Main Cast L-R: Ming Chen, Bryan Johnson, host Kevin Smith, Mike Zapcic and Walt FlanniganComic Book Men
is a Reality TV
show on AMC
about Kevin Smith
's comic book shop, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. The show uses a combination of following the cast around with the going-ons in the store, and podcast style commentary about the going-ons with the cast, and host Kevin Smith. The shop itself is named after Jay and Silent Bob, two recurring characters in Smith's films set in The View Askewniverse
The show's main cast consist of Secret Stash manager and Kevin Smith's childhood friend, Walt Flannigan, his store assistant, Mike Zapcic, third employee, Ming Chen, and Kevin Smith's other childhood friend, Bryan Johnson.
The first season premiered on February 12, 2012 and featured six hour-long episodes. This was followed by the second third season, with a shift to half-hour episodes.
This series shows examples of:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Kevin pronounces Mario as Mary-Oh.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Walt may be one of these, joking about showing off his action figure collection to his daughter's friends.
- Kevin mentioned that his daughter was once horribly embarrassed by his Batman shorts, which greatly confused him because he couldn't figure out how it was different from anything else he did.
- Asian and Nerdy: Ming Chen, who loves comics and Star Wars just as much as the rest of the guys.
- Auction: One episode has Walt and Bryan competing against Mike and Ming on which team can purchase the best items at a local auction. Another episode has the Secret Stash throwing an auction to help a store regular sell his collection to pay for medical bills.
- Baseball Episode: In this case hockey. One episode has Kevin Smith dropping by, getting the guys into a local street hockey game.
- Basement-Dweller: Bryan. Also somewhat of an Ironic Echo, as he's usually the first to quip on the other guys for being loser nerds, yet he's the single 40 something geek with no job (he merely hangs out at the Stash) other than presumably what AMC pays him for being on the show, and yes, he literally lives in his parent's basement.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In an episode where the gang takes turns "riding" the Batcycle, the last shot of the segment shows they were on the back of a trailer all along.
- Butt Monkey: Ming is often the target of jokes among the main cast, especially Bryan and Walt.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The guys attend an auction where they spend several minutes joking about the auctioneer-speak. When the guys host an auction in a later episode they use the same auctioneer.
- Stan Lee also shows up several times after he visits their store.
- Cooking Duel: Literally, in one episode. Mike and Ming compete with Walt and Bryan to design a sandwich to be named after the Secret Stash at a local sandwich shop.
- Cool Car: The Batmobile makes an appearance in one episode, and the guys even get to drive it around town.
- Creepy Doll: Invoked by the guys when a customer brings in a Chucky doll.
- Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: In a few episodes. The auction to help pay the medical bills of one of their long-time customers qualifies, as well as a recent episode where, after Hurricane Sandy wiped out Mike's comic collection, Walt and Ming got George Perez to create original artwork of Mike's favorite character, Wonder Man, and personally deliver it to an obviously surprised and very touched Mike as a kickstarter to rebuild his collection.
- Bryan shows his soft side when in the tattoo episode, he decides to get a tattoo dedicated to his niece. Her appearance on the show was the only time Bryan has been seen in a state other than sarcastic surliness, as he was obviously a very dedicated and caring uncle.
- Dagwood Sandwich: Essentially what Walt and Bryan make in the Cooking Duel episode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Most of Bryan's comments fall into this.
- Kevin has gone on record many times saying Randall from Clerks is base heavily on Bryan. Watching this show, it's incredibly obvious.
- Delicious Fruit Pies: Discussed in one episode, as the cast and Smith reminisce about the ads.
- Dueling Shows: With Travel Channel's Toy Hunter. Lou Ferrigno, Stan Lee, toy dealer Mark, and the auctioneer have shown up on both.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lou Feringo was tasked with getting Bryan back into shape, they had a discussion about healthy eating. When Lou asked Bryan what's the first thing he eats in the morning, Bryan dryly answered "my girlfriend's boob".
- I Was Quite a Looker: Believe it or not, Bryan! A scant six years prior to the series, Bryan reveals he was a svelte man at the top of his game. Though a serious battle with depression lead to overeating
- Joisey: The Secret Stash is in Red Bank, NJ, Kevin Smith's home town.
- The Jersey Devil: The guys go hunting for the Jersey Devil in one episode.
- Toilet Humour: Invoked by a set of trading cards Ming buys, called the Garbage Pail Kids.
- Motor Mouth: Discussed by the guys, in the first [[Auction]] episode, about auctioneers.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Happens often, with the guys discussing what Superhero they would hate to be, what animated universe they would like to live in, if James Bond could beat a superhero, etc.
- So Bad, It's Good: Invoked. What the guys aim for when filming a commercial for the Stash.
- Take a Third Option: Consignment comes off as this. The seller leaves the item or items in the shop, and the shop sells it for a small percentage, instead of buying it outright and reselling.
- Team Chef: Mike, who was a trained chef, takes the lead in the Cooking Duel.