I thought that my episode guide writing days were over, but then I got the big, 2-DVD set of the Clerks cartoon. This, of course, was Kevin Smith’s short-lived cartoon loosely based on his 1994 movie. I think it bombed because it had a lot of geek-humor, and face it, we laugh at things that not many other people get. Anyway, since I taped the only 2 episodes that made it to air, and I showed them to pretty much all my devoted readers, I know that there are a few of you out there who thought it was as funny as I thought it was. Since you all live so far away and can’t drive out to Entwistle for a Clerks party, I thought I’d whip up this Clerks episode guide, giving you the run down on all 6 episodes. I’d better warn you, that these are spoiler-filled, blow-by-blow plot synopses, so if you plan on renting these episodes on video or DVD someday, do not read further if you don’t want endings revealed. For those who won’t be renting or buying, or just don’t give a damn, enjoy!
The Pilot or Leonardo Leonardo Returns And Dante Has An Important Decision To Make
Opening with a scene-for-scene recreation of the opening scenes of the movie, Dante bemoans that nothing ever happens in town. Then, a firecracker goes flying by his head. He heads outside and he busts up Jay and Silent Bob for selling firecrackers to minors. Silent Bob whacks a firecracker with a baseball bat, and it lands outside a mental hospital, spooking a recently released patient. A few hours go by, and then Randal decides to open the video store for the day. On his way to do that, he is trampled by a crowd on their way to welcome back Leonardo Leonardo. Leonardo is a multi-billionaire, who has just returned from adding to his fortune by buying up mineral rights from the savage natives of Canada. His new goal: the opening of the Quicker Stop, the convenience store of the future, right across the street from the Quick Stop. Dante and Randal check out the Quicker Stop, and they can’t help but be impressed. However, business soon sags at the Quick Stop. Randal’s “Pay As You Exit” promotion fails to boost business, so Jay and Silent Bob decide to officially start hanging out in front of the Quicker Stop. Randal’s next promotion, “75% off everything,” also fails to boost business, but it soon catches the eye of Leonardo, who’s busy building his new desk from Ikea. Leonardo soon invites Randal and Dante to his office, and offers them assistant manager positions with full university scholarships. Randal goes on a rant saying that they can’t be bought off like that. Leonardo admires their bravado and reveals his true plan: The Quicker Stop will soon give way to a store specializing in Canadian goods, which will give way to a domed pleasure palace, which will give way to world domination! Randal and Dante realize that they have to stop this, so they navigate through the Maze of Death into Leonardo’s office, where they bump into Jay and Silent Bob hanging out. They swipe Leonardo’s plans, and head off to the town meeting! But, they arrive to find Leonardo revealing his plan for a domed pleasure palace, and finding that the townspeople actually like this idea. Randal and Dante then start revealing the plan in-depth, but by the time they get to the world domination part, the crowd has lost interest and they all go home. So, realizing that this is the last night for the Quick Stop, Dante and Randal kick back to watch their favorite TV show, The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer. The sitcom plot is just like their predicament, so they borrow the plan from the TV show to thwart Leonardo’s plan! With Leonardo apprehended, Jay and Silent Bob accidentally blow up the Quicker Stop when they set off all their firecrackers. After this incident, Randal and Dante realize that they are masters of their own destiny, and they can do whatever they put their mind to! With this new found confidence, they return to their crappy jobs, and Jay and Silent Bob begin hanging out in front of the Quick Stop again. And then we get a Jay and Silent Bob safety tip, telling us that when we go camping, we should hang our food in the trees so we don’t attract bears.
Notable Voice Artists: Alec Baldwin is the voice of Leonardo Leonardo, Charles Barkley shows up in the safety tip, and Walt Flannagen and Bryan Johnson reprise their Mallrats roles of Walt the Fan Boy and Steve-Dave.
