In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re profiling some very notable Latinos!
Today, we’re profiling one of the very first mainstream Latino comedians…the legendary Richard Marin, better known as “Cheech” of the Cheech and Chong duo!
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Richard Anthony “Cheech” Marin (born July 13, 1946) is an American comedian, actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s and early 1980s with Tommy Chong, and as Don Johnson’s partner, Insp. Joe Dominguez on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney productions, including Oliver and Company, The Lion King, It’s Tough to be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Marin’s trademark is his characters’ strong Mexican accent; this is part of a comic persona, rather than a natural accent, since Marin was born and raised in the United States.
Marin’s nickname “Cheech” is short for “chicharron”, a fried pork skin that is a popular snack in Mexican cuisine and a favorite of marijuana smokers afflicted with “the munchies”, and the nickname’s alliteration with Chong’s surname made “Cheech and Chong” an obvious choice for the name of the duo. The name of this character gave rise to the popular term “cheeched”, meaning “under the influence of marijuana, usually at a relatively high dose.”
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