Tommy Chong, of the legendary comedy Cheech And Chong, unfortunately, had to spend time in jail for selling drug paraphernalia (glass pipes) from his legal business. While serving his sentence at Taft Correctional Institute in California, Chong had an unlikely cellmate – Jordan Belfort, the man who the story “The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on.
Ironically enough, during their time together, it was Chong’s influence that inspired Belfort to write his autobiography.
“They put the celebrities together in prison and when Jordan would be playing tennis or backgammon, I would be working on my book” Chong explained.
The fact that Belfort was able to play tennis in the prison yard speaks to the laid back type of block that they must have been in, but it was still imprisonment nonetheless.
“I’m usually not a guy that critiques anything, but I just had an instinct that Jordan is a genius and with geniuses you push them harder than most. I noticed that he was copying Tom Wolfe and I pointed that out to him, I think he was a little pissed off at me that I critiqued him so hard,” Chong said.
Chong even gave him some advice about his writing and encouraged him to write about his crazy drug-fueled adventures.
According to Chong, he was rigorous in critiquing Belfort’s work while they were in prison together.
“I pointed out that people are only interested in the ‘most of,’ that’s exactly the phrase I used. I described it to him as, ‘If you go downtown to go shopping and you go home, that’s not exciting. But if you go downtown and there’s a car accident and you save someone’s life and it turns out to be someone famous, that’s a ‘most of.’ So you have to tell the ‘most of’ and they have to be true.’ He listened to what I said because he had the best ‘most of’ stories I’ve ever heard in my life,” Chong said.
Tommy Chong and Jordan Belfort are polar opposite in terms of personality, and are unlikely cellmates, but it seems that Chong had a very positive influence on Belfort, who has allegedly turned his life around since his release from jail.
John Vibes is an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. He also has a publishing company where he offers a censorship free platform for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can purchase his books, or get your own book published at his website www.JohnVibes.com.