The Clipshow Wherein Dante And Randal Are Locked In The Freezer And Remember Some Of The Great Moments In Their Lives
A break in at the Quick Stop prompts an upgrade in security. While testing the new lock on the freezer door, Randal and Dante get locked in the freezer. Randal points out that if this were a sitcom, they’d flashback to all their previous episodes. This gets Dante and Randal to reminiscing about the time that Leonardo Leonardo opened up the Quicker Stop across the street, offered them jobs, and tried to take over the world. Then, in a desperate bid to remember further back than last week, they begin talking about the first time they met in 1985. This triggers something in Dante’s brain, and we flash back to when they really first met in 1978. It was also the first day that Randal discovered porn. After watching the kindly old lady shoplift, they flashback to their prom dates, and the last time they were locked in the freezer. Soon, Jay and Silent Bob come in, but the door locks behind them, and then they are all reminiscing. Facing what appeared to be the end, Dante began flashing back to when he lost his virginity to Caitlin Bree. This prompts Randall, Jay and Silent Bob to flashback to all the times when Caitlin cheated on Dante with the painter (or painters, in one case). This talking of romance soon cause Randal to flashback to the time when he had a mail-order Asian husband, and the time when he accidentally married Dante. Not wanting to become Randal’s next bride, Silent Bob produces a crowbar and pries open the freezer door. Since it’s now well past closing time, Randal and Dante head over to the video store to pick up a few things before going home. But, the key brakes in the lock and the air conditioning gets stuck on high, leaving Randal and Dante trapped in a freezer-like atmosphere. While stuck in the video store, they begin flashing back to all the celebrities that visited their sleepy little stores, and then they flashback to their trips to England, India, and the Burn Ward. From here, they flashback to the time that they were on The Real World, which soon prompts them to talk about old Happy Days episodes. Then, we flash forward to the next day, when Randal and Dante are at the hockey rink, sharing this tale with their teammates. They are the last to leave, and sadly, they get locked in the rink. Then, we flash forward to a spoof of the end of Stand By Me, will Jay being our Richard Dreyfuss author. And it all ends with Jay and Silent Bob teaching us a magic trick. (This is one of the two that actually made it to air)
Notable Voice Artists: Alec Baldwin’s back as Leonardo, and Charles Barkley again pops up in the lesson. Gwyneth Paltrow is one of the celebrities that walks into the video store, and comic Gilbert Gottfried voices Jerry Seinfeld. From the world of cartoons, Jeff Bennet (Brooklyn on Gargoyles) voices one of the customers in India, and Kath Soucie (too much stuff to list here) voices the mother in line at the video store.
Leonardo Is Caught In The Grip Of An Outbreak Of Randal’s Imagination And Patrick Swayze Either Does Or Doesn’t Work In The New Pet Store
Dante shows up at work in the morning only to discover that he has the day off and Randal is filling in. Dante turns around to head for home, and leaves Randal with instructions to put away the shipment of frozen burritos when they come. But, Randal gets too enamored with his new Chia Pet, and the burritos spend all morning in the hot sun. Dante returns that afternoon to find the burritos spoiled, and tries to convince Randal to throw them out. At this point, Jay and Silent Bob walk in, wanting to know if the Quick Stop carries monkey chow. A new pet store has opened up next door, and Jay and Silent Bob want to buy a monkey. The knowledge that the pet store sells monkeys throws Randal into a panic, as he has just seen Outbreak and is convinced that all monkeys carry the Mutaba Virus. So, Randal and Dante go to check out the pet store and meet that store’s clerk, Patrick Swayze. While they are checking out the monkey, Leonardo Leonardo comes in to get his picture taken for Pet Store Weekly. Randal and Dante return to the Quick Stop, when Leonardo comes charging in. It seems that the monkey bit him. Dante runs out to the gas station to get the first aid kit, and Randal finally gets around to chucking the spoiled burritos. But, on his way to the dumpster, Randal convinces Leonardo to buy the burritos, and Leonardo promptly chows down on one. Leonardo leaves, Dante returns, then Randal leaves. Outside, Randal runs into a deathly ill Leonardo, and assumes that the monkey bite has