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Trivia / Clerks: The Animated Series

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  • Channel Hop:
    • Originally, the series was considered for UPN, with an initial run of thirteen episodes and the promise of heavy promotion. Production instead went with ABC (rather than being "the big fish in a little pool,") which they conceded was a mistake.
    • The show was very nearly picked up by HBO. If it had, all swearing, sex, and drug-related references would've been allowed to air without censorship.
  • Development Gag: The final episode features a couple of Creepy Twins who come into the store late at night and freak Dante and Randal out, a reference to Kevin Smith's original idea to have Clerks be a surreal horror film.
  • Missing Episode: Four of the six episodes in the series; luckily they made it to reruns and home video. See Screwed by the Network below for more information.
  • No Budget: Amusingly, this is even the case for the DVD Commentary. It's obvious there's only one microphone in the room, with Smith coming in loud and clear while everyone else is barely audible.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: The show was rated TV-14, but the DVD/VHS release carries an MPAA R rating despite it being a show, and not a movie. The rating seems to solely apply to the live-action in-between segments with Jay and Silent Bob.
  • Screwed by the Network: Was it ever! Only episodes four and two, in that order, made it to air before it was pulled off by ABC as they felt it didn't gel with their programming. One has to wonder why they even bothered to greenlight the show at all.
    • On the plus side, all six of the episodes have been released on DVD, and [adult swim] does air all six episodes on occasion. They even aired the second episode with the scene where Randal and Dante watch a Schindler's List parody called Flintstone's List. In the ABC version, they only showed Randal and Dante watching the TV with the sounds from the movie playing. On Cartoon Network and the DVD, there's an actual clip from the movie.
    • Other networks (most notably Adult Swim and Comedy Central) were interested in picking up the show for new episodes after ABC canceled it, but ABC refused to sell the rights and has simply sat on them. We're lucky we at least got reruns on those networks and a DVD.
    • Combine this with the fact that when they were pitching the show to another network (often thought to be UPN) wanted to basically let them do what they wanted and make them their flagship show (similar to Fox and The Simpsons). Smith compares it to someone outright asking you to be the big fish in a little pond, but since ABC was a bigger network (and was owned by the company which owned Miramax at the time alongside Touchstone Television) they signed with them. Smith and Mosier admit in the commentary that this wasn't their finest hour.
    • The reason ABC greenlit the show then abruptly canceled it was due to the fact that there was a rush by many networks in the late '90s/early 2000s to have adult-themed animated primetime shows following the success of South Park. However, between the time episodes began production and when they aired, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? became a breakout hit and ABC sought to bury Clerks so it could give an extra half-hour to the game show. Though Kevin Smith has admitted that he loved hearing Regis Philbin say, "Up next: Clerks," (all of two times), he learned that it doesn't matter how much time and effort you put into a TV show, networks are fickle with desires and can change on a whim.
  • Unfinished Episode: Episodes they would have made:
    • Randal exploits Jay by making "snoogans" a Catchphrase, leading to Jay becoming a recording artist.
    • Randal buys KITT at a used car lot. The car becomes jealous of Randal's relationship with Dante and attempts to kill Dante and impersonate him at the store (a reference to Single White Female). He manages to trick everyone except Dante (and most likely Silent Bob) with his Paper-Thin Disguise.
    • Jay joins a boy band. Silent Bob is sad that Jay is gone, so Randal and Dante bring Bob in to work at the Quick Stop. He turns the store around and it becomes a great success. Silent Bob is given a piece of gum and says, "Mmm, Juicy Fruit." which shocks Dante and Randal asking him "You can talk!?" (a reference to the Chief in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.)
    • Allegedly in the 7th or 8th episode, Dante and Randal would have added to their cast of friends a boy ward, named Robin, in a direct reference/parody of Batman's own "Boy Wonder", though like Lando, would probably not have been featured prominently. This plot element was mostly likely not intended to actually be part of the series as it was described by Kevin Smith after mentioning that Paul Dini, best known for his work on Batman: The Animated Series, had also worked on the Clerks cartoon.
    • The DVD Commentary briefly mentioned an episode idea where Ben Affleck would play the King of Canada. The episode premise was also described as "the Aladdin parody."
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Notice how much Leonardo Leonardo looks like Hans Gruber? That's because they originally wanted Alan Rickman to voice him. However, Rickman didn't want to "reprise" the role, nor did he want him to look like Gruber. So they tried different designs for Leonardo until they went back to the original design when Alec Baldwin was hired.
    • Over the years, there has been talk of a DTV movie Sell Out, which basically would've had the cartoon characters making a movie based on the actual movie. Assorted behind-the-scene developments (such as the Weinsteins leaving the studio and Disney selling Miramax, but not this show) haven't helped move it forward. The plot of Dante and Randal filming a movie based on the events of the first movie would eventually get reworked into Clerks III.
    • The DVD commentary said that had the series continued, a Running Gag would have the mayor always appearing in his Mayor McCheese costume, claiming he was about to go to or coming back from a costume party, and have some reason not to remove it. Kevin states his reason being to give the show a unique mayor character as memorable as Mayor Quimby and Mayor McDaniels.
      • Similarly, they would also occasionally have of Randall looking around suspiciously, like in the flashback of the painter's birthday party in episode 2.
    • There was gonna be another PSA spoof, talking about prejudice. The DVD commentary say it would be something like this:
      Kid: Grandpa, what's prejudice?
      Grandpa: Where did you hear that?
      Kid: Kenny told me.
      Grandpa: Who's Kenny?
      Kid: My Jewish friend.
      Grandpa: That's prejudice. You think of him as your Jewish friend instead of just your friend.
    • There was also going to be a Saturday Morning spin-off called Li'l Clerks, which would feature child versions of the characters. Every episode would have rhyming titles, like "Date Fate" and "Clerk Jerk".
    • Another spin-off, titled Old Jay, would feature Jay as a grandfather. This evolved from the last segment of Episode 2, which was a parody of Stand by Me.
    • Word of God stated that there were plans for a revival that was scheduled to debut in 2013. However, that went down the drain REAL quick.
    • The fat guy who says "thanks for watching" at the end of the credits, an earlier idea was to have him lie naked in a pile of money, with his nudity obscured.
    • Of the opening disclaimers at the start of each episode, one was going to state that the celebrity voices in the show are impersonated, before urging America to rise up and kill famous people. The network had the crew change it out of fear that if anyone were to get killed, someone would sue the Clerks show.
  • Write What You Know: The scene in episode 4 where Dante and Randal are bad-mouthed by the basketball players in the elevator ("Were they talking about us?") is based on when the writers for the show were in an elevator behind two executives, who were going on about how stupid the show looked. Unlike the episode, the executives were aware the writers were behind them.