Just forget the words and sing along

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Second Evening with Kevin Smith

Sorry my picture sucks, but since I had a run-in with the Winspear ushers over the quantity of pictures I was taking at Weird Al, I was doing things on the QT.

As you all know, Kevin Smith, one of my idols, his Q&A shows have become legendary and are just massively entertaining. When I heard he was coming back to Edmonton after 2.5 years, I knew I had to go. I was there 2.5 years ago, and trust me, you may have seen the DVDs, but it's even better in person.

When Smith took the stage, he of course, had to open with his rant against Air Canada. As you've seen me blog, he was supposed to be in Edmonton last week, but Air Canada wouldn't let him on his flight, leading to him to write in his blog a massive rant about Air Canada. Well, last week, he was still able to make his show in Calgary by flying...Air Canada. Apparently, Air Canada read his blog and he got..."special treatment" on his flight. And by special treatment, I mean he was deemed a security risk and was subjected to all kinds of humiliating body cavity searches. He summed up by saying, [he] got spanked by Air Canada.

As we all know, he's also a hockey fan, and being from New Jersey, the Devils are his team. So he was also quick to point out that, last time the Devils and the Oilers met, Devils won 3-1. And he rubbed it in a little.

Smith is always quick to point out that the first question sets the tone for the show. The first question was about Scientology. Kevin-Smith-film regular and star of My Name is Earl Jason Lee is a practicing Scientologist, so this guy wanted to know if Lee ever tried to convert Smith. Smith said, no, that he and Lee have always been respectful of each other's faiths and there's no trying to convert the other in their friendship. He also pointed out that another Kevin-Smith-film regular and My Name is Earl star Ethan Suplee is also a Scientologist, and Smith says Suplee was raised as scientologist and Suplee considers himself "a lapsed scientologist."

The second question was from a young religion major who said that he wrote a dissertation on Dogma and wanted to know "How come Catholics can't take a joke?" Smith then questioned this guy on the faiths he's studied. Turns out the guy also studied Satanism, so they discussed Satanism for a bit.

I, personally think, the most memorable one had to be this one woman.... Apparently, in one of Smith's recent podcasts, they bring up the subject of choking your partner during sex, and Smith was like, "How can people do that? It's gotta be degrading to the woman." And this woman got up to say that, no, choking your partner during sex is quite OK if your partner is into it and that she enjoys being choked. That led to a lengthy discussion about her sex life. She was flat-chested, and she said that you could find naked pictures of her on this website called My Free Implants.com, where flat-chested women post pictures of themselves and beg for money for free implants. Smith originally misunderstood, and thought she was the owner/operator of the website, but she correct him and said that she just posts naked pictures of herself there. She said that she was 31, had her first child when she was 17, has kids by three different fathers, and that her current boyfriend is 22. "How did you two meet?" "I'm his boss." "So not only are your a cougar, you're a sexual harasser." She'd brought her purse with her up to the microphone...a common Kevin Smith bit is, when a woman brings her purse up the microphone, he talks her into showing off what's in her purse. She then simply said that, yes, there are sex toys in it, and that she finally realized she said far too much about her sex life, and brought it to an end.

(I see in the Edmonton Journal's review of this show, they dismiss this woman as simply wasting time to plug her website.)

That, or the guy who fainted while asking his question would be the most memorable. Smith said, out of all the years he's been doing this, that's the first time it happened. The guy was really, really nervous. He had two questions...his first one was that he had recently been vacationing in Spain and found a convenience store there called Quick Stop, so how did Smith come up with the name "Quick Stop?" And no matter how hard Smith tried, he just couldn't convince him that Quick Stop is actually a really common name for convenience stores, and that he filmed "Clerks" at a real convenience store called Quick Stop. the kid's second question was whether Smith had ever gotten so mad at someone that he got into a fist fight. Smith started to answer it, and all throughout his answer, stopped to ask the kid if he was OK. The kid kept saying he was fine, but then, he fainted.

Now, those Winspear ushers frighten me, ever since one threatened to smash my camera for taking pictures at the Weird Al concert. Out of nowhere, this Winspear usher appears, grabs the kids' unconscious body by the ankle, starts dragging him towards the Winspear catacombs, and barks at Smith, "GO TO THE NEXT QUESTION!" Of course, Smith didn't. Constantly kept asking the ushers back stage if the kids was OK...when the guy fainted, three people -- including a pregnant nurse -- jumped up to catch the guy and administer aid. Smith riffed with them about their heroic efforts and how it was like "watching the origin of the Justice League." Smith then finally brought it to a close by yelling out, "If you can hear me, I've never been in a fight!"