left Leonardo infected with the Mutaba Virus. Randal calls the Center for Disease Control, and the group of stores is quarantined. A major from the military comes in to assess the situation, and determine how far the outbreak has spread. He has two giggling girls take down Randal and Dante’s sexual histories. Meanwhile, outside the quarantine zone, the mayor tells the people that he thinks the mole people set up the quarantine. Back inside, the major tells Randal and Dante that the tests come up clean, but the U.S. Military doesn’t believe the tests, so the Military believes that Randal and Dante only have 24 hours left to live. Randal and Dante choose to spend their final day on Earth going to Desmond Pfeiffer’s Civil War Burgers, but there they run into a rude clerk, and they spend their last few minutes on Earth writing an angry letter to the head of the corporation. Rather than die, Dante remembers the movie and says that if they caught the monkey, a cure could be formulated. They all run down to the pet store, but Jay and Silent Bob have bought the monkey, and they can’t be found. At this point, Leonardo walks in, feeling much better. Leonardo eats another spoiled burrito, and falls ill again. From this, Dante is able to figure out that there is no virus, just Randal’s runaway imagination. They share this info with the major, but the major reveals it’s too late. The army’s coming in to nuke the town and destroy the virus. Dante and Randal know they have to stop the bombers. They hijack a helicopter and take it out of the quarantine zone on a desperate search for Jay, Silent Bob, and the monkey. Once found, they go off to try and stop the bombers. A backfired practical joke results in the bomber pilot thinking that Dante is a closeted homosexual, and will only turn the bombers around if Dante has the courage to admit he’s gay. Knowing that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, Dante says that he’s gay. The bombers turn around, the town is saved, Patrick Swayze gets a movie offer, and Jay and the monkey dance into the sunset to the theme from Dirty Dancing. The episode wraps up with a science lesson from Charles Barkley, but he gets the crap beaten out of him by Jay and Silent Bob with a stern warning: THEY do the lessons at the end of every episode, not him.
Notable Voice Artists: Man, this episode has the lot of them! Alec Baldwin and Charles Barkley return as Leonardo Leonardo and himself, respectively. James Woods voices the major. Gilbert Gottfried gives voice to Patrick Swayze. Bryan Cranston (Hal the dad on Malcolm In The Middle) is the bomber pilot. Former Saturday Night Live writer and comedian Al Franken voices the mayor. Walt Flannagan is back as Walt the Fanboy. And yes, that’s Tara Charendoff, the voice of Batgirl, as the giggling girls.
A Dissertation On The American Justice System By People Who Have Never Been Inside A Courtroom, Let Alone Know Anything About The Law, But Have Seen Way Too Many Legal Thrillers
Randal and Dante are talking about how easy the other’s job is, and that the other possibly couldn’t do their job. A heart surgeon then walks into the store and tells them that neither of them couldn’t do heart surgery. To prove the surgeon wrong, they go and attempt to do heart surgery. When that ugliness is out of the way, Randal decides to prove Dante wrong by opening the Quick Stop the next morning. The next morning comes, and Randal calls Dante down to the Quick Stop. Randal couldn’t handle it, and has barricaded himself in the back room with a shot gun. With Dante back in charge, the store is soon restored to order. While cleaning up the mess created by Randal, Jay and Silent Bob come in, and Jay slips in a pile of soda. Upon witnessing this, Randal convinces Jay that he should sue the Quick Stop. A high-powered lawyer then walks into the store, and after a day’s worth of stalking, Randal convinces they lawyer to take Jay’s case and sue Dante and the Quick Stop. The next morning, the trial begins before the honorable Judge Reinhold. When the Quick Stop’s manager fails to send over a lawyer, Randal becomes Dante’s defense attorney. At this point, the jury is brought in, and they’re are NBA superstars. This distresses Dante, as the jury is all black. The NBA All-Star game goes on with WNBA players, and Randal and Dante go to Lando for jury advice. Lando tells our heroes that the key is to let the jury know that they are just like them. So, in his opening arguments, Randal goes through every negative black stereotype in the book. The defense begins to present their case, with Randal calling Dante to the stand and relentlessly