It might be tempting, because of their laidback demeanor, to compare Bill and Ted to the previous decade’s comedy duo, Cheech and Chong. It’s worth noting, though, that Cheech and Chong, due to their ample drug consumption, tended to drift aimlessly through their days, casually destroying things around them and only dimly perceiving other people. Bill and Ted may not have been the most focused kids, but they were passionate and ambitious nonetheless. They are told they are slackers, but only because their values don’t align with the strictures of Ted’s military-minded father, or with their stern high school principal’s.
Slackers, perhaps. Stoners? Heck, no. As Reeves said:
“I’d like to get one thing straight, Bill and Ted are not stoners, let’s get that clear. They have a nice outlook on life, they like people [and] their friendship.”
It’s nice to have that cleared up, but it’s a wonder why the perception of the characters as marijuana enthusiasts got started. “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” is strange, but it lacks the loosey-goosey lack of cohesion that marks the bulk of so-called stoner comedies. Indeed, the story is quite focused, and the characters are always driven. Just because Bill and Ted can quote the lyrics to Kansas’ hit song “Dust in the Wind” doesn’t mean they needed weed to listen to it in the first place.
Additionally, the pair have no drug paraphernalia around their garage. No bongs, no roach clips, not even a Bob Marley poster. Bill and Ted have deep knowledge of rock music, love heavy metal, and learn history. They’re relaxed and open-minded. It’s possible for people to be that way without a hit of kush. To this author, that makes them more appealing, and even aspirational.