I never thought I would be picked as a celebrity on Dancing with the Stars because of my radical views on pot, which is why I laughed when my agent Matt Blake submitted my name two years ago. However, when I went into a meeting with the producers I started to get a feeling that I just might be on this ballroom dance show because of the nice vibe I received from them, but then two seasons went by without me so I put it out of my mind and concentrated on getting pot legal. Then came the phone call telling me I’d been chosen for the show!
I immediately broke rules and announced my being chosen on Facebook. My manager/son Paris axed my announcement, telling me. “You’re gonna blow this. Don’t post anything” – blah, blah, blah. It was the usual “don’t fuck this up” rap, which I’ve been hearing for years now.
So now I was on the show. They flew us to New York for the big announcement, then back to L.A. where we met our dancing partners. I was given probably the prettiest, sexiest, dancing-est teacher/slave driver in the world – Peta Murgatroyd.
I breathlessly relayed my good fortune to my wife, who was less excited than I for some unexplained reason. Peta seemed happy to see me, though she had no clue who I was. She was too young to have grown up with Cheech and Chong, and being from Australia she was not aware of our records, so all she could see was this old guy with thinning gray hair who walks with a pronounced jazz musician’s hunchback slouch. I saw her thinking, “What the fuck have I been given? This guy can hardly walk upright and I have to dance with him? Why me, lord?” I saw it in her eyes – those beautiful, sexy eyes.
Australians are a tough breed who face hardships with a wink and a smile. Peta’s smile was so disarming that I had to look away or risk being totally under her women’s spell, which I was anyway. Peta was the reason we lasted as long as we did. She actually carried me on her strong, wide shoulders when I almost fell during the Pasodoble, which I called the Pass a Doobie. Apparently, a cyst exploded in my left knee just as we were finishing the dance. It felt like I pulled a muscle, but an MRI showed the exploded cyst, which made the doctor kind of go ape shit over the X-ray because he hadn’t seen anything like this before.
I tried to promote pot while I was on the show but the network refused to let me throw my pot kisses to the audiences. Oh well. Having me on the show was the ultimate pot kiss anyway.
People were amazed at how well I did on the show, but the credit has to go to Shelby, my wife of many years. She inspired me to take up Tango and Salsa, which I still do to this day. I’m a student of Tango, which, in my humble opinion, is the “dance of love.” Dancing Tango with an experienced partner is like making love standing up with your clothes on.
My months on Dancing With the Stars were long when I was doing it, but too short when it was over. I talked a bit with judge Len Goodman after I was eliminated and he said, “I could see in your eyes that you were glad it was over.” Len was spot on; I was so ready to quit. I’d proved to myself and the world that a 76-year-old stoner could hang with the best of them. I performed every dance that was given to me and did it with style and some grace, but if you asked me to do it again… well, I think I would pass. As much as I liked the spotlight and the applause, these 76-year-old legs could not be fooled again. I think they (my legs) would sit until I lit a joint; then and only then would they respond with a slight tapping to the rhythm of life.
I’ll remember my DWTS days with fondness and pride knowing that this old stoner pushed pot a little closer to the fire of respectability and acceptance, which leads me to my next chore of “testing the bud” while listening to music. A stoner’s job is never done.