grilling him. Since Randal pretty much proves the plaintiff’s case, our high-powered lawyer lets his associates grill Dante. His associates are…the giggling girls. After this, Randal calls Nicole Corwin to the stand in a ploy to get her phone number. This also is unsuccessful in clearing Dante, so Randal then calls George Lucas to the stand to corner him over the let-down that was Episode I. Randal then similarly grills Steven Spielberg, Joel Schumacher, Spike Lee, and Woody Allen. The trial ends for the day, and things do not look good for Dante. That evening at the store, Randal and Dante receive a letter, imploring Randal to go to Washington and get vital secret information to clear Dante’s name. This, however, turns out to be a bust, as our informant got his cases mixed up. The trial resumes, and Randal calls Silent Bob to the stand. But, since Silent Bob can’t (or won’t) speak, he is dismissed. Closing arguments are given, and then we await the verdict. We then go through a series of dream sequences as we see how Dante, Randal, Judge Reinhold, and NBA superstar Patrick Ewing would like the trial to end. When we get back to the real trial, the verdict is about to be read, but then the producers come on and apologize to us. It seems that the end to the script was lost in shipment, and that we’re going to see a new ending written by the Korean animators. What follows is a huge-ass anime spoof in which everyone goes off to rescue the enslaved Korean animators. The whole thing then ends with a spoof of the end of that classic Judge Reinhold movie, Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
Notable Voice Artists: Again, this episode is full of them! Judge Reinhold voices Judge Reinhold, ESPN announcers Kenny Mayne and Dan Patrick do commentary on the WNBA All-Stars. The NBA superstars who actually voiced themselves are Charles Barkley, Grant Hill, and Reggie Miller. Michael Buffer (the “Let’s get ready to rumble” guy) introduces our jury. Tara “Batgirl” Charendoff returns as the giggling girls, and Batman: The Animated Series creator Paul Dini does the voice of George Lucas.
Dante And Randal And Jay And Silent Bob And A Bunch Of New Characters And Lando Take Part In A Whole Bunch Of Movie Parodies Including, But Not Exclusive To, The Bad News Bears, The Last Starfighter, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, Plus A High School Reunion
Randal and Dante head off to their high school reunion. While there, they run into Leonardo Leonardo, whose high school reunion is also being held that night. Dante heads off to meet up with his ol’ baseball team, but the team doesn’t ever remember having Dante as their manager. Randal catches up with his old girlfriends. It seems that, after dating Randal, they all came to the realization that they’re lesbians. Leonardo, expecting to sweep all the “most successful graduate” awards, finds himself shut-out. Dante and Leonardo, both finding this reunion to be most disappointing, get drunk and begin roaming the halls of their old high school. Randal, on his way out, runs into a really cute girl that had a crush on him in high school. They decide to go off to a closet to have sex. In that closet, Randal discovers Pharaoh, the video game that was in the cafeteria, and the game at which he was the reigning champ. As Randal begins to show more interest in the video game than the cute girl, the cute girl decides to go home with one of the lesbians. Leonardo and Dante wake up in bed together the next morning. Wanting to buy Dante’s silence (and help Dante attempt to recapture his former glory), Leonardo offers the coaching position on his little league team to Dante. Dante accepts and goes off to tell Randal. Randal is glued to Pharaoh, and soon beats his old high score. When Randal accomplishes this feat, the game sends out a signal, and soon shadowy government agents show up to take Randal. With Randal gone, Dante focuses all his efforts on his ball team, but the team is made up of all the town misfits, and they go on a huge losing streak. We catch up with Randal, who was taken to a secret government organization. Here, Randal meets Professor Ram, who reveals that Pharaoh was actually a high-tech recruitment device, like in the movie Last Starfighter. Randal is thrilled at the prospect of being a starship pilot, but then Ram reminds him, “The goal of Pharaoh is to build pyramids.” So, Randal’s job is moving rocks from one end of a quarry to another, while being whipped by slave masters. We then cut back to Dante, whose team is still on a losing streak. Jay and Silent Bob watch one of the practices, and Jay tosses a ball to