The idea of inviting a 78-year-old to appear on a spicy-wings challenge seems cruel, especially considering the damage the show has wreaked upon rappers and athletes in the prime years of their lives. But when you look back at the Hot Ones tape of Tommy Chong—stoner icon, comedian, and activist—matching host Sean Evans wing for wing, the nonchalance of his efforts almost makes you wonder if he should be the one firing away the questions instead of the guy in the hot seat.
"That would be no problem at all," laughs Chong about the idea of replacing Evans. "You're dealing with an old stoner. We've been medicated for so long that nothing bothers us." Yes, not even hot sauce that registers 5,000,000 on the Scoville scale. "It's better for Sean [to take the reigns]; give the rest of the world a chance."
As Evans suffers, Chong has moved on to his next project: SMOKEmojis, a new app geared towards expressing the needs of the modern-day texting stoner with joint-smoking turds and marijuana-shaped keys. "There was no emoji out there with a stoner point of view," says Chong.
With all this talk of smoking, we were curious about how a lifetime pothead kept his munchies in check, and how his tastes had evolved over the years. Short answer: a lot. "Hard-boiled eggs had to be on the tour rider. They don't mix well with tomato juice, though," says Chong. "On the plane ride, no one would sit next to me. I'd order tomato juice on the plane and Cheech would tell the stewardess, 'No, no, no, don't give it to him!'"
Chong leads a healthy lifestyle now, especially after dealing with bouts of cancer. But for the sake of this exercise, we presented him with a list of candies, treats, and processed foods that he might've enjoyed in another lifetime, and asked him to rate things like Pocky sticks and Nutella. The question with Chong remains the same as it always is: Cop or nah?