A little about me...

  • I was also bounced from an airplane (on the ground thankfully).
  • I made COMIC BOOK MEN with AMC
  • I wrote the NY Times BestSeller, TOUGH SHIT.
  • I'm extremely oral
  • And a little anal

Starting TOMORROW: SModCo Internet Television! S.I.T! See S.I.T here: http://www.youtube.com/user/seesmod/videos Hear shit here: http://www.smodcast.com Read SHIT here: http://ToughShitKev.com


Comments: 6361 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

ThatKevinSmith609 karma

That's pretty fucking good, man.

You got yourself a sellable skill there!

guntycankles928 karma

Hey Kevin - longtime fan... Thanks for doing this AMA!

Quick funny story that I have to thank you for - Hope you see it:

I was leaving the parking garage at Toronto's Eaton Centre about 3 years ago and pulled up to the booth to pay. I was about to get gouged for a $20 parking fee. Fuck that shit... It's a fucking MALL. Anyway, parking attendant-guy turns to look at me and stops... just stares at me for a couple awkward moments. Then he points at me and says, "...You're Kevin Smith, aren't you!"

I'm told I look like you, so I could see how he'd entertain the idea, but this guy was flat-out convinced. I laughed and said "No man... I wish though."

"Fuck that man, you're KEVIN SMITH, MAN!!"

I'm like, "Dude, really? If I was Kevin Smith, would I be driving a '97 Dodge Intrepid??" Thing had rust spots and dents in the hood from when I hit a deer one night. Pile. Of. Shit. He says, "Whatever Kevin Smith... I'm a big fan, man. This one's on me!" ... he then opens the gate and I get to sail out in my sweet, dented Intrepid - into the sea of hell that is downtown Toronto traffic. Thanks for being the shit so I could save $20!

And a question:

As a former clerk who made a movie about clerks, what kind of stories / crazy run-ins have you had with real clerks that are clearly huge fans? Any creepy fan-clerk moments that happened while you were in their place of work as they were clerking? I discovered Clerks a long time ago when I was working as a clerk, and it pretty much saved my life back then. Gave me the chance to laugh at my job a little more:) Then I fucking quit and moved on.

Thanks for sharing your talents all these years. Your movies / comics / books / podcasts / ball-hockey antics are fantastic. :)

edit: formatting.

edit 2: Added a link to a comparison shot... I shopped Kevin's glasses/eyes over mine - don't feel like showing myself fully.

TL;DR: Telling Kevin about the time I was mistaken for him and got my expensive parking fees waived because of it. I couldn't convince the parking attendant that I wasn't Kevin Smith, nor that the real Kevin Smith would never be caught driving the shitty car that I was.

ThatKevinSmith265 karma

Meanwhile, the real Kevin Smith always felt his dream job was valet parking. What an awesome gig: You get to drive a bunch of cars a very short distance. The only bummer part would be the walk back.


jdlyndon908 karma

Is it true that you maxed out many credit cards in order to make Clerks? Did this make you feel nervous? What would you have done if Clerks hadn't gone on to do so well?

ThatKevinSmith1547 karma

Yes and yes.

Had CLERKS not worked, I'd have continued working in convenience stores. I like being around junk food, obviously.

Wexer796 karma

During this interview, did you know the journalist was on acid?

ThatKevinSmith1029 karma

I didn't know it was acid, but I knew he was on something.

a) It was evident. b) One of his crew sweetly warned me.

So I just played along.

callmethekimster788 karma

Thanks so much for doing this AMA, I love your work and could spend hours asking you questions just about that, but honestly I'd really love to hear if you have any stories or anecdotes about George Carlin that haven't told before.

ThatKevinSmith1846 karma

My favorite Carlin moment: Jen and I were at one of his shows, post-DOGMA. He was doing his "People I Can Do Without" piece, and right before he said "Guys who wear their hats backwards over the age of nine...", he added "Kevin, you're exempt from this one 'cause of work..."

Sometimes when I wake up in the mornings, I still think about that moment, and it puts the whole day into perspective. One of the 20 best things that ever happened to me ever.

BowlerHat732 karma

Firstly I would like to say I am a huge fan, I love all your movies (especially clerks).

If you could remake one of your movies which one would you remake and why?