Dante, revealing that Jay has quite an arm. One of the kids reveals that Jay is in the fourth grade. Thanks to this loophole, Jay can join Dante’s team! With Jay now on the team, they become unbeatable, and go on a winning streak! Things, are not so good for Randal, however. He soon escapes in a mine cart, but that only takes him to the slave master’s break room. He gets to a window and, tearing off a piece of his shirt and using his own blood, he writes a message of help for Dante. He puts the message in a bottle, and tosses it out the window into the sea, and prays that Dante gets it. We follow the bottle on an incredible journey as it makes its way to the ballpark just as Dante wins the finals and makes it to the Little League Wold Series! One of the kids finds the bottle-with-Randal’s-note, but tosses it aside for a bottle of champaign. Dante, Jay, Silent Bob and the team then head off to the World Series, but when they arrive, they discover that all the children in the town (including their rival team) has been abducted by the Thuggee cult and taken to the mountains. Dante and his team decided to launch a rescue mission. They sneak into the Thuggee temple, and find Randal! With Randal’s help, they discover that Professor Ram is the leader of the Thuggees, and he’s doing that Temple of Doom ceremony where he rips out a guy’s heart. Upon witnessing this cruel act, Jay gets swept up in the sacrifice and cheers out, revealing our heroes location! This leads to a huge battle between Dante’s team and the Thuggee cult, only to have Dante discover the kidnaped children, rescue them, and defeat the Thuggees! They then all return to town, and Dante implores that the Little League World Series game take place. Dante’s team easily beat the malnourished, injured, and abused other team to win the world series! As they gather round for the team photo, Silent Bob gazes into the bleachers, only to see the spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker looking back at him. These three spirits then snub the spirit of Charles Barkley. With this adventure behind them, Dante goes back to his job at the Quick Stop. IMHO, this is the funniest episode of the bunch.
Notable Voice Artists: Veteran comic character actor Michael McKean voice Professor Ram, Alec Baldwin is back as Leonardo, Charles Barkley returns as himself, Bryan Cranston (still Malcolm’s dad on Malcolm in the Middle) voices one of the shadowy agents that abducts Randal, and Batman: The Animated Series creator Paul Dini gives voice to one of the lesbians.
The Last Episode Ever (Kevin Smith called it that as a joke, never dreaming that it would actually be the last episode ever!)
A visit to a Comic-con to plug the show has Randal and Dante thinking that show has strayed too far from its roots, so they vow to make the show more like the movie. So, the next morning, Dante is awakened by Morpheus, asking if Dante/Neo is ready to learn about the Matrix. Dante heads off to work, and he and Randal have an uneventful day. At closing time, Dante is in a rush to close up and go, as he has a date with Caitlin Bree. On their way out, they run into Jay and Silent Bob, bearing news of a fair being set up across the street. Dante and Randal decide to check it out before going their respective ways, but have to go back to answer the phone. It’s Morpheus again. After Dante hangs up on him, the boss calls. Because of the fair, he wants Dante to keep the store open all night, and Randal to help him out. Randal says that it’s good that they can’t go to the fair, as all the rides are assembled by junkies, anyway. At this point, two carnies come in, wanting some glue to put together the Tilt-A-Whirl, and some heroin to get them through the night. Because the Quick Stop doesn’t sell glue or heroin, the carnies go on their way, but Jay and Silent Bob come in with news that Caitlin has shown up at the fair with some other guy. Dante wants to go to the fair and talk to Caitlin, but he’s stopped by Steve-Dave and Walt the Fanboy. They want to get the last supplies to finish their costumes for the fair’s costume contest. After they go, Jay and Silent Bob come back in with the latest fair update, along with their plans to let loose the gorillas. Soon, an irate customer comes in with news that the gorillas are attacking everyone, except Caitlin, whose making out with some guy in her car. Dante begins lamenting that Caitlin is cheating on him and that he can’t go stop her because he’s stuck in the store. Soon, a couple of circus freaks come into the store to buy some pop, and just wreak havoc. After they leave, Jay and Silent Bob come in with another