Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Kevin Smith Q&A at The Borgata in Atlantic City. It was enlightening, hilarious and surprisingly inspiring. Here’s the 10 things I learned during the Q&A:
1. Kevin Smith: Eternal Optimist
Typically, I’m used to funny people being super cynical. There’s not a ton of cynicism in Kevin’s show. It’s highly optimistic and inspiring. I guess if you launch a film career by making Clerks by maxing out your credit cards, lose 85 pounds and find a way to get Johnny Depp in your walrus movie, you have to be a little positive. The only thing I got out of maxing my credit cards is a CD collection that features every Britney Spears ever made but I did weigh 299 lbs. and am now under 200 so maybe I should be a little more positive.
2. Johnny Depp > Bruce Willis
Smith talks about working with Depp which is both insightful and incredible to hear. The media’s portrayal of Depp is the polar opposite of Smith in most instances. Smith also spent a little time discussing the pain of working with Bruce Willis on Cop Out. Ironically, I crossed paths with Bruce Willis in a bathroom in The Borgata about a decade ago. I wanted to tell him how big of a Die Hard fan I was but that would have been breaking my personal rule about talking in bathrooms.
3. If time is money, you get your money’s worth
Smith delivered almost 3 hours (actually, it might have been 3+ hours) of Q&A (mostly A, very little Q). It was impressive to watch him turn a simple question into an hour long answer and even when answering a question about his interest in directing a superhero movie, he went way off track but found his way back in the last minute or two of the answer.
4. If laughs are money, you get your money’s worth, too
Smith’s sharp and witty commentary was funny from beginning to end. Sure, there was a lot of inspirational dialogue and insight into the entertainment business but laughs were the meat of this meal.
5. There’s another member of the male species who is as big of a fan of The CW as I am
Jason Mewes loves The CW more than I do. The Vampire Diaries is one of the best shows on TV. Just sayin’!
6. Kevin & I had some shared experiences
Growing up, I remember my mom and my sister taking me to Atlantic City and then leaving me on the steps while they gambled. Kevin shared a similar memory of a trip to Atlantic City. I also remember taking that step onto the casino floor and having casino personnel swoop in and send me back to the railing. I also remember aspiring to be as honest and funny as George Carlin. I was glad to hear him discuss Carlin and his influence and experience with the greatest comedian to ever walk the Earth.
7. Kevin likes to say “Pushing whimsy”
So, I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure what “Push whimsy” means. Whenever I’m not 100% sure what something means, I google it. I found two blogs (one called Push Whimsy which has exactly one blog post about seeing Kevin Smith and then died and another called Pushing Whimsy which had a little longer shelf life) and this item from Amazon was the third search hit (Seriously, who buys this shit?):
8. He was really serious about only asking about 2 1/2 questions
Okay, maybe Kevin answered 3 1/2 and someone did get engaged at the opening but damn if he wasn’t dead on when he said they’d only get to a couple of questions.
9. There’s a podcast devoted to Frasier!
During one of his answers, Kevin mentioned that he does a podcast with Matt Mira called Talk Salad and Scrambled Eggs where they discuss two episodes of Frasier over the course of a 70-90 minute podcast. Since Saturday’s show, I have listened to 5 episodes and these episodes have made me realize the allure of podcasts. Unlike Chicago Wolfman, I’m perfectly okay with the 30 or so minutes Kevin and Matt spend talking about something other than Frasier and am glad to hear the Frasier talk, too. Like Kevin, for about a year, Frasier was my background noise as I went to sleep every night and I would estimate I’ve seen every episode of Frasier at least 4 times. It might be the most re-watchable show in TV history. It’s going to take a long time for them to get to Season 7, Episode 7: A Tsar Is Born which is my favorite episode but I’ll be patient and wait.
10. If Movie Hot Take doesn’t start a podcast in the next six months, I’ve failed the challenge
During the show, Smith challenged the audience to take a chance. I’ve been doing Movie Hot Take for about 9 months now and have reached almost 300 posts. The next logical step is a podcast but have trepidation about doing such a thing. After all of Kevin’s talk about “pushing whimsy” and failure being not doing something rather than doing something and it being received poorly, it was motivation enough to explore podcasting as a supplement to the site. When it finally launches and you give it a listen and think it’s terrible, don’t blame me… blame Kevin Smith!