ThatKevinSmith2169 karma

I'd remake the homemade porn I made with my wife. Christ, my ass looks huge and full of cottage cheese. I'd re-cast me with Affleck.

ballofpopculture620 karma

Hi Kevin,

I was Dave's intern on Red State. (You and Jon signed my iPad when you came to Boston with the movie). I don't really have a question, I just wanted to say thank you for the atmosphere you create on set. RS was my first feature film experience, and even though it was a low-budget flick, I kept hearing nothing but good things from the crew. You were infinitely approachable, and I had no fears about going up to you and talking about the first scene you showed us from your laptop.

If Klein does Hit Somebody, I hope for the chance to work with you again.

ThatKevinSmith812 karma

You were an absolute gem, sir. You're welcome on my movie set any time.

But, y'know - ain't gonna be many more movie sets of mine to be on.

SchruteBuck619 karma

Hi Kevin, welcome to reddit! Big, big fan here.

  1. How has your Catholic upbringing influenced your style of comedy?

  2. Any regrets on not playing Randal?

ThatKevinSmith1152 karma

1) When you're raised with rules, all you wanna do is push at them to see how far you can go. Without Catholicism, I don't know that I would've had much to say: that judgey little church filled my youngling head with so many weird, wonderful notions, it became hard NOT to write humorously about it.

2) None. Jeff Anderson is - and will always be - the only Randal for me.

woot26586 karma

I want to say thank you for all of your work. The past 15 years I've spent devouring anything you've put out - films, Q&A's, books, etc. You have been a part of my growing up and you'll never know how much it has meant to me - a million thank yous.

The night before last I caught your latest Q&A show on Netflix 'Burn in Hell'. The story of the last night your immediate family spent together, your father passing and your memories of him had me in tears on my living room floor.

I spent December through April of this year with my Dad post stem cell transplant for a rare form of bone marrow cancer. We spent a lot of that time enjoying tv shows. Breaking Bad, Deadwood, The Wire, The Sopranos, Justified. He's completed 150 days post transplant and continues to get better every day - thanks be to modern medicine. After 27 years of life I ruely have an appreciation for life and my fathers sacrifices.

What was your favorite TV show to watch with your Dad? What is your favorite TV show to watch with Harley?

More importantly though, what does Jason Mewes smell like?

Continued happiness in your work - no matter what it may be. You'll always have a fan in me - Katie :)

ThatKevinSmith781 karma

My favorite show to watch with my Dad was BOWLING FOR DOLLARS. It wasn't so much that I enjoyed bowlers, it was the way in which we'd watch it: he'd lay on his back on the floor with his head turned to the left to see the TV, and I'd lay on my stomach, using his stomach as a pillow.

I haven't done that in maybe 35 years, but the memory of doing it often as I watched bowler after bowler dedicate his game to "...the guys back at work" is crystal clear...

And Jason Mewes smells like a day off.

Thanks for the kind words, Katie.

Raistlin719412 karma

Any movies in the works? Can we look forward to seeing Jay and Silent Bob again?

ThatKevinSmith866 karma

Movies in the works...

  • Jay and Silent Bob's Super-Groovy Cartoon Movie! A mixture of 2D animation and live action footage that's drawn out (which some will argue has already happened). Mewes and I are putting the costumes back on so we can interact with our cartoons selves.

  • Hit Somebody My hockey movie.

That's about it. But if you wanna watch shit, hit #SIT - http://www.youtube.com/user/seesmod/videos

RyanKinder378 karma

Kevin, I'm just curious: If a meteor was heading towards earth and doom was inevitable, what would you choose as your final perfect meal?

ThatKevinSmith1264 karma

Peanut butter and jelly, with a side of teleportation to another habitable planet.

And why aren't Ben and Bruce stopping this fucking meteor? Shouldn't I be stuffing animal crackers down some chick's blouse right about this last-meal-eating time? Isn't stopping space rocks what we pay Affleck and Willis to do? Fucking slackers...



ThatKevinSmith77 karma

What are things that aren't a question?

I'll take "The Penis Mightier" for $500...

lightningman26335 karma

What was the inspiration to make Dogma?

ThatKevinSmith911 karma

Eight years of Catholic school and a desire to be more spiritual and less religious.

subtlestern328 karma

Hi Kevin, just a few questions:

  • I loved Red State and was disappointed that virtually nobody seemed to have seen or heard of it. With what you know now, would you do anything differently in regards to promoting it? Or do you feel you did all you could?
  • Are you still going to be making a hockey movie?
  • Do you have any further thoughts on the "feud" between yourself and Howard Stern?

