[Editors Note: Kevin Smith kinda rubbed off on me. Not in the sense that he rubbed his man white-out on me (as if I’d be so lucky), but in the sense that he talks a lot and I wrote a lot. This article is long. Make yourself a cup of tea, get naked (totally optional) and relax]
So I attended Kevin Smith‘s Q&A session at the House of Blues in Boston, MA (Dec. 2nd 2010). “Who’s Kevin Smith”? Lick a dirty asshole you culturally inept, phony fuck. We don’t have time for you. Do us and your self a favor, go watch Clerks 1 & 2, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and some of his other films. Listen to a few dozen Smodcasts and read a few comics by the guy. Then come back to us. Until then the adults are talking, move along. Anyway, as the rest of you know a Kevin Smith Q&A session is where our beloved nerd creative and speaker plops his rotund self up on stage and fields questions from the audience. These questions kinda go something like this: “What was it like working with so and so?”, “Will we see another Jay and Silent Bob movie?”, “Have you ever gone ass to mouth?”. He of course does his best to answer the questions, but usually it’s jut an excuse to segway into a hilarious story. In the most vulgar, raunchy way possible or course. The guy has been doing these cross state/country sessions for over a decade. The question here is: does the funny fat man still have shit to talk about, and more importantly does he have anything left to say that people still care to hear? The short answer is yes…hell YES!
Recapping the evening in detail is damn near impossible. The guy talks…a lot (like 3 and half hours). Nor would I even attempt at retelling any of his stories, rants or tirades. I can, though in brief tell you some of what transpired. He started the evening by introducing himself (classy) and went straight to the audience. The very first question was ‘How do you measure your success’? *laughs* This question got answered alright, in about 40 minutes. He started off talking about how he’s not as excited about meaningful media mentions as he once was. Particularly, in how he blasted a ropey wad of man juice when Clerks got picked up at the Sundance Film Festival (back in 94..or was it 95? I don’t recall). Compared to how he is currently comfortly complacent about ‘Red State’ (his upcoming horror film) being entered at this years Sundance. “How much attention can I get” is how he use to measure success, but the idea of success now is on how much he can impress himself, others and what he can do to serve the people. Then, like classic Kevin Smith he digressed. He proceeded to talk about weed. Particularly about how he was never a committed pot smoker up until working with Seth Rogen on the set of Zack and Miri. He had to live up to Seth Rogen’s expectation of the guy who makes stoner films. He’s become a daily pot smoker since. He actually went on to tell a hilarious pot smoking story of the one of the first and only times he and his wife shared a blunt together. The idea was to smoke and have a night of steamy sex, but it turned into a sick, painful, psychedelic bathroom night mare. Nothing like Kevin Smith to start the evening with a good weed/shit story.
This set the tone for the rest of the evening. Fans would ask a question and Kev would answer with long winded, but hilarious responses having very little to do with the question. If I may add, Kevin really needs to tell the fans that after they ask their questions that it’s ok for them to sit down. Unless of course, he gets some kind of sick satisfaction leaving kids standing behind a mic for 30+ minutes while he answers their question.
I can’t tell you all the questions that were asked or what all his answers were (I was a bit inebriated and wasn’t taking notes), but I do recall a couple of other key things that were worth mentioning. He spent a fair amount of time talking about ‘Red State’ and how different it is from all his past work. He’s been labeled a man of comedy, but he never set out to be one. He wanted to be a film maker, but being that he got hired to do Clerks in a Mall (a.k.a. Mallrats), Clerks with a lesbian (a.k.a Chasing Amy) and so on he got stuck in the comedy genre. ‘Red State’ feels like his second true film. The cat is really excited about it. Personally I’m excited for this as well. Regardless of however good the movie is I see this as a sign that Kevin wants to evolve. You can only do a particular genre of films for so long before you become uninteresting. I expect ‘Red State’ to be the launch of new and perhaps better Kevin Smith.
He went on to talk about fan and industry criticism. He use to be very sensitive and felt the need to defend himself against what people were saying about him. Maybe it’s the weed, maybe it’s the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that comes with age but he is beyond that now. He’s come to the self realization that people are going to say shit not matter what you do. You do what’s right for you and hope people dig it.
He also went into a pretty lengthy discussion on ‘Cop-Out’ and working with Bruce Willis. Not only was Cop-Out Kevin’s first film for which he directed but did not write, it was an opportunity to work with one of his 80’s heroes Bruce Willis. This of course did not turn out to be the nerd experience Kevin had fantasized about. Suffice to say Brucy didn’t like him. The two conflicted on set. Kevin tried to direct Willis, but Willis wasn’t having it. Willis just wanted to act like Willis and be the lead on things. Bruce wound up being the weak link on set. Kevin, with the help of the cast and crew had to work around him. Kevin doesn’t blame Bruce Willis for ‘Cop-Out’ tanking at the box office, and being ripped to shred by critics (Note: We loved it), but things may have gone differently had Willis not torn out pages of the Hollywood praised script and refused to shoot them. Lesson here is “never work with your heroes”.
Many other talks on many other topics transpired including but not limiting to Ben Affleck, Butt-Sex, Jason Mewes, the fleshlight, comics and so on.
All of the above was interesting, fascinating and of course funny. Being a story teller is what draws people to Kevin Smith. While some might scratch their heads at why anyone would want to listen to someone prattle on about their life for 3+ hours you have to experience it to understand it. His personal histories are a gateway to perceptive observations about life and the nerd world around us. He’s one of us (nerd) and he has ascended to a plain in which we all wish to achieve. He’s like the Jesus of nerds. We follow him like lambs. Thus there will always be stories to tell and questions that fans want to know.
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