when I’ve got time on my hands I don’t want to have to work, I want to sit there and be entertained, which is why I’m not the greatest video game guy in the world. I think this is why it took so long to make a video game; our fans had to grow up and become video game makers. I mean, I had a hard time switching from a land phone to a cell phone, but I made it.
DC: So how did you spend 4/20?
TC: I was on Zoom. We had a big cluster of people, you know… we’re quarantined. We had Wilmer Valderrama from That ‘70s Show and I laughed because when I met him, he was so young he couldn’t grow hair on his face!
DC: Do you still hang out with those guys from That ‘70s Show?
TC: Yeah, not really. It’s events like that when we hook up, that sort of thing. Craig Robertson was also there, a bunch of people. And before that I was on with Willie Nelson. Yeah, he was singing away and Willie is great with jokes. He loves jokes, so we were trading the best dirty jokes that he had.
DC: What was the best one? Share with us.
TC: Well we were talking about whorehouses and the one that came to mind was, I told Willie: This guy knocks on the door of a whorehouse, and here’s this guy standing there, he’s got both his arms and legs in a cast. And the lady says, “What the hell do you want?” and he said, “Well I rang the bell, didn’t I?” Willie laughed; he hadn’t heard that one, even though it’s an old joke. We had a great time. I love Willie. What is he now, 87? And he’s still as powerful, singing away, like a young guy. Somebody asked me, “How do you build your lungs, with this pandemic?” and I said “Singing!” When I was on The Masked Singer I took singing lessons and it’s all about breathing and getting powerful lungs, learning how to control your breathing. So yeah, if you’re worried about that take up singing.
DC: That’s fantastic, that the cannabis community was still able to rally together during these unprecedented times of quarantine. Let me ask you: do you think the Coronavirus is going to change the way stoners socially imbibe? No more sharing joints?
TC: Probably, for the short term anyway, until they find a vaccine. It’s weird you know because the pandemic, if you do time in jail like I did, it’s kind of what you do in jail. I mean, you definitely don’t hang out with anybody close, you keep your distance the best you can, except for the sleeping quarters. We used to have our distances but yeah, it’s quite a trip to see what we’re going through and it’s all because of Trump. When you put people in jail like he did, innocent kids, there are some terrible things that are going to happen to you, in retaliation, and I think this is one of them. I think the whole pandemic is curing the planet anyway, because we’re not burning fossil fuel like we were, and we’re not creating plastic like we were, so I think in the long run it’s going to be ok.
DC: Good perspective. So you and Cheech Marin are reunited here in the video game, so I was curious: When is the last time you guys smoked cannabis together?
TC: I think when we were on tour. We do a lot of casinos and we always have a celebratory smoke at the end of the show. I do it halfway through the show and sometimes before the show but Cheech usually waits to the end of the show because he has a lot more to remember.
DC: Are there any plans for a new tour or a new movie together?
TC: Not right now and it’s weird how this happened because almost a year ago, Cheech hurt his knee and he had to get a knee replacement. So, he shut down for a year and then this pandemic came down and everything died anyways. It’s weird how it happened like that, everything got shut down and we were already shut down. Yeah, so, when we get out this I don’t know, I don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re just going to have to play it by ear. Right now, I’m enjoying it. I enjoy being under house arrest.
DC: Better than your last arrest I take it?
TC: Oh gosh, yeah. But that’s the other thing: It’s emptying the jails. Everybody is crying about prison reform, now we’re getting all the non-violent types out of prison.
DC: We’re getting a kind of recalibration here on a lot of things that need fixing. What’s your favorite way to get high these days?
TC: A little homemade pipe. I make my own pipes out of different things. I did a podcast for somebody, he gave me a little pipe, and it’s an all in one, with lighters built in; you just fill up the bowl, hit the lighter that’s right next door to the bowl. And that’s ok, but I like my own homemade pipe because I know what I’m smoking then.
DC: What are your favorite munchies when you’re imbibing?
TC: Well, anything. (Laughs) I’ve been making my own. What I did, I’ve got oranges growing on my roof so what I did was I pulp them. I don’t get rid of the pulp or the juice I just squeeze them until they’re all mushy, then I put them in the freezer with a popsicle stick and then I have a frozen orange, it’s really good. What it does is it doesn’t put all that sugar into you, it gives you a nice taste with the cool and gives you something to do, too.
DC: You make your own pipes and munchies…a great way to do things.
TC: My wife has been making bread, cookies, banana bread…man.
DC: You’ve already accomplished so much in your life. What are the goals for the future?
TC: I’ve got some really good plans about how we can save the planet. One giant plan is I would like to have my own movie studio and then I could create employment for everybody, hiring everybody either as an extra or the crew or an actor.
DC: Well you know, I’m going to be knocking down the door looking for a writer job when you get that up and running.
TC: What we’re going to do, in order to bypass the immigration problems, we’ll have casting people in the interviews, get all the information and then get them in on a movie permit. Yeah, so I’ve got some big, big plans and thanks to smoking. That’s what the pipe does for me.
DC: Well whatever you’ve got going on you know we’re going to support you one hundred percent at Dread Central. As soon as this lockdown ends I’m going to be hitting you up about getting you on Chronic Horror.
TC: Ok man, let’s do it.
Are you a fan of Tommy Chong? Are you excited to give Bud Farm a spin? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.Test