ThatKevinSmith471 karma

1) Nah - I LOVE that people will be "discovering" RED STATE for the next few years. I've gotten to mass-market movies for ten years, but the no-money marketing of RED STATE was the most fun I've ever had in the movie biz. Since we weren't spending, it forced us to be more creative. And there was nobody standing over our shoulders with four-quadrant charts and junket dates. There was nothing "assembly line" about how we made or marketed that movie to the audience.

We never had more than 30 theatrical screenings of that flick. That's the stuff of legends, man. Means folks will be finding it for years to come - which is how a film like RED STATE needs to be discovered in order for it to work as well as it can. It's designed to frustrate in a fun way.

2) Yes. HIT SOMEBODY, it's called.

3) You always want the people you dig to be exactly who they present. Most times, they're not. That's life.

luciuspecker300 karma

Your directing reputation has climbed the ladder beside the acting careers of several other now-household names (Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee, etc.). Would you say you’ve all played fairly integral roles in each other’s success?

And any advice for amateur filmmakers/writers?

edit: spelling

ThatKevinSmith500 karma

Believe me: being able to say "And Ben's gonna be in it, too..." was really helpful with Harvey back in the day, once GOOD WILL took off. But prior to that? It was like pulling teeth to cast "your friends" as HW would calle them. Thank Christ the people I loved to work with got famous.

And, yeah - I'd say we all helped each other get where we were eventually going.

AndyRooney114 karma

Any cool "Harvey Weinstein yelled at me" stories you care to share?

ThatKevinSmith66 karma

I shared one very big one here...


In the second RED STATE chapter.

If you're not a reader, get the audiobook version. I read my SHIT to you.

And in the Enhanced eBook version, each chapter starts with a video, shot all around my home! Learn my layout and rob be in the night!


GodlessMe270 karma

Clerks Sitcom?

ThatKevinSmith606 karma

Wasn't my doing. At all.

But fellow IAmA-er Jim Breuer was in the pilot. Ask him Anything about it at 11amEST.

GoldenHSF269 karma

1) What was your least favorite film/comic to work on?

2) What is something no one knows about you because they didn't bother to ask?

3) Whose films do you most admire right now? (As in films out in the past 10 or so years)

4) Why did you (really) leave us? And do you have any regrets?


ThatKevinSmith443 karma

1) COP OUT could've done with more smiles.

2) Nobody ever asks how big my dick is... :(

3) Quentin's.

4) Who did I leave now?

And regrets? Oddly, in regards to my career, I don't have any.

Projectr13b265 karma

I've got no idea what to ask you. Clerks and Clerks 2 got me through a lot of shitty days of work. Mallrats is one of the best films ever, and most critics are assholes. Just watched Burn in Hell the other day, and I gotta say, it was rather inspirational at the end there. Bravo sir.

Questions. How do your friends, like Walt Flanagan, feel about being in your movies as well as being mention in your movies?

ThatKevinSmith477 karma

I think most of my friends are "over" hearing their names in my flicks. To be fair, I don't think hearing his name in MALLRATS ever gave Walt a thrill: he's not that kinda guy.

In regards to BEING IN the movies, they seemed to enjoy it. But Walt and Bry were never show-people in high school or the immediate years after, so all of that being-in-front-of-people was a big adjustment for them. And I always dug how they didn't completely dig it. My boys are not attention whores.

I'M the attention whore in the crew.

plexxer237 karma

Kevin, what is your favorite restaurant in Pittsburgh and when are you filming here again?

ThatKevinSmith60 karma

Favorite restaurant is Gullifty's: http://www.facebook.com/gulliftys Excellent potato soup, pierogi, and chocolate chip cookie dessert.

Also loved the Church Brew Works: http://www.churchbrew.com/

gonzogreengiant200 karma

.What are your feelings on the digital vs film debate going on at the minute? .Also how do you know if what you're writing is halfway decent? Is it a case of just filming it and hoping, or do you have anyone as a sounding board for new ideas?

ThatKevinSmith538 karma

I like both, but it doesn't matter what I think, as the last 35mm film camera rolled off the assembly line months back and most studios are ceasing print distribution altogether: first overseas, then domestically.

Sounding boards are all around me. But nothing works better than gut instinct.

Helps to have a big gut, though. See - that's why I'm fat: For WORK. I swear.

MagicFireDragonPower199 karma

First, thanks for all the awesome hours of entertainment you have added to my life! Second, what is your favorite board game or game of any sort to play?

