Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith

Smith promoting Red State at
Midtown Comics Grand Central in Manhattan,
March 4, 2011.
Born Kevin Patrick Smith
August 2, 1970 (1970-08-02) (age 41)
Red Bank, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Director, screenwriter, producer, actor, comedian, author, podcaster
Years active 1994–present
Spouse Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (1999–present)

Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American screenwriter, actor, film producer, and director, as well as a popular comic book writer, author, comedian/raconteur, and internet radio personality best recognized by viewers as Silent Bob. Although primarily known for the View Askew film series, Smith also wrote, directed and produced films such as the buddy cop action comedy Cop Out, as well as the horror film Red State. His first several films were mostly set in his home state of New Jersey, and while not strictly sequential, they frequently feature crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon in what is known by fans as the "View Askewniverse", named after his production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier.

Smith is also the owner of Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash comic book and novelty store in Red Bank, New Jersey. He hosts a weekly podcast with Scott Mosier known as SModcast. Smith is well-known for participating in long, humorous Q&A sessions that are often filmed for DVD release, beginning with An Evening with Kevin Smith.[1]


Early life

Kevin Smith was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, the son of Grace, a homemaker, and Donald E. Smith (1936–2003), a postal worker.[2][3] He has an older sister, Virginia, and an older brother, Donald Smith, Jr. He was raised in an Irish Catholic household[4][5] and attended Henry Hudson Regional High School in Highlands.

After high school, he met Jason Mewes, who would later become a recurring actor in his films. He then attended The New School and the Vancouver Film School, where he met Scott Mosier, his producer for almost every movie he has made. He majored in film, but dropped out of school halfway through his studies, electing to take a partial tuition reimbursement in order to help finance his first film.[citation needed]


As a filmmaker

In an interview with Robert K. Elder for The Film That Changed My Life, Smith attributes the film Slacker as his main inspiration to becoming a director.

It was the movie that got me off my ass; it was the movie that lit a fire under me, the movie that made me think, “Hey, I could be a filmmaker.” And I had never seen a movie like that before ever in my life.[6]

His first film, Clerks, was shot for the sum total of $27,575 in the convenience store where Smith worked. It went to the Sundance Film Festival in 1994, where it won the Filmmaker's Trophy and was picked up by Miramax before the festival's end. In May 1994, it went to the Cannes International Film Festival where it won both the Prix de la Jeunesse and the International Critics' Week Prize. Released in November 1994 in two cities, the film went on to play in 50 markets, never playing on more than fifty screens at any given time. Despite the limited release, it was a critical and financial success, earning $3.1 million.[7] Initially, the film received an NC-17 rating from the MPAA, solely for the graphic language. Miramax hired Alan Dershowitz to defend the film, and at an appeals screening, a jury consisting of members of the National Association of Theater Owners reversed the MPAA's decision, and the film was given an R rating instead.

Smith's second film, Mallrats, did not fare as well as expected after the remarkable success of Clerks. It received a critical drubbing and earned merely $2.2 million at the box office, despite playing on more than 500 screens. The film marked Jason Lee's debut as a leading man. Despite failing at the box office during its theatrical run, Mallrats proved more successful in the home video market.

Widely hailed as Smith's best film, Chasing Amy marked what Quentin Tarantino called "a quantum leap forward" for Smith. Starring Mallrats alumni Jason Lee, Joey Lauren Adams and Ben Affleck, the $250,000 film earned $12 million at the box office and wound up on a number of critics' year-end best lists, and won two Independent Spirit Awards (screenplay and supporting actor for Lee).

In 1996, Smith worked on a script for a Superman movie. He did a couple of drafts but his script was dropped when Tim Burton was hired to direct. Burton brought his own people to work on the project. Smith still sees the whole experience on working on the Superman project as a positive one however; he has said that he was well paid and it was a lot of fun. (In April, 2009, Smith discussed his Superman experiences at Clark University—a youtube video critic A.O. Scott of the New York Times called "extraordinary." [8]) In the end, neither Smith's nor Burton's vision for Superman was filmed. In the 2007 Direct-to-DVD animation release of Superman: Doomsday, Smith has a cameo as an onlooker in a crowd. After Superman defeats The Toyman's giant mechanical robot, Smith scoffs, "Yeah, like we really needed him to defeat that giant spider. Heh. Lame!" This was a reference to a giant spider that producer Jon Peters wanted Smith to put in the Superman movie when he was attached, that was later put into the 1999 feature film flop Wild Wild West, which Peters also produced.

