I first became aware of Kevin Smith thanks to my love for the hit Canadian soap opera Degrassi: The Next Generation. He gave some great advice to a character, and I found it endearing. I was also an avid watcher of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on which Smith was a guest promoting Cop Out. I enjoyed the movie and his appearance in Live Free or Die Hard.
But what made me want to board the Kevin Smith train was when he posted his reaction to the Season 1 finale of the CW show The Flash, the moment where Barry Allen travels back in time to see his mother. I was in tears and moved beyond words. How poetic he directed an episode of The Flash and Supergirl. I knew then his career was worth following with great interest.
I was relieved when he recovered after suffering a massive heart attack in 2018. I was moved when he emotionally described the experience in full detail. I just wanted to hug the guy. I was so happy to have had the privilege of meeting him during my shift at Cinepolis Cinemas in Florida. I saw him walk out of a theater, and no one recognized him except me. He was with his mother. She was so nice as I got to talk with him for a few moments. I later found out on his Twitter feed that when he was a kid, his mother took him to see the 1976 A Star Is Born when he was younger. How poetic he got to return the favor. I followed the production on his YouTube channel for the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and was so happy to see the standing ovation he received when he toured the movie on the road.
Before the release of the Jay and Silent Bob reboot, I made it my mission to watch all of the films in what Kevin Smith calls View Askewniverse universe, as well as and Yoga Hosers and Tusk. It was fascinating to also listen to hours of Kevin Smith interviews and questioning him on what makes his film brain tick. He loves movies and making them. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is a true geek. He loves all things Star Wars, superheroes, comics, and more, and the amount of podcasts he has been a part of and pop culture shows is proof enough. He is one of the few people that can repeat the same story, and it sounds just as captivating every time. He enjoys and embraces the fact that he gets to do what he loves for a living and how beautiful and fleeting it is. He is willing and unapologetic in sharing his life story, what he loves about his favorite movies, tv, and comics, and filmmaking tips and secrets. His interviews and live streams are TED talks and masterclasses to the next level.
Like Tyler Perry, Kevin Smith makes films on a low budget which allows him more creative freedom. His content is authentic to his voice and has been the subject of positive and controversial conversations. The reactions for most of his films have garnered praise over time or initially didn’t resonate with critics. I found all the movies in his universe unique and captivating. Tusk, however, gave me nightmares.
What I found throughout Smith’s filmography is that he tests the limits of comedy like Seth McFarlane. He likes to have fun with dirty humor alongside his partner in crime, Jason Mewes. The comedic fireworks come flying.
Ultimately Clerks is the genesis of the Kevin Smith saga. That film is a love letter to his life and offers deep meaning in each viewing experience of his movies. There are endless amounts of comedy but heart as well. If you are lucky enough to reach the culmination of the journey in Reboot, it is a bittersweet, full-circle moment. Kevin Smith keeps pushing forward, onward, and upward when Hollywood wasn’t sure how to acknowledge or decipher his whimsical madness. But I am happy Kevin Smith is around to share his love of pop culture because it allows me to wear my geek flag loud and proud. I am even more excited to see that he has the opportunity to reinvent the He-Man mythology, and making sequels to Mallrats and Clerks 2, and finishing the North trilogy with Moose Jaws.
Oh, and if you need one more reason to love Kevin Smith, look up Stan Lee in Mallrats on YouTube and his cameo in Captain Marvel. Then listen to Kevin Smith talk about how that cameo connects back to him.