ThatKevinSmith362 karma

When I was a kid, my favorite board game was this Haunted Mansion game from Disney. "Will you accept the chilling challenge to stop the spinning spooks?" or something like that was the tagline on the box.

I also loved the JAWS game, but that wan't really a board game.

Currently, Plants vs. Zombies, Oven Bake Escape and Angry Birds take up my iPad free time.

mainsworth194 karma

Why weren't you in the Avengers? You would have been the perfect Black Widow.

ThatKevinSmith245 karma

I can't do a convincing enough Russian accent to pull off Widow.

gypsywhisperer191 karma

How do you respond to Catholicism today?

ThatKevinSmith730 karma

When it talks to me? I respond accordingly.

When Catholicism asks me "How are you today?" I respond "Great!" When Catholicism asks me "Do you like gay marriage?" I respond "Love it!"

That's when the conversation usually ends.

MrGulio173 karma

What are your thoughts on digital piracy and the internet as a method of getting content rather than traditional sources like cable or theaters?

ThatKevinSmith329 karma

Here's my approach...

I try to give away as much as possible. At SModcast.com, we've got thousands of hours of my best work, as well as the funniest shit you'll ever hear: My true life's work. And we give it away free.

Tomorrow, we celebrate the First Birthday of S.I.R. - SModCo Internet Radio. http://smodcast.com To celebrate, we'll be launching S.I.T. on YouTube - SModCo Internet Television. All of it is free.

So when I do present my audience with something that requires payment? I try to make it more special. That's why I toured with Red State, rather than simply stick the movie out there in theaters alone. Anyone can access any movie digitally once it's in theaters; I accept that. But they can't digitally access me unless they're in the room.

Instead of trying to fight change, I like to adapt and figure out how to thrive in an ever-changing global economy. And as much as I like to head where the puck is going, you sometimes have to play the ball where it lays.

whitegurlmob169 karma

Sup brah i resent what you said about platypus and dont accept your apology. Also keep up the good work you son of a bitch.

ThatKevinSmith230 karma

The platypus has more friends than I imagined when I wrote that DOGMA intro card.

Originally, that card was meant to read...

"Men go crazy in congregations. They only get better one by one." - Gordon Sumner "Sting"

Shaun113160 karma

Kev, thanks for doing an AMA!

Two questions

  1. What was it like watching your wife make out with another man filming Clerks 2, even if it was acting, didn't it bother you?

  2. You talk openly about the loss of your father in 'My Boring-Ass Life'. 'Tough Shit', and 'Burn in Hell', but what's your favorite memory of your old man?

ThatKevinSmith821 karma

1) Nah. It's just make pretend.

Although I did constantly stop the takes for random boner-checks.

2) Favorite memory of my old man? Hmmm...

When I was about ten, BMX bikes were all the rage. We had three bicycles in our garage: two ten speeds and one standard bike. All my friends had bikes with crossbars on the handlebars, so naturally, I wanted a bike that looked more modern. I told my parents this.

Now, we were raised lower, lower, LOWER middle-class. While we ate Government cheese from time to time, Mom and Dad were always very proud of that fact that they never had to apply for food stamps. But it means lots of no-name brands in our house: No Cheerios for the Smith family when the supermarket-brand Toased-O's were cheaper.

So my ol' man goes out into the garage one week for a "special project" that my Mom kept hinting at. And from what she was saying, the "special project" was bike-oriented. So all week long, I was ecstatic: My Dad was building my new BMX bike in the garage!

Presentation day arrived! Mom and Dad took me out to the garage and proudly threw open the door, where I got my first glimpse of the "special project": Dad had taken my old bike and "built" a BMX-like contraption, complete with crossbar on the handlebars. Sadly, the crossbar was built with a thin aluminum pipe and wire that wrapped around the handles. The center bar had this big, goofy cover on it that didn't hide the fact that this was an old bike dressed-up pathetically to make it appear modern.

Naturally, I was horrified. But when you grow up fat, you're always aware of the feelings of others. So I didn't ridicule my Dad's attempt to fashion a BMX bike; I simply started riding it. And hating it.

Since none of my friends grew up fat, their sensitivities weren't as delicate, so I had to absorb all the insults that flew at the bike. After a month or so, I started quietly removing the additions Dad had made, so that eventually, it just went back to being the original bike. It's very likely he noticed, but Dad never said anything. Years later, I bought my own mountain bike.