In 1997, Smith was hired by New Line to rewrite Overnight Delivery, which was expected to be a blockbuster teen movie. Smith's then-girlfriend Joey Lauren Adams almost took the role of Ivy in the movie, instead of the female lead in Chasing Amy. Eventually she lost out to Reese Witherspoon, and Overnight Delivery was quietly released directly to video in April 1998. Kevin Smith's involvement with the film was revealed on-line,[9] but he remains uncredited. He has said that the only scene which really used his dialogue was the opening scene, which includes a reference to long-time Smith friend Bryan Johnson.[9]

Smith's fourth film, Dogma, featured an all-star cast and found itself mired in controversy. The religious-themed 1999 comedy, which starred a post-Good Will Hunting Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, George Carlin, Alan Rickman, Linda Fiorentino, and Smith regulars Jason Lee and Jason Mewes, raised criticism by the Catholic League.[10][11][12]

The film debuted at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, out of competition. Released on 800 screens in November 1999, the $10 million film earned $30 million.

Smith then focused the spotlight on two characters who had appeared in supporting roles in his previous four films, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back featured an all-star cast, with many familiar faces returning from Smith's first four films. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon appear as themselves filming a mock sequel to Good Will Hunting. The $20 million film earned $30 million at the box office and received mixed reviews from the critics.

In 2004, Smith wrote a screenplay for a new film version of The Green Hornet, and announced prematurely that he had originally intended to direct as well.[13] The project, however died after the film was placed into turn around following the poor box office of Jersey Girl. Smith's screenplay was turned into a Green Hornet comic book miniseries.[14]

Jersey Girl with Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, George Carlin and Raquel Castro, his first outside of the View Askewniverse, was meant to mark a new direction in Smith's career. However, the film took a critical beating as it was seen as, in Smith's own words, "Gigli 2", due to the fact that it co-starred Affleck and his then-girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez. Despite Smith heavily re-editing the film to reduce Lopez's role to just a few scenes, the film did poorly at the box office. Budgeted at $35 million, it earned only $36 million.

In the 2006 sequel, Clerks II, Smith revisited the Dante and Randal characters from his first film for what was his final visit to the View Askewniverse. Roundly criticized before its release, the film went on to win favorable reviews as well as two awards (the Audience Award at the Edinburgh Film Festival and the Orbit Dirtiest Mouth Award at the MTV Movie Awards).[15] It marked Smith's third trip to the Cannes International Film Festival, where Clerks II received an eight minute standing ovation.[16] The $5 million film, starring Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Rosario Dawson, Jason Mewes, Jennifer Schwalbach and Smith himself – reprising his role as Silent Bob – earned $25 million.

That same year, Smith was featured in This Film Is Not Yet Rated, a 2006 documentary about the Motion Picture Association of America process of rating films. Smith's interview was in reference to Jersey Girl receiving an R rating,[17] and Clerks originally receiving an NC-17 rating.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno was originally announced in March 2006 as Smith's second non-Askewniverse comedy.[18] The film, which began shooting on January 18, 2008 in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and wrapped on March 15, 2008, stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks as the title characters who decide to make a low-budget pornographic film to solve their money problems. The film, which was released on October 31, 2008, ran into many conflicts getting an "R" rating, with Rogen stating:

It's a really filthy movie. I hear they are having some problems getting an R rating from an NC-17 rating, which is never good... They [fight against] sex stuff. Isn't that weird? It's really crazy to me that Hostel is fine, with people gouging their eyes out and shit like that, but you can't show two people having sex – that's too much.[19]

Smith took the film through the MPAA's appeals process and received the R rating, without having to make any further edits.[20] Zack and Miri Make a Porno was considered a box office "flop"[21][22] in part because of "tepid media advertising for a movie with the title PORNO",[21] and, in the aftermath of the film's "flaccid" performance, the business relationship between Smith and producer Harvey Weinstein became "frayed".[23]

It was announced in 2009 that Smith had signed on to direct a buddy-cop comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan called A Couple of Dicks and written by the Cullen Brothers.[24] Due to controversy surrounding the original title, it was changed to A Couple of Cops,[25] before reverting back its original title, A Couple of Dicks, due to negative reaction,[26] before finally settling on the title Cop Out.[27] The film, which was shot between June and August 2009, involved a pair of veteran cops tracking down a stolen vintage baseball card,[28] and was released on February 26, 2010 to poor reviews; it was the first film that Smith has directed but not written. With a worldwide domestic gross of $55,583,804, Cop Out is Smith's highest grossing film to date.[29]