And that was immediately followed by a woman who took off her shirt for Smith. Don't worry, she was still wearing another shirt underneath and finished asking her question fully clothed. What happened was it was a "Fuck Air Canada" T-shirt, so she decided to give it to Smith as a souvenir. What was her question? Everyone was still distracted by the fainting and then the stripping that even Smith himself admitted he was quite flustered.

Oh, wait, now I remember! Her question was about Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and in the opening scene, when baby Jay starts chanting "fuck," was the baby actually saying "fuck" or just a word that sounded like "fuck"? Smith said that the baby wasn't saying anything at all, they put in "fuck" with special effects, and that led to a discussion between Smith and the woman about the swears they've taught their children.

Speaking of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, there was this one with an inspiration story. Several years ago, she was suffering from depression and almost attempted suicide. And she said that, when she was recovering, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was the first movie that made her laugh again, so she wanted to thank Smith for that. Her boyfriend was standing next to her the whole time for moral support, but seeing as to how he couldn't keep his hands off her and was pulling her away from the mic every 30 seconds to kiss her, I think he was more distracting than supporting. Anyway, it turns out her question was she wanted to invite Smith to her wedding, but they weren't engaged yet. So Smith goaded the guy into proposing to her before committing to come.

In another of the most memorable moments of the night.... The line for the microphone to ask question went down a staircase. This one guy comes up to the mic and says, "Actually, I'm just standing in for that guy," and he points at a guy in a wheelchair at the top of the stairs. "Can I run the mic up to him?" Smith said, "Of course!" First up, the guy in the wheelchair said that he thought Randall's rant about people in wheelchairs in "Clerks II" was funny as hell. Then, he asked his question. Does Smith regret getting married so early in his fame that he never got to sleep with any celebrities? And that led into a typical Smith rant about how he's madly in love with his wife and he regrets nothing about his marriage. Smith started wrapping up that tale by saying it'll be his 10 year anniversary next month, and wheelchair guy said, "Wow. Next month it'll be MY 10 year anniversary in the chair." Smith asked how it happened...guy simply said, "Hit from behind playing hockey." Since it's a hockey town, and Smith is a well-known hockey fan, sympathies immediately went out. Guy went on to say that his spinal injury might be curable with just a little stem cell research, and he did a little rant about George W. Bush. And then Smith had to relate an article he'd recently read about circumcision and stem cell research. Apparently, when a newborn baby is circumcised, the discarded foreskin is just loaded with stem cells, so from Smith's point of view, here we have a way to harvest stem cells that should make everyone happy. Smith wrapped it up by saying, "Dude, it's been 10 years, so you're probably sick and tired of people coming up to you and saying, "Dude, I'm so sorry," but dude, I'm so sorry."

One guy asked about Smith's experiences with technology, and if he has a horror story about his computer crashing and him losing all his work. Smith said, "Nope, I use a Mac!" Smith is a well-known, long-established Apple aficionado. That led into a quick discussion about actor Justin Long. He was with Smith in Live Free or Die Hard and has a role in Smith's next film Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but is still best-known as the Mac guy in those "I'm a PC/I'm a Mac" commercials. Smith said he never asked Long about those commercials until they were making Zack and Miri and Long whipped out his iPhone. Smith said to Long, "Dude, you must get all kinds of free stuff from Apple." Long said, "No, but they pay me a shitload of money!"

I want to keep writing, but, wow my fingers are getting tired. There was the usual Kevin Smith wackiness. Apparently, working with Seth Rogan on Zack and Miri, Rogan re-introduced Smith to marijuana, and there was a list of Smith's exploits while high. Smith blames with marijuana for his recent massive weight gain because he'd get high, get the munchies, come down, get depressed about being fat, get high, get the munchies, and it was all a vicious cycle. So step 1 to his latest weight loss regime was give up marijuana.

I will end with what I think was the funniest incident of the night. This guy comes up to the mic....

Guy>> Dude, I've been thinking about this long and hard, and I've got a question here that I know no one has asked you!

Smith>> Right on!

Guy>> I've got a new interpretation of Clerks, it's going to blow your mind.

Smith>> Well then, let's hear it.

Guy>> When you making Clerks, did you ever think that Dante was who you were, and Randall was who you wanted to be?

Smith stands there in silence for a few seconds...dumbfounded and slightly annoyed. He finally speaks.

Smith>> Yes. I say that on the DVD running commentary. I've said it in hundreds of interviews.

Guy>> Oh. Uh...well...uh...your cameo in Superman/Doomsday was awesome. Thank you.

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