Cheech & Chong

Big Bambu

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For their second full-length album in a single year, fast-rising comedy duo Cheech & Chong merely refined the amazingly successful formula of their debut, which had translated their popular stage act to vinyl with greater success than anyone could have predicted. Kick-started by the chaotic schoolroom classic "Sister Mary Elephant" skit -- an after-hours band-camp staple for decades to come -- the stoner icons introduce another soon-to-be recurring story line with mutt buddies "Ralph & Herbie." "The Continuing Adventures of Pedro de Pacas and Man" presents a gut-busting second episode for their most popular alter egos, and the legendary game show spoof "Lets Make a Dope Deal" (part of side two's "Television Medley") rounds out the album's highlights. All of these acts are so carefully conceived and packed full with so many backdrop details that they achieve a stunningly "visual" effect -- another key element to Cheech & Chong's inimitable comedic formula. Additionally, the album's original vinyl pressing contained a record-sleeve-sized bogus rolling paper as a souvenir for the kids -- a fact which might be lost on the post-CD generation.

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