The last time Grammy-winning comedy duo Cheech and Chong entertained local audiences, it was in June at Horseshoe Casino's The Venue.
Now the duo with the offbeat sense of humor, whose act is filled with jokes centering around the '70s hippie lifestyle and drug counterculture, is prepared to ring in 2014 with their "Up in Smoke New Year's Eve Party." The show is 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at The Chicago Theatre.
"I hope the fans come out and have a good time with Cheech and Chong," said Richard "Cheech" Marin, during a recent interview.
Cheech and Tommy Chong have been touring the country on this latest "Up in Smoke" tour with the band War. The comedy duo's tour is a celebration of Cheech and Chong's hit 1978 album "Up in Smoke," released 35 years ago.
During the recent telephone interview with Cheech, who was traveling by train to an art show in California, he said feedback for the recent tour has been positive.
"It's been great. People seem to like this show," he said, adding that having War on the bill (and in some cities Tower of Power as well) has been a wonderful added attraction.
"I'm a big fan of War and Tower of Power," Cheech said. "It's been great hanging out with them."
When speaking with Tommy Chong last summer, the comedian said hitting the stage again with Cheech is a blast.
"It's like discovering your old hippie outfit you used to wear years ago and you put it on and it still fits, still feels good and it still attracts girls," Chong said.
The New Year's Eve show will include Cheech and Chong hit comedy bits and the duo's music. On the roster is sure to be "Basketball Jones" from the early '70s and other tunes.
When coming up with new material, Cheech said he's inspired by current events.
"I turn on the TV and watch what happens," he said, laughing.
During the spring of this year, the comedy duo released their "Cheech and Chong's Animated Movie." Cheech, who's also an actor and a collector of Chicano art, frequently presents art exhibitions. He also recently filmed a segment of the television show "Anger Management" starring Charlie Sheen.
"I've known him (Charlie) since he was a kid," Cheech said, adding he's been a friend of the Sheen family through the years.
Cheech said he's been collecting Chicano art since the 1980s.
"I've always loved art. I grew up in the Catholic Church. I looked at it all my life," he said.
On the train trip last week to San Diego, Cheech was looking forward to showcasing a special exhibit there.
"The paintings are "Chicanitas," which are small paintings that are 12 by 12," he said. "Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection" runs through March 23, 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. He said he hopes at some point he can bring the exhibition to Chicago.
Cheech said he's no stranger to the Windy City since his daughter is currently a student at The Art Institute of Chicago.
"I love the town," he said.
FYI: Cheech and Chong and War will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 at The Chicago Theatre. Tickets are $59.50 to $149.50. Visit thechicagotheatre.com