Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This (Blu-ray Review)

Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This (Blu-ray Review)My first introduction to the pot-smoking comedians, Cheech and Chong, was some time in the mid 1980’s.  By a miracle of the technology gods, my father held onto a working 8-track player.  Knowing only records and your typical small cassettes up to that point, I grabbed one of the remaining 8-track tapes and proceeded to put it in the player.  Before I even hit play, I focused my attention on forcing the tape further into the player.  Hey, what was I supposed to do?  The thing was sticking out of the tape deck and…oh…that’s when I realized that was how it was supposed to be.  And who were the names on that tape?  Why they were none other than Cheech and Chong and it featured some of their best work from the 70’s.  Jump ahead to 2010 and the comedic duo has ‘rolled’ with the times, launching their marijuana antics on another format; high definition Blu-ray.


Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This is the pairing’s first ‘joint venture’ (as the tag line goes) in 25 years.  The 1-hour, 22-minute performance is from a 2009 show in San Antonio, Texas.  It all starts with Tommy Chong’s beautiful wife, Shelby, as the opening act.  Thankfully, she’s not out on stage for long.  While very easy on the eyes, a standup routine is definitely not her shtick.  The blonde bombshell makes her exit, though not soon enough, paving the way for her husband and his longtime partner in crime.  Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong enter the stage to a boisterous bunch as they provide the evening’s entertainment.  The two cover a variety of sketches in their act, covering everything from longtime favorites to new arrivals.

‘Let’s Make a Dope Deal’ can be found here along with the Red Hickey character, but the performance goes well beyond that.  You will also find the occasional cut scene during the show where Cheech or Chong are in character backstage, exercising some impending joke of a situation.  The pair can also be found together as gay fans behind the curtain or a couple of potheads watching from the venue’s opera box.  This adds a creative and funny touch to the film, and though the audience wasn’t aware of it, you can certainly enjoy the added content at home.

Maybe it’s just me never finding the humor in pot humor or maybe it’s the notion that a lot of Cheech & Chong material is overrated.  Don’t get me wrong, I admire the guys for their accomplishments and the niche they created in the comedic genre.  Still, Hey Watch This provides a lot of forced humor where I found myself checking the in-disc clock as it trotted along at something close to a snail’s pace.  It got a few good, honest laughs out of me, but I can count those occasions on one hand.  This gets points for rounding up a strong fan base and maintaining it over decades.  For quality of content for the mainstream, there’s not much going on here.

 Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This


Where the humor faltered, the visuals came through.  Brought to you in 1080p with an AVC encode and a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the clarity proves to be quite impressive.  Skin tones are consistent throughout the film and the side-stage lights are picked up, demonstrating the full spectrum of crispness that can be had on high def.  Every little frayed shirt thread and skin wrinkle are also as plain as day, but this visual continuity is lost on the backstage and opera box shots.  It’s just a small step back but the drop in video quality is apparent here.  The film is nearly devoid of grain until you get to the closing moments of the performance when the standing ovation ensues.  This is nothing to hold your breath over though as the appearance of grain is minimal at best, even in this very short (we’re talking a few seconds) instance.

Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This

The 5.1 surround sound provides an all-encompassing experience as the front speakers release the comedians’ dialogue as the rear speakers provide the music and the various hoots and hollers from the audience.  In regard to those rear channels, they provide that get-you-as-close-to-the-real-thing experience where one audience comment is shouted out of the back left while another is shouted through the back right.  The only drawback, and it is a minor one, is that the music sometimes serves to be a tad overbearing, almost overwhelming the other sounds such as those from both the audience and more importantly the stage.  Nevertheless, the sounds are all crisp as they are carried from the speakers to your ears.

Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This

Special Features

There is a growing trend on Blu-ray and it’s a good one.  It seems that as more and more films or performances are released on the high-quality format, disc extras are more commonly being displayed in 1080p.  Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This is no exception as each of its 4 extras are shown in this manner.  The downside is there isn’t much to watch here with a portion of the material already on the main performance.
Extended Tommy Chong Stand-Up Routine – This just offers some of the same from the main feature in addition to a little added material (6:19).
• Shelby Chong’s Extended Introduction – ditto (18:57).
• Backstage with Red Hickey & Shelby Chong – A mock interview by Shelby Chong with Cheech in character (3:09).
• Shelby Chong with Doug and Dougie – A mock interview by Shelby Chong with her husband and Cheech in character (5:51).

Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This

Final Thoughts 

This is a fans-only kind of Blu-ray.  It will not make a good, casual rental, let alone a solid buy.  If you are a fan of Cheech and Chong, this will probably be right up your alley.  For most folks, expect Hey Watch This to come up short.


Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This arrives on Blu-ray April 20th. 

Pre-order your Blu-ray today!



Cheech & Chong's Hey Watch This




3 Responses to “Cheech & Chong’s Hey Watch This (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    I’d wager the films are much better than the sketches. Up in Smoke is a classic.

  2. Gregg

    My dad says the same. If and when that comes out, I will gladly give it a chance.

  3. Brian White

    I have never seen anything by these two. Oh well.