A Tommy Chong death hoax, which is going viral on Facebook, claims the 78-year-old actor and comedian recently lost his battle with prostate cancer. The misinformation, which is being shared by thousands of Facebook users, appears to have originated with a “news” article published by ViralTimeLapse.com. According to the article, Tommy Chong’s death was verified by his daughter Robbi. However, the iconic marijuana advocate is reportedly alive and well.
— Zabdiel Mosquera (@zabdielm91) March 5, 2017
It is unclear why the Tommy Chong death hoax is being shared on social media, as the article was originally published in early February. According to the announcement, Chong “passed away… at about 7 a. m. ET” on the morning of February 7. The article also stated that “Chong’s daughter, Robbi Chong, says her dad was struggling with prostate cancer for the last 5 years.”
Although Tommy Chong was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, and with colorectal cancer in 2015, he confirmed he is now cancer-free in an October 2016, interview with SunHerald.
Unfortunately, Tommy Chong death hoaxes have made the rounds on social media numerous times over the last five years. According to the false reports, the actor and musician committed suicide, smoked a fatal amount of marijuana, and succumbed to cancer on more than one occasion.
In response to one of the rumors, which suggested Tommy committed suicide in September 2016, Shelby Chong thanked everyone for their condolences. However, she confirmed that her husband “is far from dead.” She joked that Tommy is “like the Energizer bunny, he just keeps going and going.”
As reported by Yahoo News, Tommy Chong also addressed the rumors via his official Twitter account.
“I’m not dead but I just smoked a killer joint… Don’t believe the [expletive] about me being dead. I am still here. I’m stoned but I am not dead… “
A native of Edmonton, Canada, Thomas B. Kin Chong began playing guitar in high school “to earn a few dollars a week.”
Throughout the 1960s, the young musician played in several bands, including The Shades, Little Daddy & the Bachelors, and Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers. Although Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers signed a deal with Gordy Records and had a single on the Billboard Hot 100, Tommy Chong left the band by 1970.
In the early 1970s, Chong decided to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. By 1971 he partnered with Richard “Cheech” Marin to form the world-famous duo “Cheech & Chong.”
Together, Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin recorded several comedy albums and appeared in numerous movies and television shows. They also traveled throughout the world performing their comedy routine — which centered on their mutual love for smoking marijuana.
Between 1971 and 1985, Cheech & Chong became one of the most recognized and beloved comedy duos in the world. Unfortunately, the men parted ways in 1986 and they each began doing their own solo work.
Aside from his work with Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong is perhaps best known for his role as Leo in That ’70s Show.
Throughout his career, Tommy Chong was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording for the album Big Bambu. He was also honored with High Times magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
— High! Canada (@CanadaHigh) March 4, 2017
In addition to his comedy routines, Tommy Chong is famous for his advocacy of medical and recreational marijuana use. According to reports, the actor and comedian credits his marijuana use with ultimately curing his prostate cancer.
Although he appears to be in good health, and regularly posts on his social media accounts, the Tommy Chong death hoaxes continue to persist. Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, the world-famous comedian is currently alive and well.
[Featured Image by Matt Sayles/AP Images]