Creator / Kevin Smith

Kevin Patrick Smith (born 1970) is a film director, screenwriter, actor, comic book writer and comedian best known for his "View Askewniverse" films, notably Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma. Smith is a proud native of New Jersey and most of his films take place in the state. He married journalist Jennifer Schwalbach in 1999. They have one daughter, Harley Quinn Smith (yes, named after the Batman: The Animated Series character; he is close friends with writer Paul Dini.)

Smith is best known for the six-film New Jersey Trilogy set in The View Askewniverse; his non-Askewniverse productions Jersey Girl and Zack and Miri Make a Porno have not been as successful (or at least no more successful). As a result, he tends to go back to the Askewniverse trough, often self-aware of its approaching Franchise Zombie status.

Smith got his start by making Clerks, a black and white film shot on location in the scenic convenience store where he worked at the time and financed by maxing out his credit cards and putting his comic book collection up for collateral. It starred various lifelong friends and local amateur actors, notably childhood friends Jason "Jay" Mewes and Jeff "Randall Graves" Anderson. Released in 1994, Clerks became an instant cult favorite and one of the pioneers of the independent genre.

Smith also jump started the careers of two of his friends, Jason Lee (who before Mallrats was one of the most well known professional skateboarders in the country) and Ben Affleck by casting them in major roles in Mallrats and Chasing Amy before they both went off to fame and fortune (both would appear in all of Smith's other Askewniverse movies).

He has also become a prolific podcaster, creating the weekly series Smodcast with longtime partner producer Scott Mosier. This expanded into a network of podcasts under the SModcast Network banner, including Tell 'Em Steve-Dave (with Smith's close friends Bryan Johnson, Walt Flanagan, and Brian Quinn), Jay and Silent Bob Get Old (Smith and Jason Mewes), Plus One (Smith and his wife Jennifer Schwalbach-Smith), Blow Hard (indie filmmaker Malcolm Ingram, with Smith occasionally co-hosting), and Hollywood Babble-On (Smith and actor Ralph Garman).

He is well known for being extremely approachable and friendly towards his fans; often he will take time after his appearances at comic book conventions and the like to sign autographs and chat with fans for multiple hours. Noted for holding detailed audience Q&A sessions, initially attached to his movies, he discovered that people would pay to come to an auditorium and listen to him tell stories and answer audience questions without any context. Hence, An Evening with Kevin Smith led to sequels An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, Sold Out: A Threevening With Kevin Smith, Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 and Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell. He was one of the first film directors to have a major internet presence, going all the way back to the mid-90's.

Currently, he can easily be found on either his twitter page or his official message board (which his wife and friends also frequently post on) or his internet radio station.

Not to be confused with the late Kevin Smith, best known for playing Ares in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its various spin-offs.

Works Smith has been involved with:

Directed Films:

Planned Films

  • Moose Jaws - Jaws but with a moose.
  • Hit Somebody - A film about hockey, based on a song by Warren Zevon and co-written by ''Tuesdays With Morrie'' author Mitch Albom. At Sundance 2011, he announced that it will be his last movie as a writer/director, effectively killing another planned film, Ranger Danger and the Danger Rangers, unless another director feels like making it. He has since announced he now plans to make this a mini-series on a yet-disclosed channel (one would presume AMC, given his strong affiliation with them, or possible Hulu), leaving the way open for his last film to be...
  • MallBrats
  • Jay and Silent Bob Reboot - After an unnamed cast member passed on Clerks III, Smith decided to take advantage of his ownership of Jay and Silent Bob to tell the story of the duo once again heading to Hollywood to prevent Bluntman and Chronic from, as the title suggests, being rebooted. The first draft has been completed as of February 2017.

Other Projects:

