I’ve been a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s ever since Clerks was released back in the 90s. From Chasing Amy to Dogma to Red State, I’ve consistently found his writing to be creatively hilarious and heartfelt at the same time. Heck, back when I used to work at a pet supply store when I was 17 or 18, my hetero-life-mate Kevin would periodically read me the script for Dogma that he found online while we blissfully avoided work. I think that was also the year that Kevin and I dressed up as Jay and Silent Bob for Halloween. We thought we were awesome but then found that we had to explain our costumes to everyone. Well, Kevin had to explain. As Silent Bob, I had to stay in character. Smith’s recent career has shifted to his massive network of podcasts known as Smodcast Internet Radio, of which I am also a huge fan. When I saw that I had the chance to not only see Kevin Smith in person, but also do so at a Star Wars event where he’d be discussing the galaxy far, far away, I could not have been more excited. I was not disappointed in the least.
The thing that makes Kevin Smith so unique as an entertainer is his ability to be as raunchy as can be while managing to be heartfelt and endearing at the same time. His language and sexual references are funny but aren’t thrown out there at the expense of the audience. They’re just a natural extension of his dirty sense of humor and the primarily adult audience loved it.
Smith started out with a couple of stories involving his history with Star Wars. One of which was familiar to those of us who listen to his podcast regularly in which he detailed getting an AT-AT for Christmas when he was a child. Being from a lower-middle class family, this was a big deal and his parents informed him that the gift would cover Christmas, his next birthday, and the following Christmas due to the expense. Of course, years later he learned from his older sister that the gift was actually from his aunt. His parents just took credit. The second story involved a childhood friend with whom he would play Star Wars regularly. The story was detailed and certainly brought back memories of me doing the same with my best friend as a child. Unfortunately, Kevin’s friend passed away in his early 20s but Smith couldn’t help think of him as he entered the Star Wars world that is CVI. This was a nicely told story and Smith got a little choked up at the end when thinking of his friend. Again, it was funny, raunchy and endearing all at the same time.
From there the Q&A began and Kevin did what he does best, speak off the cuff with a little help from the fan questions. The fans primarily kept to a Star Wars theme with their line of questions though a few questions did pop up regarding Kevin’s other projects. He told some great stories of working on Clerks and how the whole Death Star contractor debate came about. He told of when traveling the world to promote Clerks, Star Wars was the unifying topic that would be brought up by reporters and critics alike. We also heard some great stories of “lightsaber fighting” with his idol Mark Hamill in Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back and how Jason Mewes failed miserably at trying to hit on Carrie Fisher while filming the same movie. As naughty language permeated the Q&A, Smith had a blast looking over at the lady providing sign language for the hearing impaired. It was quite funny seeing how she had to describe what was being said. This was a recurring joke throughout the performance.
An Evening with Kevin Smith was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve always wanted to see him live and can now check that off the old bucket list. Of course, if he ever brings Hollywood Babble-On or one of his other live podcast shows anywhere near the Maryland area, I’ll go out of my way to try and see him again. He loves his Star Wars, with which I can relate, but more than that, he just comes across as a genuinely good dude. A funny good dude with a potty mouth!