Comic Book Miscellany
Given his much-publicized love of comic books and his occasional stints as a comic book writer, he was asked quite a bit about comic books. The first question asked was, “Will you ever do a comic book movie?”
Smith flatly said no. “At the end of the day, I can’t shoot action, and I have no desire to make an action film. You see here how it takes a whole week to film a 20-second fight scene. I look at that and say, ‘In one week, I could shoot 20 pages of dialogue.’”
And this led into his brief involvement with the Green Hornet. “they wouldn’t let me make it my way,” he joked. “In my version, you’d have the Green Hornet and Kato leaning against the Black Beauty – the most powerful automobile ever made – and they’d just be talking. Then, one would say, ‘Hey, looks like trouble over there,’ and they walk off camera, you hear a whole bunch of fighting sound effects, and then they walk back on camera doing this (brushes his hands together as though brushing of dust), and they’d go back to talking. ‘Your girlfriend actually sucked 36 dicks?’ ‘Yeah, and I’m 37!’”
But he does love the current spate of comic book films. His current favourites are Bryan Singer’s X-Men films. “Really, when you think about it, the X-Men movies are about being gay,” said Smith. “All you have to do is take out the word ‘mutant’ and replace it with ‘gay,’ and there you go!” He then praised Singer for being able to make a very enjoyable action film and sprinkle in a little wisdom like that. “But, you know, I see these kids coming out of the film. They go, ‘I’m Wolverine! Snikt snikt snikt!’ I feel like walking up to them and going, ‘You know what that movie was really about? Being gay! So when you say that you’re Wolverine, really, you should be saying, ‘Dick dick dick!’”
And, given his prior involvement with making a new Superman film, Smith went on to say that he’s now really, really looking forward to seeing Singer’s take on Superman this summer. “It’s not the relationship between Superman and Lois [Lane] I’m going to be watching,” said Smith, “but the relationship between Superman and Jimmy [Olson]. I can see it now. There’s Lois. ‘Oh, Superman, I love you!’ And there’s Superman. ‘Yeah, that’s nice. Hey Jimmy! How’d you like to come to the Fortress of Solitude and oil my balls?’” Big laugh from the audience. “Of course, Singer will be more subtle.”
From one DC hero to the next…. Smith was then asked what he thought of Batman Begins. Smith said that it was a good film, if only lacking the sense of fun that Tim Burton’s Batman had. And then he told his stories of the summer of 1989, when Batman was in theatres and hype for the movie was spectacular. “I remember that they released this teaser,” he said. “It didn’t have any music or sound effects, just a few clips and lines from the film. The whole attitude of that teaser was, ‘We’re not even trying. We know you’re going to see this film!’”
He then told us how his beat-up car at the time was “the Batmobile.” He told us how he’d wear his Batman logo T-shirt everywhere. He also mentioned that the graphic novel Batman: Arkham Asylum had just come out, and in that book, Batman has these business cards with the Batman logo on them, and Batman puts those around town as his calling card…his sign that he’d been there. So he made up a bunch of those cards, carried them with him, and sprinkled them all over town.
His girlfriend at the time worked at a pharmacy. One night, he drove by the pharmacy, and put one of these “Batman calling cards” under her windshield wiper. When she got off work, she came outside, found the calling card under the wiper, started looking around, and then she saw him…standing on top of the pharmacy…wearing his Batman T-shirt and black pants…and his black overcoat flapping in the breeze like Batman’s cape. “I know that sounds incredibly stupid now, but back then, in that time and place, she thought it was the most romantic thing. Well, until I tried to get down from the roof. ‘Just put your foot on the dumpster.’ ‘NO! I’LL FALL IN!’”
And then, for a vulgar question of the night, he was asked if any superhero could be his fuck-buddy, who would he choose? “Plastic Man,” he said. “Cuz you could hang out with him, and do guy stuff with him, and then he could turn into a woman that you could fuck. So, yeah. Plastic Man…or Mr. Fantastic.”
Oh, and he was asked about his infamously late Spider-Man/Black Cat comic book. I even forget what the question was. But he said, “Forget the Muslims. You want to see people pissed off over a comic? Be late with the latest issue of a nerd’s favourite book. They’ll hunt you down and claw your eyes out.”
Leave your purse at your seat
This one woman came up with an incredibly large purse. “Why didn’t you leave it at your seat?” asked Smith. She admitted that she was afraid someone would steal it and root through it. So, Smith naturally asked, “Can I root through it?” The woman obliged, and handed it to Smith.
As Smith dug through it, he made the obligatory jokes. “Why do you need to carry a vibrator?” He held up a tampon. “Oh, I see it’s that time of the month.” The woman replied with, “No, that’s just a spare.” Smith asked if she had any birth control in her purse. The woman said that she did, at which point Smith pulled out a bottle of prescription pills. “Are these them? What the…penicillin?”
Smith eventually found the woman’s digital camera. He took the camera, held it out in front of his face, and took a picture of himself. He pointed it out at the audience, and took a picture of the audience. He then turned his back to the audience, we heard the sound of his fly unzipping, and then a camera flash going off near his crotch. He turned back around and said to the woman, “That one’s just for you!” The woman remarked that that picture would be going on the bulletin board at work. “In that case, you’d better buy a magnifying glass to hang next to it.”