That bike was the bane of my existence, and I was too stupid and young to realize it's infinite value. Not assembled by strangers, that bike was re-crafted with love over the course of a week. And being a dopey kid, all I could see was the plastic yellow number plate with 01 on it, tied to the faux crossbars. I was handed absolute gold but didn't realize it... 'til I was a grown-up.

I'm roughly the same age now that my Father was when he built that bike for me. I've bought my daughter everything she's ever wanted or needed, but I've never built anything for Harley. Based on that? I'm not NEARLY the Father that my Father was.

The "special project" was nothing short of alchemy: my Dad turned base metal into a golden chariot fashioned by a Father's love for his butterball kid. And I was too young and stupid to really appreciate it.

Not trying to brag, but I live very comfortably. However, I'd give every cent I have to buy that exact bike back today...

ZebuRang146 karma

Do you shampoo your beard?

ThatKevinSmith232 karma

Jen? She shampoos herself.

If you're cruisin' me, Sailor, I've got a slip for your boat...

aco620137 karma

Hey Kevin, thanks for doing the AmA, it's good to see you doing one, this sort of thing being your specialty and all. I'm a big fan of the movies and of everything you've done with SModcast.com. Tough Shit was a great listen as well (I got the audiobook version). You've become a real inspiration for me as I've listened to you talk and build up your podcast empire over the past couple years. But enough ass-kissing, on to the questions!

  1. How's Bryan Johnson been doing?

  2. Have there been any updates on a Comic Book Men season 2?

  3. Now that you guys are back, will the SModCo Smorning show go back to its regular rotation?

  4. Can you tell us a little more about S.I.T. and what it will be like?

  5. Are there any updates you can give us on your final movie Hit Somebody?

Thanks again Kev, love everything you guys do over at SModcast!

ThatKevinSmith179 karma

1) Bryan is out of rehab and back in Jersey. He said the first half of the month was easier than the second half. Hopefully, they'll be doing a new Tell 'Em, Steve-Dave this week.

2) I've heard some things...

3) Yes - more SMorning shows for me, now that I'm home for awhile.

4) SModCo Internet Television: http://www.youtube.com/user/seesmod/videos

I know lots of folks are going for polished, production value shows on their YouTube channel. #SIT is more like a scrapbook put together with glue sticks and magic markers.

For example, SMarchive is a show that showcases old video of the stars of SModCo before you ever heard of them, from back in the day. The first ep (airing next Tuesday) features me taking you back in time to when I did GREASE in high school. Embarrassing footage galore!

Here's a SMarchive spot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIJsKge7vvo&feature=plcp

5) Still writing it. s'fucking HUGE (in page count and scope).

charles2511132 karma

Great AMA.... I have two questions related to getting your ass kicked off the airplane. 1st - How did you react to them when you were asked to leave the plane and get a second seat... 2nd - WHY the hell were you riding on Southwest Airlines?

ThatKevinSmith360 karma

1) After showing them I could put their stupid fucking arm-rests down as well as buckle my belt? The air fascists didn't care. So I simply complied. I didn't wanna get tackled by an undercover air marshal.

2) I was flying from Burbank to San Francisco/Oakland. It's less than an hour flight and the airport is closer to my house than LAX is. Now? I'm happy to drive out to LAX to take any flight that's NOT Southworst. They seem to have issues with fat people, saggy pants and lesbians. It's your Granny's airline.

flamingopanic117 karma

If you could pick one movie that you think is underrated and should be seen by more people, what movie would it be?

ThatKevinSmith217 karma

A Man for All Seasons.

Chicken_Wing115 karma

Thanks for the years of comedy and the ridiculous amounts of laughter its produced.

When did you decide/know you wanted to write comedy?

How long did it take you to write a movie like Chasing Amy or Clerks?

Are still friends with Ben Affleck?

ThatKevinSmith245 karma

1) When you grow up fat, you learn quick that making people laugh takes the heat off you for being different. And making people laugh is the greatest drug on the planet. You crave it more and more.

2) CLERKS and AMY were both written in a month.

3) I guess. We haven't officially declared one another enemies yet, so I assume we're still cool. But I rarely see him anymore...

Rotaz113 karma

I loved your telling of the Superman script story, and how at the end you say "Later, he released a movie called Wild Wild West..." and you slowly hear the audience catching up with the joke. Pure gold.

Don't really have a question, but keep up the great work.

ThatKevinSmith84 karma

Thanks, man. I told that story so many places prior to those shows, that when they rolled cameras, it was almost like a piece of music. It's like that moment when a lead singer stops singing and lets the audience take over: Fucking electric.

