You guys, I have a confession to make. Last time I wrote about Kevin Smith, I think I might have been too hard on him. His retirement announcement was ridiculed. Fat jokes were bandied about with an abandon that can only be described as reckless. I even sunk so low as to compare him to a bowl of cheese that someone farted in. Many of you took to the comments section to decry that post as “hateful” and “douchey.” Well you know what? You’re right. I reread the post and I simply cannot defend it. I came across as a petty, mean-spirited jerk. And as 2012 draws to a close, I’ve re-examined my Kevin Smith hatred and, in the words of the English poet Robert Graves, I am here to say “goodbye to all that.” Goodbye to the blind hatred of a man who is a charming underdog at best, and a harmless bullsh*tter at worst.
It is with this newfound outlook that I slid into the couch cushions the other day with a warm cup of joe, grabbed the remote, and turned on Good Day LA (hands down my favorite source for all things newsworthy). And wouldn't you just know it? They were interviewing Kevin Smith about Clerks 3, which he announced that he hopes to have in theaters in time for the film's 20th anniversary in 2014. What better way to put my new outlook to the test. The entire interview is embedded below, but follow me after the jump for a breakdown of various snippets.
0:00 to 0:13 - During the introduction of the segment, the camera abruptly cuts to Kevin Smith gesticulating off camera, interrupting Steve Edwards. Smith is wearing an overcoat atop his ever-present orange and blue hockey jersey.
GOD-DAMNIT. We're 13 seconds in and I already renounce everything I said in the opening paragraph of this post. I am instantly incensed. Dude somehow manages to f*ck up the direction of something he’s not even directing. I cannot wait to see where this is going.
0:34 to 1:10 - Following a clip from Clerks 2, the segment officially begins. Smith makes small talk with host Steve Edwards as they make their way onto the set.
Jesus, can the folksy shtick wait for five god-damned seconds until you sit down? Poor Steve Edwards is trying to quickly herd you on camera so he can go home and spend time with his family and you’ve turned this into a one of Aaron Sorkin’s walk-and-talks, only fatter. Also, I noticed how your coat aligns perfectly with your jort bottoms. Somewhere Tim Gunn just hung himself with a tasteful necktie. Also, way to leave Julie Chang hanging when she asked you to dance, you monster.
1:17 to 2:24 - After an exchange of pleasantries, Smith tells a story about Jason Mewes and dog poop.
RIGHT HERE. This is why you’re the worst. First, you do that thing where you ask someone “How are you?” and then immediately launch into a soliloquy before that person can respond. You know who else does that? Every asshole on the planet. Second, OF COURSE you lead off with a story that features Jason Mewes and diarrhea. At this point, if you’re going to pander this blatantly, just bring a jersey cannon to every interview and shoot the interviewer square in the f*cking face.
2:46 to 2:58 - Co-host Julie Chang points out that, last they spoke, Smith was wearing the same exact outfit. Smith responds to this by saying he’s trying to run his life like Colonel Sanders and Aunt Jemima.
Saying that he’s trying to run his life like the two most beloved tributes to American racism isn't the offensive part. What’s offensive is that he gleefully acknowledges that his daily wardrobe is a prop meant to perpetuate his whole View Askew empire, which includes action figures, lunch boxes, and bumper stickers. Smith always stays on message because he thinks that if he doesn't, his fans will stop buying what he’s selling. He’s kind of like George Lucas in that way, except Lucas has the excuse of being an actual retarded person. Attention Kevin Smith fans: This man does not respect you.
3:08 to 4:31 - Chang mentions Smith’s cult following, noting that the green room was packed with fans. Smith makes a joke about doing cocaine backstage. Edwards quickly transitions by complementing Smith on his healthy appearance. Smith says it’s because he smokes so much weed.
UGH. We get it, dude. You enjoy drugs recreationally. And I love the whole “I’m totally serious, not even joking” remark when claiming that marijuana is the secret to his vitality. He’s not serious at all. He’s making lame pot jokes, and then back-peddling instantly when they don’t land like he thought they would. When Edwards asks him point blank whether smoking weed is part of his film-making process, he responds that he’d have never started making films had he been a stoner. See there? He had a strong argument in his grasp – that marijuana helps one be creative – and he let it slip right through those sweaty ham fists of his. Rather, he’s content to just peddle some sort of lazy stoner slapstick that every old white Republican envisions when pulling the lever at the ballot box. You know what? From now on I’m holding Kevin Smith personally responsible for America’s failed War on Drugs. Every time a terrier gets crippled during a botched drug raid? Kevin Smith. Every time a black teenager gets time added to his sentence for having a joint in his pocket? Kevin Smith.
In fact, if there’s only one thing you take away from this interview, please let it be this: Kevin Smith hates terriers and black people.
4:45 to 5:58 - Kevin Smith announces that he hopes for Clerks 3 to be completed in time for the films 20th anniversary in 2014. Edwards assures him that even if the film is terrible, his fans will see it anyway.
YA BURNT, SON. Steve Edwards ain’t care. I haven’t wanted to high-five an old man this much since that time I thought I saw Larry Flynt at a Walgreens (it ended up being a homeless man who hated vagina jokes). Also, every time someone remarks “Can you believe Clerks was made for twenty-eight grand?” like Chang did in the clip above, I want to scream “YES! JUST F*CKING LOOK AT IT.” I’m convinced that the first three thousand went to renting out the Quick Stop for the day and the remaining twenty-five grand went towards retrofitting the director’s chair with hydraulic steel legs.
7:41 to 8:18 - As Smith describes one of his forty-seven podcast specials, Edwards cuts him off to bring on Jason Mewes. When Smith complains that he’s not been given the chance to plug his shows, Edwards continues to not give a sh*t and throws it to Mewes anyway.
Introducing the world to Jason Mewes is the one redeemable thing Kevin Smith has ever done. Jason Mewes is the best. You know that one friend of yours whose spouse you find intolerable? Now imagine that spouse is also morbidly obese and makes terrible movies.Come on, Mewes. You gotta get outta there, man.
The rest of the interview is unremarkable, save for the moment Smith invites Chang to appear on his podcast, but threatens to ask her how many men she’s been with. Steve Edwards shuts down that warmed-over Tom Leykis impression like the god-damned pro that he is, and interview mercifully ends with Smith saying he’s bigger than Bruce Springsteen or something.
Look, guys. I tried. Maybe the lesson here is to focus on the good in any bad situation. Like when that pall-bearer got hit in the nards with a Nerf ball during my grandmother's funeral procession. To that end, I will leave us with a shot of Jason Mewes. If there's any justice in the world, 2013 will see the long-awaited ascent of Mewes into the role of the leading man we all know him to be.