If you thought Wolf of Wall Street made federal prison look like a fun vacation at camp, you don’t know the half of it. In addition to the tennis, pool, ping pong, guitars, and growing your own food in the garden, sometimes you even get to meet comedy icons. So it was for real-life “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort, who wrote the memoir on which the movie was based, who, after going down for securities fraud and money laundering in 2003, ended up serving 22 months in Taft, California. It was there he roomed with Tommy Chong, who was doing nine months after the government spent $12 million prosecuting people for selling bongs.
Chong told the story during a Howard Stern appearance in 2004:
CHONG: I got a million jail stories for ya, man. Jordan Belfort – do you know Jordan? Remember the movie Boiler Room? The hotshot stock guy? Him. He was my cell mate.
STERN: What was he in jail for?
CHONG: For, uh, you know… financial things, you know. He had to pay back – they give you a sum of money that you have to pay the government back, his payback was higher than anybody’s has ever been. $100 million.
ROBIN QUIVERS: And does he have it?
CHONG. Yeah. It was like, ‘what do you want, Mastercard? Visa?’ Anyway, he’s a little guy, he’s from New York. Great guy. He’s a genius. Young guy, about 42. We had the best time, man. He’s writing a book, so I’d help him write a book. And he’d tell me the best stories, man. It was an education, Howard. You couldn’t buy an education like I got.
STERN: So you had a good time.
CHONG: I had a wonderful time.
I wonder if there were any other celebrities there. Federal prison sounds like fantasy camp for assholes. The takeaway here is that if you’re going to steal, steal A LOT. No one likes a loser. America loves a winner so much that it doesn’t matter if you cheat a little.
For me, the biggest surprise here is that living with Jordan Belfort wasn’t a waking nightmare. “Hey, Tommy, did I tell ya about the time I cra–”
“YEAH, JORDAN, YOU TOLD ME ABOUT THE TIME YOU CRASHED THAT COCAINE HELICOPTER FULL OF SLUTS AND THREW A LOBSTER AT A COP. ONLY ABOUT A THOUSAND TIMES NOW.”
Jordan Belfort is like what would happen if you put the mask from The Mask on Sigma Chi Steve, who won’t shut up about how his dad owns a dealership.
[thanks to Twitterer @TheRafflecopter for sending in the clip]