Weed's only slightly less better.

Kilroy_1911105 karma

Can "porch monkey" truly be brought back?

ThatKevinSmith143 karma

Not by Randal.

Anniba102 karma

Would you advise filmmakers towards self distributing their own movies? After reading your book and hearing more of the behind the scenes stuff on Red State, it sounds like you're really advocating that method. Should they follow the footsteps of famous comedians like Louis CK who recently released hour long specials of theirs as a digital download for only $5? There's been a lot of success with that method so far.

Also, love your latest book. I actually laughed the hardest at the chapter titles of all things, and it also had some great advice.

ThatKevinSmith231 karma

Every artist should at least also know how to exhibit their stuff themselves, just in case they can't find a buyer.

And it's always better to work for yourself than someone else.

Whenever I speak with young filmmakers now, they don't really talk about making a film to sell anymore: lots are more interested in charting their own course. That's 180 degrees from where I started: Back in the day, all we wanted to do was sell our shit to a distributor.

But Direct-To-Fan, as TopSpin calls it, makes lots more sense to me, because I enjoy the back-and-forth with the audience, obviously. I'm not the guy that ever lets the work speak for itself; I'm the guy who rushes out after the credits and says "Hold on! Hold on! Lemme explain! I got thrown off an airplane and Bruce Willis hates me!"

wainface94 karma

Have you ever thought about doing another Clerks?

rei_hiino91 karma

what happened with the cartoon version of Clerks?

ThatKevinSmith216 karma

ABC commissioned 6 eps and ran only 2 in the summer, before replacing us with Drew Carey reruns. It was the suck.

But this is the year we make corrections: CLERKS cartoon is coming back. Count on it NOT being on ABC.

outcastspice89 karma

Welcome to Reddit! I was saving this question for a Q&A but will ask it here -- How did you first meet Matt Damon & Ben Affleck? You've known them forever but where did it start?? Thanks, and love all your work!!

ThatKevinSmith92 karma

I met Ben first, at the Mallrats auditions. I'd read about his Good Will Hunting $800k script deal with Castle Rock in the Hollywood Reporter the day before he came in to the casting office, so when he hit the chair, I was like "Hey, congrats. I saw you sold a script for a shit-load of money." He seemed surprised and delighted someone knew about it.

During Rats, he was a real charmer and fun to be around. Funny, funny, genuine guy - so much so that I wrote him the lead in Chasing Amy and cast him in Dogma. I brought his Good script to Miramax when Castle Rock put it in turnaround and Harvey agreed to pay Castle Rock a million bucks for a script by two kids from Boston. For that, I was rewarded with the Co-Exec Producer credit on Good.

Matt I met through Ben, at a cast and crew screening for Mallrats that we had on the Universal lot. It was right after Harvey bought the Good Will Hunting script from Castle Rock, so Matt's never had anything but smiles and warm words for me - and has never said no whenever I've called and asked "Can you come out for a day to play in this flick?" ever since. Really nice guy. Genuine article, in terms of performance. Real student of the craft.

But Ben was my boy. Ben Affleck circa 1995 to 1997 will always be one of my all-time favorite people in the world. He was so fucking Gretzky it was nuts: so confident, so free. The way I am with the press and in interviews? All candid and whatnot? All-truth, no bullshit? That came from Ben. Go read his old interviews: He gave awesome oral (please don't print that out of context).

The beginning of the end of candid Ben came circa Dogma, when there was heat surrounding the flick after a false prophet scared Disney into ordering Harvey and Bob to get rid of it. Ben had been interviewed by a web journalist who quoted Ben in a press conference saying something Ben was insisting he'd never say. So Ben jumped on the ol' View Askew Message Board and wrote a blistering response to the piece, the best line of which was "Michael Eisner wouldn't know (The Blogger) if he saw him beneath a freeway underpass wearing a sign around his neck that said 'Will Write Senseless HorseShit for Two Bits!'"

Fucking glorious...

Only problem? The blogger posted the written transcript of the press conference, where Ben had, indeed, said the exact quotes the blogger had assigned to him in the article in question.

After that, he started listening to his publicist more and saying less. Makes sense for him professionally: He picks platforms like Bill Mahr's show to speak his mind, not Message Boards on his friend's website.

But, man - the unguarded Ben was my fucking hero back then.

