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Cheech Marin has that ability to play any character and blend into any show or movie with ease. Slacker-stoner in ‘Cheech and Chong’? No problem. Cop buddy to Don Johnson’s ‘Nash Bridges’? No sweat. Voice of a cute puppy in ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’? Let’s do it, man.

cheech-marin-off-the-mapNow he’s playing a jungle medicine man on ABC’s ‘Off the Map.’ Again, it’s like he was born to play this role, just like he was born to play all those other roles. He’s got a way about him that can be funny, dramatic and everything in between. In this week’s episode, he helped Zach Gilford’s character save a fraternity brother, and also helped him save face with the grouchy father of a girl he likes.

It makes my podcast buddies cringe, but ‘Off the Map’ is one of my favorite new shows. I loved ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ in the early years, but then strayed and lost track of all the storylines over the past few seasons. ‘Off the Map’ is an opportunity for me to get in on the ground floor of a new doctor show; let’s just hope it doesn’t get canceled after one season.

‘Off the Map’ is executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes, so I guess this is one of the projects that’ll carry her through the eventual cancellation of ‘Grey’s.’ No idea how the ratings are there, but I’m sure others have veered off track and stopped watching, too.

You can also catch Cheech Marin in theaters as the voice of Ramone in ‘Cars 2’ (June 24, 2011) and in ‘Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil’ (April 29, 2011) as one of the three little henchmen. I’m sure he’ll blend right into those roles with no problem.

What other actors have that chameleon-like skill? Definitely Johnny Depp, who plays all sorts of characters. And Meryl Streep, of course. Who else?

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