Courtesy of Joey Figueroa - Chop Shop Entertainment
It takes a clever mind to sell something to the public that they can already get for free, and as much as many would like to deny him the credit, Kevin Smith is pretty damn clever.
To anyone who has never experienced a live Kevin Smith event, the thought of sitting and watching the man speak for three hours might come off like a potential tour on the S.S. Minnow. But for hardcore fans who have followed the New Jersey director from the highs of Clerks and Chasing Amy to the lows of Jersey Girl and Zach & Miri Make A Porno to the Red State fiasco and his Smodcast network of shows, the chance to hear a storied version of those events from the man himself without a filter is worth the price of admission. Rather than tour the country again, Smith set up a one-night live event from the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where they recorded an episode of the Jay & Silent Bob Get Old podcast, followed by the traditional Q&A session with the spin of taking both live audience questions and “randomly” chosen material from Twitter and broadcast live to movie theatres across America.
After a lengthy introduction from Smith, Jason Mewes came out to a loud ovation and the two kicked off the podcast portion with animal talk. Smith discussed how one of his dogs named Scully is slowly dying and how he now has to take care of her—a situation he's found himself in frequently with the discarded pets of his 12-year-old daughter, including turtles and tortoises now housed in tanks in his home office. At this point, Smith proceeded to talk for nearly 30 minutes about how he's become a half-assed version of Matt Damon from We Bought A Zoo, and is constantly preventing tortoise rape throughout the day. Since audiences in America and Canada were encouraged to tweet about the event, I took this time to read what people were saying about the show and discovered I wasn't the only person wishing they'd move the fuck on.
The second half of the podcast was dominated by Mewes, who somehow parlayed Smith's turtle-talk into an expose about how he hums the “Empire Theme” from Star Wars while performing oral sex, and his first experience with fingering. I don't know how this played with other audiences, but our theater loved every minute and breathed a sigh of relief that we finally moved on. The duo moved onto the topic of Mewes being 675 days clean and sober (prompting a loud ovation from the audience) which segued into Mewes becoming a normal person since his marriage to his wife Jordan in 2009, focusing around the coming event that the two would be buying a house soon. After a few short topics at the end and a quick callback to tortoise sex, the podcast was done.
At this time they took a quick three-minute break to setup for the Q&A portion, and proceeded to entertain theater audiences with a preview of Smith's AMC reality show, “Comic Book Men.” The show focuses on the employees of Smith's comic book shop in Red Bank, New Jersey and the “experiences” they have on a weekly basis. We were treated to two commercials and sample clips from the show. As a comic book fan and reality show hater, I need to say this: No old woman ever walks in off the street with several #1 edition comic books that have been stored in a wet cardboard box for years and simply asks “what can I get for these?” I admire the concept and ambition, but the follow-through is campy and should be heckled viciously.
The Q&A kicked off with Smith and Mewes switching between live audience and Twitter questions. Since this particular Q&A went 90 minutes, and knowing full well that Smith will probably take this event and slap it onto a DVD for $30 someday, I'll give you the bulk of what was asked with some occasional footnotes. The first question covered Smith's thoughts on PIPA and SOPA, followed by a question on whether they'd like to host SNL. An audience member asked Smith about his work on Reaper, which Smith admitted he rewrote the script with the writers before directing it and was never contacted to work on it after the pilot. At this point the duo started receiving gifts from the crowd, including a Canadian flag with a red potleaf, pint glasses and a box of Tim Horton’s “Timbits.”
Back to questions, Smith talked about the difference between working for Marvel and DC, letting it slip that the Daredevil series he wrote may be returning soon. Smith then got into a long discussion on his final film, the hockey movie Hit Somebody, which he currently has at 150 pages. Around this point, a man stood up and thanked Smith for inspiring him to follow his dreams, saying he wrote three novels that would be released this year and gave Smith a copy of one. A discussion broke out about Smodcast Pictures and how they were currently looking at films that came out at Sundance for release. After a few smaller questions, Smith broached a lengthy discussion about the original alternate ending to Red State, which I now wish I could see! A direct-to-DVD release is coming called Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. A few more small questions followed by a woman wanting to play the podcast game “Let Us Fuck” with Mewes, and she got her wish by doing a callback to tortoise rape. A hearty thank you later and the show ended.
If you take out the animal rape discussion, cheap AMC plugs and the carefully chosen Twitter questions, the show was pretty damn entertaining. The crowd on hand here in Utah filled only a quarter of the theater, but everyone was engaged and loving the show. As with radio, not every show can be a winner, and this podcast was a so-so episode, but the Q&A made everything worth it. The podcast episode from this show will be available on iTunes on February 8.