15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Cheech & Chong: Things Are Tough All Over
Before tuning in to the 1982 comedy, check out these 15 behind-the-scenes tidbits about Things Are Tough All Over.
1. Things Are Tough All Over is Thomas K. Alvidsen’s only directorial effort.
Alvidsen previously served as editor on Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie and Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams.
2. And it’s only the second Cheech & Chong movie not directed by Tommy Chong.
Up in Smoke, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin’s first full-length film, was directed by Lou Adler.
3. The original title of Things Are Tough All Over was Riding High.
4. The movie was inspired by the 1979 oil crisis.
Cheech knew he wanted to make a Cheech & Chong movie about the event, and the script eventually evolved from there.
5. Cheech and Chong do double duty in the film.
In addition to playing themselves, they also appear (in brownface) as the movie’s stereotypically insensitive villains, Mr. Slyman and Prince Habib.
6. “The Fifis” are played by Cheech’s and Chong’s real-life wives, Shelby Chong (credited as Shelby Fiddis) and Rikki Marin.
Both previously appeared in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie and Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams, and would also go on to appear in Cheech & Chong’s The Corsican Brothers.
7. The Fifis are French in the movie because Tommy Chong’s wife had recently moved to Paris.
Her Francophilia must have rubbed off on Chong—after Things Are Tough All Over was released, Tommy and Shelby Chong moved to Cannes, France.
8. The hitchhiker Donna appears in three Cheech & Chong movies.
Donna, played by Evelyn Guerrero, is seen in Things Are Tough All Over, Nice Dreams, and Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie.
9. Cheech & Chong don’t actually smoke any marijuana in the movie.
The only drug taken in the entire movie is Peyote.
10. “Things are tough all over” is the last line of the movie…
… but Cheech and his other character, Mr. Slyman, say variations of the title twice before the final scene. Cheech says, “Things were tough all over,” in the beginning of the movie and Slyman says ,“Things are tough every over [sic]," later on in the film.
11. A pre-Full House Dave Coulier makes an appearance.
You can spot him at the restaurant in Las Vegas. He is listed as “David Couwlier” in the end credits.
12. One of the other restaurant patrons is played by famous British comedian Ruby Wax.
Wax is best known for creating and starring in the British sitcom Girls on Top and also for her guest appearances on the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous.
13. It’s the only Cheech & Chong movie in which the characters live in Chicago.
14. The guy who picks up Cheech and Chong while they hitchhike is popular prop comedian Rip Taylor.
He is perhaps best known for his appearances on 1970s game shows like Hollywood Squares and The Gong Show.
15. The music in the movie was written by musician Gaye Delorme.
Delorme is most well known for co-writing the Cheech & Chong song “Earache My Eye.” That song appeared in their first movie, Up In Smoke, and was first used on the duo’s 1974 comedy album, Cheech & Chong’s Wedding Album.