  • Clerks: The Animated Series - loosely based on the first Clerks, a series with a comfortable DVD following.
  • An Evening with Kevin Smith, volumes 1, 2, and 3; as well as the specials for the pay-cable channel Epix, Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 and Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell - Smith proves himself to be extremely entertaining in his off-the-cuff question and answer sessions at various college campuses and concert venues. Sometimes joined by his heterosexual life partner, Jason Mewes.
  • Daredevil: Guardian Devil - a comic run that in some ways re-launched the franchise with a more adult focus on the character's Catholic faith; especially notable for the significant death of an otherwise minor villain. Also notable in some circles for a Stuffed In The Fridge moment.
  • Green Arrow - Debuted the mute supervillain Onomatopoeia, and brought the Emerald Archer back to life.
  • A rather poorly-received Batman miniseries, Widening Gyre, which was supposed to be a 12-part series with a fairly long break after part 6. However, because Smith's and artist Walt Flanagan's time was taken up by Comic Book Men, that break lasted way longer than expected. It was later decided that the rest of the series would be published as a second title, Batman: Bellicosity, but that was due in 2014 and nothing has happened since, effectively leaving Widening Gyre unresolved.
  • Directed the Reaper TV pilot.
  • A weekly podcast with friend Scott Mosier, SModcast, which eventually grew into a 24 hour web radio network called SModcast Internet Radio that has shows with Smith and his wife, Smith and Jason Mewes, and others. You can check it out here.
  • Directed and starred in two episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation, bringing along Jason Mewes and Alanis Morrisette for the ride. He took up the gig because he was a huge fan of Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High during their runs on PBS, and had a Perverse Sexual Lust for Caitlin Ryan.
  • Comic Book Men which he's described as like Pawn Stars, but for nerds.
  • Spoilers a Hulu-only show where he takes a group of people to watch a recently released movie (which he pays for all the tickets), and then bring them back to a studio to discuss it.
  • Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do, a miniseries mainly remembered for having long delays between the first and second half of the story and adding controversy to Black Cat's backstory with the revelation she was raped in college.
  • Arrowverse
    • Directed "The Runaway Dinosaur" a second season episode of The Flash (2014). Jason Mewes has a cameo as a guy who "borrowed" his mother's truck for a date, only to see it get destroyed in a super battle.
    • Directed "Supergirl Lives" in a second season episode of Supergirl (2015) (he admitted to crying a little when he found out the name of the episode, as it's inspired by his unused 90's screenplay Superman Lives.

Actor-Only Roles:

Tropes used by Kevin Smith:

Most of Smith's uses of tropes can be found on The View Askewniverse page, but some of his trope use is broader than that. They are:

  • Ambiguously Bi: By all accounts, he's straight, but makes enough passive comments about gay sex, man crushes and "getting wet" while working on The Flash (2014) that it'd make one wonder if he's at least heteroflexable. He's mentioned several times that he has several gay friends, including his own brother, who is, in his words, " gay as the day is long," so certain attitudes may have rubbed off on him as a result. It helps that one of his most popular films is about how sexuality and relationships isn't just a binary division.
  • Attention Whore: In ''An Evening with Kevin Smith," he describes himself as a "press whore" who likes seeing his name in headlines.
  • Author Filibuster: As his spoken word videos suggest, often Smith's personal rants about various subjects end up in his films. For instance, Smith's complaint about the ending of Return of the King appeared first in An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder but also ended up in Clerks II.
  • Canada, Eh?: The True North Trilogy, horror-comedy films all set in Canada.
  • Cats Are Superior: Smith summed it up this way:
    Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are like man's complacent roommate.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Whenever Smith deals with faith, it's inevitably the faith that he grew up with and says that he currently adheres to, Catholicism. Somewhat ironic, in that one of the interest groups most opposed to him is The Catholic League, which started opposing him at first due to his amusing take on the fallibility of mortal religion while simultaniously exalting divine infallibility in Dogma. Other religions are not dealt with extensively, and it's a loophole in Catholic doctrine that ends up endangering the entire universe in the aforementioned film. He has promised, however, to avert this trope if he ever makes a Dogma II. Averted with Red State - the Five Points Trinity church is based on the Westboro Baptist Church
  • Cluster F-Bomb: He's such an abuser, his first film was originally rated NC-17 based on language alone.
  • Creator Backlash: Mocked and simulated; when a group of people announced they were going to picket his film Dogma at a theater near where he lives, Smith himself showed up and picketed the film too with a "Dogma is dogshit" sign. He ends up being filmed by a news crew as a protester, and the reporter recognized him. He'll also be the first one to admit that his films lack visual panache, giving this as the reason why he has no interest in directing anything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or DC Extended Universe despite his extensive comic fandom, preferring to stick to TV superheroes.
  • Darker and Edgier: Red State is his darkest and most serious film by an extremely wide margin.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In nearly every Q&A he does (especially prominent in the Evening with Kevin Smith series), he receives many offers for oral sex from male fans. Often, he'll jokingly accept but demand they put some effort into it. In An Evening with Kevin Smith, Smith's friend Jason Mewes was also propositioned by a gay man who had a crush on him at least once.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Invoked by Smith at the end of his Q&A film Too Fat for 40, after his attempt to answer many questions turns into just one:
    Smith: Well it's called "Q&A." One Q, one A.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • His story of his time as a writer for Superman Reborn and the insane requests of producer Jon Peters, including Brainiac fighting a polar bear and having a robot sidekick speaking with a Camp Gay voice and Superman fighting a Giant Spider in the third act, not being allowed to fly and only wearing black.
    • Played straight and then subverted with Cop Out: It was originally entitled A Couple of Dicks, but the MPAA weren't cool with that. They were using A Couple of Cops as a placeholder, and one of the execs suggested that they use that. Smith said that it was a "cop out" to use that title, so the executive suggested that they use that. Smith thought this was brilliant, admitted that the executives were much smarter than he is, and then ran with that title. One suggestion for a sequel would be Rock Out With Your Cop Out.
    • Smith also stated that back when he was writing the Black Cat mini series, the Marvel Execs also offered to make him the official writer of Spider-Man on the condition that his first storyline would involve breaking up Peter and Mary Jane's marriage. Predicting the inevitable shit storm that would have resulted from that, Smith declined the gig.
    • Then there's his whole story about working for Prince, which cannot be properly summarized other than to hear it in its full, rambling glory.
  • Follow the Leader: While it was already pretty trendy in the '90s, his penchant for profane, sarcastic dialogue spoken by twentysomethings going through their quarter-life crisis gave way to a slew of copycats from Clerks onward, even helping to spawn the entire "mumblecore" sub-genre.
  • Gender Flip: He joked about this in reference to Battlestar Galactica (2003) when he hosted a Galactica panel at Comic Con.
    Smith: [to Ron Moore and David Eick] I'm glad you guys changed Starbuck into a women. Otherwise it would have made all those kissing scenes with Lee really awkward.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Almost all of his films revolve around two men and their very close friendships. Some of these films (like Chasing Amy between the protagonist and his male best friend) openly portray it as attraction, but most leave it as subtext. He acknowledged that he would put some of this content in his films as Fanservice directed at gay people.
  • I Am Not Spock: Both Smith and Jason Mewes are pretty much forever linked with their characters. It doesn't help that Smith continually names their joint projects Jay and Silent Bob [verb phrase]
  • Iconic Outfit: His hockey jerseys and jean shorts. Previously the long green coat.
  • Motor Mouth: He NEVER shuts up, ever! Which is funny, because he plays a character called "Silent Bob". Kevin is a talking machine. His Q and A's and his Smodcasts show this. He can talk for hours, literally.
    "I do DVD Commentaries because I like to talk."
  • Mr. Vice Guy: A self-proclaimed "Fat, lazy slob," Smith is a stoner and an (albeit recovering) overeater with a mouth like a sailor. However, he is also said to be one of the nicest celebrities you will ever meet, showing everyone, from colleagues, to fans, to the Westboro Baptist Church the same level of courtesy.
  • Name's the Same: Not to be confused with Kevin Smith from killer7. Or, for that matter, the late actor who played Ares.
  • Nerdgasm:
    Holy shit... BEN AFFLECK IS THE NEW BATMAN!!! Do you know what this means? It means that I've seen Batman naked!!!
    • On his Fatman on Batman podcast, he admitted to nerdgasming when guest Arleen Sorkin rang his home intercom and announced herself in her Harley Quinn voice, and when Kevin Conroy opened up their podcast interview in the Batman voice, Smith instantly declared, "Coming all over!"
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Said by Kevin Smith in an anecdote about his interactions with Tim Burton, when he brings up Burton's publicist, whose actual, real name is Bumble Ward.