In case you’re curious, the woman’s question was about Vulgar. I’ve never seen Vulgar. It’s a very disturbing film about a clown who’s raped and attempting to deal with the trauma. It was written and directed by Bryan Johnson, who plays Steve-Dave in Smith’s films. Vulgar was produced by Kevin Smith, and it stars pretty much the entire cast of Clerks (the clown is played by Brian “Dante” O’Halloran), so it’s often mistaken for one of Kevin Smith’s films.
Her question was, “What were you thinking when you made that?” Smith replied that he didn’t make it, but when he watches that film, he sees his friend Bryan’s stamp all over it. “That film is pure Bryan. That’s his sensibilities, that’s his humour, it’s all him.”
Odds and Ends
Obviously feeling a time crunch, most of Smith’s answers in the second half weren’t as long and meandering as they were in the first half. He tried to keep them short and to the point.
He was asked about the Clerks cartoon, and if he’d ever do anything more in the field of animation. He replied that, yes, he still hopes to make his Clerks animated movie someday. “I have a screenplay all written. It’s called Clerks Sell Out. The plot is that Randall and Dante get so bored working in the QuickStop that they decide to make a movie about their lives.” (Polite chuckles from the audience.) “I pitched that to Harvey Weinstein, and he just looked at me and said, ‘You really have run out of ideas, haven’t you?’” And Smith said that when he makes that film, that’ll probably be his last foray into animation.
One girl asked him if it was true that he was planning on doing a “Jay and Silent Bob go to Canada” movie. Smith said that no such movie was being made. “How that started was, when I did my guest shot on Degrassi: The Next Generation, the set-up was that I had come to Canada to film a movie called Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh? See, when we talking about me doing Degrassi, I told the writers that the premise would be I came to Canada to make my latest movie. And then the Degrassi writers came up with the fake movie. When I got the script, I read the premise for the fake film. ‘Jay and Silent Bob have run into some situation where they need a high school diploma. No high school in the US would take them, so they came to Canada to finally graduate from high school.’ I looked at that and said, ‘God, I want to make that film!’”
He was also asked why Jason Mewes didn’t come along. It was announced some months ago that Mewes would be joining Smith for this show. “Mewes was never under contract to come. He was just going to join me if his schedule allowed for it. And he’s off filming a movie right now.” And that led to the tale of how Mewes got this part for the film. He auditioned for it, and was told that he didn’t get the part. “So then, when I’m packing up to come here, Mewes is hanging out with me, and he gets the call on his cellphone.” He holds his hand up to his ear and pretends he’s Mewes talking on the cellphone. “When he gets off the phone, he looks at me and says, ‘Uhh, that was that movie company I auditioned for. Turns out I did get the part, and they’re calling to find out why I’m not on the set right now.”
One who tried to be all hip and trendy asked for another reason to hate Jennifer Lopez. “Oh, I’m not going to do that,” said Smith. “She’s actually a very nice person…if you register in her universe. And I didn’t.” He then got into the failure of Jersey Girl for a bit. “Ultimately, it was Gigli that killed Jersey Girl. No matter how hard we tried with the ad campaign, it always came across as, ‘You know that pile of shit that came out a few months back with the couple you really hate? Well, have a second helping!’”
He was asked about his thoughts on Stephen Harper, to which he just laughed and said, “I hardly follow politics in my country! What makes you think I have a vested interest in Canadian politics?” To further prove his ignorance, he then said, “Hey, Corner Gas is filmed in Alberta, isn’t it?”
He was asked if there’s any particular actors he’d like to work with. He did mention Robert Shaw, who played Quint in Jaws, but then remarked that that would never happen. He also mentioned that he also enjoyed an actor named Seth Rogan who was in The 40-Year Old Virgin.
He was asked what his favourite parts of the movie making process were. He likes the writing and the editing…pretty much the two parts where he can be alone and free to do his own thing.
He was then asked about his favourite movie, and his answer surprised me. His favourite movie is The Last Temptation of Christ. “I like that movie because it portrays Christ as being an average guy…who just happened to be the Son of God. No one had ever attempted that take on the life of Christ before, and I actually find it quite refreshing.”
And this led to a rant about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Smith wasn’t a fan. He believes that it’s one of the most often told Christ stories, “and really, there are so many other much more interesting stories of Christ that could be told. The Passion is like Titanic. You know Christ is going to hit an iceberg.” He ultimately dismissed Gibson’s film as little more than “50% more Christ, 200% more blood.”
“They need to do a different take on the crucifixion. You know, in my take, you have Christ on the cross, his followers are weeping, and then…two ninjas show up. One starts mowing down centurions with an Uzi, the other whips out a hammer, uses it to remove the nails, and throws Christ over his shoulder. The ninjas start fighting their way through the crowd. Christ says, ‘But I’m supposed to die for the sins of humanity!’ and the ninja says, ‘Not on my watch!’ And then, the ninjas remove their masks, and they’re Jay and Silent Bob.”
Finally, this one idiot walked up to the mike. He said that he had a friend who was supposed to be with him tonight, but the friend instead opted out so he could be a teacher at this sex ed camp for girls out by Barrhead. Smith then turned around and chewed out the idiot. “You chose to come here, when you could be off satisfying a group of 14-year old girls’ thirst for sexual knowledge? YOU’RE the idiot!”
Anyway, the idiot wanted Smith to call up his friend on his cellphone and chew out his friend. Smith obliged. The idiot dialled his friend’s number and passed the phone off to Smith. After waiting through the guy’s very long message on voice mail, Smith simply yelled “FUCK YOU!” into the phone.
And thanks to the mention of Barrhead, a lot of time was wasted by idiots walking up to the mike and simply yelling “Barrhead rules!”