fair update. When they leave, Randal and Dante begin debating about how hockey is better than soccer. Leonardo Leonardo overhears this through his hidden microphones, and comes into the store with the Brazilian soccer team and challenges the clerks to a game. They opt to play inside the store, because if they played on the roof, the fair might distract them. But, just as the game begins, the soccer ball is kicked out the window, and the Brazilian team flees in a panic. As Randal and Dante begin cleaning up, Morpheus calls for Dante/Neo again. Fed up with these calls, Randal decides to *69 Morpheus, but instead of getting Morpheus, he gets the President of the USA. Thinking national security has been breached, FBI agents surround the store, and demand that Randal and Dante surrender themselves. If that weren’t bad enough, Caitlin then announces over a bullhorn that she’s marrying some guy she just met. Dante and Randal contemplate their actions. They decide to go outside and surrender before the FBI starts hurling tear gas. On their way out, Jay and Silent Bob come in with the latest fair update. When they leave, Dante and Randal begin wondering whether they should go outside at all. Between their debates, Jay and Silent Bob keep barging in with tales of the outside world; tales involving circus freaks, rampaging gorillas, FBI agents, vampires, hookers, and Caitlin having sex with everyone. After Jay and Silent Bob’s final update, Dante expresses a longing for the good old days, when he and Randal would talk about Star Wars, play hockey on the roof, and go to funerals and knock over caskets. They decide to recapture those good old days and stay inside. But then, Jay comes in with news that Dante’s car has been keyed. Randal and Dante then head outside, but walk onto a plain, white background. Randal speculates that they must have stepped into the Matrix Loading Program, and he calls upon rows and rows of beef jerky to appear to prove his point. When his request for Asian porn stars goes unanswered, Randal and Dante then start hurling insults at the animators for not listening. In retaliation, the animators make Randal and Dante subject to gay joke after gay joke until the animators make Randal and Dante contestants on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. As Randal and Dante flee in terror, the camera pulls back to show us that the animators are…Jay and Silent Bob.
Notable Voice Artists: Alec Baldwin again as Leonardo Leonardo! Former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeny (she was Pat) voices a distraught customer, Kevin McDonald and Mark McKinney from Kids In The Hall voice the circus freaks, Walt Flannagen and Bryan Johnson are back as Walt the Fanboy and Steve-Dave, Lisa Spoonauer reprises her Clerks: The Movie role of Caitlin Bree, and the king of voice artists, Frank Welker, does President Clinton and the FBI agents.
What Might Have Been: Rejected Ideas and the Second Season Premiere
Listening to the running commentaries on these episodes, Kevin Smith and the writing staff revealed some of the other ideas they had for episodes, plus what was going to be their second season premiere:
– Randal decides to make money off of Jay, and samples Jay saying “snoochie boochies” into a rap song. The song becomes a #1 hit, and “snoochie boochies” becomes a national catch phrase.
– Jay runs off to join a boy band, leaving Silent Bob on his own. Taking pity on Silent Bob, Randal and Dante give Silent Bob a job in the Quick Stop. Under Silent Bob’s skills, the Quick Stop soon thrives like it never throve before.
– Randal buys KITT (yes, the car from Knight Rider) at a used car lot. However, KITT soon becomes jealous of Randal and Dante’s relationship. The whole thing then turns into a spoof of Single White Female as KITT attempts to kill Dante and take his place! Smith said the running gag in this episode would be how people have a hard time telling the difference between Dante and this big, black car.
– The second season premiere was going to be a spoof of Aladdin and those Arabian Night tales, featuring our heroes journeying to a foreign land. Only, instead of taking place in the Middle East, it was going to take place in…Canada. Kevin-Smith-film-regular Ben Affleck had already signed on to voice the King of Canada.
But is this in fact, the end? On the running commentary, Smith does reveal that doing this show has whet his appetite for animation, and he hopes to someday make Clerks: The Animated Movie. Should that movie come out, Smith implores us to, “go see it, and prove to the network heads who canceled us that this show would have been a hit!”