Regardless - You see the trailer for the new flick he's directed? Looks fucking awesome!

plobster84 karma

Kevin, first I'd love to say I love you. Your movies have been the biggest inspiration on my life ever. Just wanna say thank you :D.

ThatKevinSmith191 karma

Thanks, man! But I do all this stuff just to read or hear shit like that.

I love the money, don't get me wrong: I'm no communist. But the money is always secondary: I run on praise and positivity.

andyt68377 karma

Hi Kevin,

1) You do a lot of fan interaction, probably more than anyone else in the directing field. How do you suggest up and coming artists cultivate such a large and supportive fanbase such as yours?

2) Is it something you enjoy as much as directing, or is it a means to an end for you?

3) Can you sacrifice a baby or whatever you need to do to get massive Hollywood success? I've been a huge fan for a long time, but whenever I try to geek out with friends about you, I get a blank stare until maybe sometimes they recognize Dogma.

ThatKevinSmith141 karma

1) All I ever did was what made sense to me: If you make stuff for an audience and the audience wants to talk to you about it afterwards, BE AVAILABLE TO THEM.

I mean, why else DO any of this shit? For the money? For the pussy? Shit no! We do it for THE REACTION. So if folks wanna react to what you said with your art, I wanna react back. It's the start of a conversation. Everything I've done thus far has been to communicate the simple idea of "Hi. I'm Kevin Smith. I'd like to talk with you until I drop dead."

I wasn't looking for a "fanbase", I was looking for an audience. But I didn't want to simply count their numbers; I wanted to get to know them. It's human nature: We tend to like those who like what we say. And the people who went looking for me at the old message board at ViewAskew.com (which, by the way, was EXACTLY this format back in 1995 - so this is pretty trippy and time-travelly for me) would find me there, waiting to talk to them - much in the same way I do at Twitter now.

Get to know the audience. After all - They're taking the time (and spending the money) to get to know you.

2) To me, there is no difference between interacting with the audience and directing. In both instances, I'm trying to communicate. It's part of the whole, really.

Harvey Weinstein once put it to me thusly...

"The movie doesn't begin and end when the lights go down and the end credits roll. If you're really good at this job, the movie begins LONG before they get in the theater. And if you're a fucking magician? The movie doesn't end when they leave theater."

I took that to heart. It became my career mantra. The movie is one part of a giant whole that, in my case, begins when I start sharing the dream of a film I'm going to make. That's why I talk about shit YEARS ahead of time: It's the start of the movie for me and my audience. Like with RED STATE: I'd been talking about it for so many years prior to making it, by the time I announced the Red State USA Tour on the Sundance stage, I knew my audience would support the film financially without us having to spend a Hollywood dime in marketing. At that point, the audience was part of the movie as well. And talk about a movie that never ends? Love or hate it, RED STATE stays with you. And we're STILL not done with it...

The movie never ends, ya' see. It goes on and on and on and on...

3) I always fancied myself the Bill Hicks or Anthrax of film. As such, I'm beyond content with my place in the pyramid. I never imagined going as far and as long as we have in the movie thing. And to be fair, it's weird and kind of amazing that JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK (which is like a YouTube Kevin Smith fan-film with a budget) could even gross $30 million.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I dig it out here on the fringes: It's where you can get away with a LOT more fun shit and be as creative as you want without having to ask some other jackass for permission.

seemone234 karma

he was friend with the director.

ThatKevinSmith272 karma

I was friends with...

Dammit! You gotta be fast on Reddit!

sexdrugswine8969 karma

Is it possible that I've seen Clerks more than you? Seriously though, how often do you watch your own films? When's the last time you watched Clerks?

ThatKevinSmith11 karma

I watch my flicks to death before you ever see them: In my head while I'm imagining them, on the page when I'm writing them, on the stage when I'm directing them, in the editing bay when I'm cutting them. On screens, when they made us test them. At premieres, where they waste money debuting them to non-paying Hollywood skinflints and slackers.

By the time it gets into regular release, you don't wanna see it again for a long time.

Except Red State. I loved that flick so much, I was able to watch it at every public exhibition we had. That movie was made to be watched with the audience.

As will be the next flick we tour: Jay and Silent Bob's Super-Groovy Cartoon Movie. Coming next year, to a theater really near you, with me and Jason Mewes right there beside you.

imjustaniceguy68 karma

Hey Bob, how is your relationship with Jay (Jason Mewes), still best pals?