    I am not making it up. I'll say it one more time: Tim's publicist's name is Bumble Ward. There is somebody on this planet... named Bumble.
  • Odd Friendship: Considered himself this with Alan Rickman, considering one is a British acting legend and the other is a stoner indie filmmaker from Jersey, yet Rickman often kept in touch with Kevin and his family after filming Dogma. Talking about Alan after his passing is guaranteed to break him down into Manly Tears.
  • Old Shame: While he stands by what he said about his time with Prince, he feels this way about the fact that it came across as derisive during his standup.
  • Parental Substitute: He and Jason Mewes agree that he is more or less the father Jason never had, doing his best to support him and be there for him during Jason's drug addiction and helping him out by making movies for him to feature in.
  • The Power of Friendship: After a particularly bad falling out, in which Mewes stole Kevin's debit card to buy drugs, Kevin furiously threatened never to speak to him again if he didn't get cleaned up immediately. Needless to say, Mewes is now stone cold sober and he and Kevin are best friends again.
  • Production Posse: If he's making a movie expect Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, Jeff Anderson or Brian O'Halloran to be on board, if not all of them. Recently he's frequently written parts into his films for actress Betty Aberlin after working with her on Dogma because, like all boys his age, he fell in love with her during Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Behind the camera there's cinematographer Dave Klein who has shot all of Smith's films and producer/friend Scott Mosier who produced all of Smith's films up to Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Smith was a collector of Degrassi episodes in the days before DVD, when only rich hobbyists could afford such things. Not only did he name a character in Clerks after Caitlin, but he admitted to laying down $8,000 to get the entire Degrassi catalog on tape.
    • In the DVD commentary for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, he delights in the fact he had a lightsaber — er, bongsaber — duel with Mark Hamill. The Batman lifer has also scored an appearance as a playable mini-fig in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.
    • Smith became a huge fan of The Flash (2014) and got in touch with the showrunners if he could be involved in any way, which got him the job of directing the penultimate season 2 episode before the two-part finale and joining the director rotation for season 3, along with directing episode for other DC CW shows.
    • The long-time Star Wars fan got to cameo in The Force Awakens, dubbing the stormtrooper who spots the X-wing fleet heading towards Maz's castle ("We have incoming at two-eight-point-six, move!") and getting his name in the famous blue-text credits crawl.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Smith's films do not lack three-dimensional female characters by any means. Feminine women, on the other hand, are are practically non-existent, save René in Mallrats, who yells at Brodie for never taking her to "girl" stores instead of places only he wants to go.
  • Schedule Slip: His comic book work is infamous for enormous gaps between issues and heavy delays.
  • Screw Yourself: He once did a special for The Tonight Show where he showed some locations in New Jersey connected to his films. At one point he stands next to a replica of himself, and then proceeds to make out with it, saying it's something he always wanted to do.
  • Self-Deprecation: Aside from making fun of his own weight and appearance in his films and his An Evening with Kevin Smith series, he famously protested his own movie when Dogma came out.
  • Signature Style: Little to no camera movement, lengthy, usually profanity riddled, conversations about sex (comic book character or otherwise) and Star Wars, and some scene involving hockey. All of which is frequently Lampshaded.
  • Speech-Centric Work: His films are, as a rule, extremely dialogue-heavy.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Jersey Girl was made because he'd just had a daughter and wanted to make a movie that wasn't filled with crude humor. Unfortunately, a lot of his fans were angered by their hero "going soft", and he was forced to make a return to form. Watching the movie with the fact that it was made for and about Smith's daughter in mind does make the movie much sweeter though.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: He has an impressive vocabulary and is an articulate speaker, but also can't go through more than a few sentences without a swear word thrown in.
  • The Stoner: In recent years, he's taken up smoking massive amounts of pot, crediting it with helping him out of a creative slump. Some critics have credited it to have fried his brain due to the perceived drop in quality between his earlier work and his more recent output.
  • Sublime Rhyme: The intro to his podcast Fat Man On Batman
  • Take That!:
    "Cats is the second worst thing to ever happen to New York City."
  • Take That, Critics!: He tends to do this.
  • Taught by Experience: He went to film school for a few months but dropped out because he was told it would be 9 months of technical learning and he spent the first few months on the creative side. He did meet producing partner Scott Mosier while there, who does handle the more technical side of things. It's evident from his films that he has a gift for story and dialogue but not much else.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: He's well aware of this, and mocks it frequently; during an interview on the Canadian TV show "The Hour", Smith claimed that he would never do a porno with his wife. Why? Because he would lose all respect for her; "How can you have sex with THAT?".
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter: When his daughter was born he was worried that she would take after him and constantly deal with weight problems. Instead she definitely took after her mother and is tall and very pretty, working as an actress in almost all of her dad's films. In fact, whenever he posts photos of her on his Facebook page, he's quick to remind "certain" commenters to watch what they say about her appearance, because it's being filtered through her father.
  • Unstoppable Rage: He was once thrown off a plane because of his weight. He was not happy.
  • Verbal Tic: Says "Whatnot" a lot.
    • And "shit like that."
    • He says sir almost as much as Jason Mewes.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Although Happily Married, he and Jennifer Schwalbach crack a lot of cruel jokes at each other's expense.
  • What Could Have Been: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon initially wanted to Smith to direct their screenplay, Good Will Hunting. He declined on the grounds of feeling that he wouldn't do justice to the material and told them to search for someone better. He did stay on as producer, however, and was crucial into bringing the film to Miramax.
  • Women Are Wiser: His female characters are almost always depicted as the more competent ones, while the male ones are lazy perverts who, more often than not, are directly responsible for their own misfortunes. The only exceptions are the two Colleens from the "True North" trilogy, if only because they're teenagers.