A clip from the Kevin Smith documentary Clerk. reveals the real-life origins of Smith's friendship with his longtime collaborator Jason Mewes.
The clip focuses on Mewes in the present-day discussing how he came to meet Smith through their mutual friends and a shared love for comic books. "[They] were like, 'Oh Mewes is funny, man, he loves comics, he wants to go to the comic book convention. Let's bring this kid.' [Smith] thought, 'No, I'm the funny one, not him.' He didn't want a new person in the group," Mewes explained. In time, of course, Smith warmed up to Mewes and ultimately wrote him a role in his feature directorial debut: 1994's Clerks.
Mewes and Smith co-starred in Clerks as Jay and Silent Bob, a foul-mouthed drug dealer and his (mostly) silent companion who spend their days hanging around the Quick Stop Groceries and video rental store where the film's leads, under-achieving pals Dante (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson), work. The shoestring-budgeted comedy was a surprise critical and box office hit that gave rise to Smith's View Askewniverse, a multimedia property where Mewes and Smith recur as Jay and Silent Bob.
Filmmaker Malcolm Ingram, who has frequently guest-starred on Smith and Scott Mosier's SModcast, directed Clerk., a self-described "extensive all-access documentary examining the life and career of indie filmmaking icon Kevin Smith [that features] never before seen interviews with friends, family, filmmaking peers, and icons of the film, comedy, and comic worlds." The movie spans the full extent of Smith's life so far, from his upbringing in New Jersey to his personal experiences and creative output since he suffered a nearly fatal heart attack after a stand-up comedy show in February 2018.
Smith and Mewes recently reunited to reprise their View Askewniverse characters for Clerks III, the third live-action movie in the Clerks franchise. The film, which Smith also wrote and directed, centers on Randal and Dante making a movie about their lives as convenience store clerks after Randal suffers a heart attack, taking obvious inspiration from Smith's own real-world brush with death. O'Halloran and Anderson once again reprised their roles as Dante and Randal for Clerks III, with Rosario Dawson and Trevor Fehrman joining them as their former Mooby's co-workers Becky (who's now married to Dante) and Elias from 2006's Clerks II.
Clerk. is now available on VOD, with Clerks III looking to reach theaters by July 2022.
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