TeazleDiesel67 karma

Who is your favorite hockey player? Favorite Goalie?

ThatKevinSmith157 karma

Wayne Douglas Gretzky and Martin Brodeur.

flamingopanic66 karma

What are your top 5 favorite primetime TV shows from the 1980s/1990s?

ThatKevinSmith163 karma


beyondawesome66 karma

I am a huge fan for a long time. Thanks for all the good times!

I have a few serious questions:

  1. What are you working on right now? Comics, movies, graphic novels,...?
  2. Do you think George Lucas will ever open up the Skywalker Ranch for another marriage?
  3. I heard Jason Lee is in the scientology club these days. Do you still see him? Has he changed?

And one stupid question that I had to ask:

What's a nubian?

ThatKevinSmith50 karma

1) All of 'em.

2) If he was into making as much money as everyone says he is, Lucas would open up the Skywalker Ranch Marriage Chapel and charge every would-be-Gran-Moff-and-Mon-Mothma with ten grand to spend. They have AMAZING lodgings on the Ranch; Easily 5 Star Hotel-great. Build a giant AT-AT under which younglings can wed, bang! Photogram heaven!

3) Jason Lee has been a member of the Church since before we met. Never once has he tried to recruit or sell me. I feel like he treats it like I treat my Catholicism.

reltubnahte60 karma

What advice would you give to a 17 year old who wants to work in Independent film for the rest of his life?

ThatKevinSmith188 karma

What are you waiting for? The rest of your life starts... NOW.

mdoggdx31655 karma

Hey, Kevin! Just wanted to ask, what's your favorite episode/moment of SModcast? I can't remember how many times I cried laughing at you and Scott.

ThatKevinSmith94 karma

This week's episode of SModcast had me ROLLING. All the Red Sovine/Jerry Reed/trucker story-songs stuff made me cry laughing - so much so that I'm hell-bent to do a story-song album now.


picosidebar38 karma


ThatKevinSmith29 karma

Hit Somebody will be it for theatrical films.

Thing is, the movies I wanna make are all kinda small: in budget, content and scope. And the movie business has changed so dramatically, movies like that just aren't getting made as much anymore for theatrical release.

But in a world where almost no movie is ever in a movie theater for more than two or three months, I'm just as content to skip that step and get it where it lives forever: digital. Nobody's ever accused me of being David Lynch, so it'll shock exactly no one when I say I'm happy as fuck to have folks watch my flicks on an iPhone. I'm content to leave the movie screens for giant-sized flicks like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. If I ever wanna direct something again, I'll do it on S.I.T.

ChanukkahZombie38 karma

Hey Kevin, thanks for the AMA! What's Mewes up to nowadays? Any thoughts on making another movie with him?

jdlyndon26 karma

I heard you went to Vancouver Film School but dropped out, I'm thinking about dropping out of film school this summer too, do you ever regret not finishing?

ThatKevinSmith41 karma

No regrets about not finishing film school. Got lots out of my brief time there - including Scott Mosier and Dave Klein.

Slackbeing22 karma

What crossed your mind when you made Jersey Girl?

ThatKevinSmith61 karma

Honestly? This...

"I wanna make a movie with Bill Murray - where he plays a guy who falls in love, has a kid, then loses his wife."

I wrote the first fifty pages and stuck it in a drawer.

A few months later, Affleck read it and said "I wanna do this! Finish this."

From there, the slope was slippery.

For the record, I love that movie. It's maudlin but I dig maudlin movies and I wanted to make one myself.

And if Twitter's taught me anything in the last four years (today is, in fact, my Twitter birthday), it's that LOTS of motherfuckers like that movie: Because I'm constantly getting "LAY OFF JERSEY GIRL! I LIKE THAT MOVIE!" Tweets.

You may not believe it, but it's true. Go watch my Twitter feed sometime. Just @ThatKevinSmith in the search and read everything that comes up. It's a crazy love-fest. Makes a motherfucker wanna sing...

Always and forever....

Each moment with you...

Is just like a dream to me...

AND you...

That somehow came true....


blueboybob19 karma

You have unlimited money to make any movie. What movie is it?

ThatKevinSmith22 karma

The movie in which I end world hunger by hiring everybody as crew and letting them eat to their heart's content from both the lunch line and the craft service table.

The movie would just be an excuse to get at all the unlimited money in the budget, so we might as well try to get them a little of their loot back. Thusly, I'd write and direct Mallrats II just to feed the world, and let them know it's Christmas time again.