In September 2010, Smith started work on Red State, an independently-financed horror film inspired by the Westboro Baptist Church and their Pastor Fred Phelps.[30][31][32] In February 2010, he talked about his project with Cinssu,[33][34] Film producers and moguls Bob and Harvey Weinstein who had thus far been involved in the distribution of most of Smith's films, with the exception of Mallrats and Cop Out, declined to support Red State.[35][36][37][38][39] The film stars Michael Parks, John Goodman, Melissa Leo and Stephen Root. Smith had indicated that he would auction off rights to the $4 million film at a controversial event following the debut screening of the film at Sundance but instead, kept the rights to the film himself with plans to self-distribute the picture "under the Smodcast Pictures" banner. The film was released via Video on Demand on September 1, 2011 through Lionsgate, will be released in select theaters again for a special one-night only engagement on September 25, 2011 (via Smodcast Pictures), and will be released on home video October 18, 2011.[40][41] Kevin Smith listed Mel Gibson as a role-model he looked up to, and his inspiration, for how he planned to distribute this movie, citing Gibson's The Passion of the Christ as an example of a successfully self-distributed movie.[42] He further explained his decision as a way to return to an era when marketing a film did not cost four times as much as the film itself, a situation he has described as "both decadent and deadening".[43] The film was released in January 2011. The premiere drew protests from a half-dozen members of the church, along with many more who counter-protested Westboro members.[44]

Smith will direct a hockey drama-comedy based on the song "Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)" by Warren Zevon. The song, which is about a hockey player famous for fighting in the rink, was co-written by Tuesdays With Morrie author Mitch Albom, who is working with Smith on the film.[45]

Although Smith had previously mentioned other projects he had planned,[46][47][48] he announced at the Sundance premiere of Red State that Hit Somebody will be the last movie he ever directs, and that he will continue to tell stories in other media.[49][50] In August Hit Somebody was announced as a two part film titled Hit Somebody: Home and Hit Somebody: Away with part one being PG-13 and part 2 being Rated R.[51]

Smith further explained his retirement from directing, citing distribution politics, and the manner in which making films like Zack and Miri "adulterated" his own identity as a filmmaker, saying, "I don’t have the same passion for it I used to. I don’t have any stories left to tell." Smith further emphasized that he sees himself as a writer rather than a director, and that Harvey Weinstein developed his career as a celebrity auteur because "my films were never strong enough to stand up on their own."[43] Daily Beast writer Chris Lee reported in September 2011 that those close to Smith cite the failure of Zack and Miri, and Smith's constant marijuana consumption as a contributing factor to his categorization of those around him into "friendly or enemy camps", his tendency to sequester himself from those he perceives as being against him, and his retirement from the film industry. Smith states that he is merely reinventing himself as an artist, which he refers to as "Kevin Smith 2.0", and cites his 70 lb. weight loss, his deals for a book and two television pilots, and his starting an online radio station.[52]

Comics and magazines

Smith has been a regular contributor to Arena magazine. In 2005, Miramax Books released Smith's first book, Silent Bob Speaks, a collection of previously published essays (most from Arena) dissecting pop culture, the movie business, and Smith's personal life. His second book, My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith, published by Titan Books, was another collection of previously published essays (this time blogs from Smith's website and reached #32 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.[53] Titan released Smith's third book Shootin' the Sh*t with Kevin Smith: The Best of the SModcast on September 29, 2009.[54]

Smith at the 2008 Comic-Con convention

A life-long comic book fan, Smith's early forays into comic books dealt with previously established View Askew characters, and were published by Oni Press. He wrote a short Jay and Silent Bob story about Walt Flanagan's dog in Oni Double Feature #1, and followed it with a Bluntman and Chronic story in Oni Double Feature #12. He followed these with a series of Clerks comics. The first was simply Clerks: The Comic Book, which told of Randal's attempts to corner the market on Star Wars toys. The second was Clerks: Holiday Special, where Dante and Randal discover that Santa Claus lives in an apartment between the Quick Stop and RST Video. Third was Clerks: The Lost Scene, showing what happened inside Poston's Funeral Parlor. This story was later animated in the TV series style and included as an extra on the 10th Anniversary Clerks DVD.

Smith then wrote the mini-series Chasing Dogma, which tells the story of Jay and Silent Bob between the films Chasing Amy and Dogma. He has also written the trade paperback Bluntman and Chronic, published by Image, which purports to be a collection of the three issues of the series done by Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards (of Chasing Amy). It includes a color reprinting of the story from Oni Double Feature #12, purported to be an early appearance by Chasing Amy characters Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards. These stories have all been collected in Tales From the Clerks (Graphitti Designs, ISBN 0936211784), which also includes a new "Clerks" story tying in to the Clerks 2 material, and the story from Oni Double Feature #1. They were previously collected by Image Comics in three separate volumes, one each for Clerks, Chasing Dogma and Bluntman and Chronic. In 1999, Smith won a Harvey Award, for Best New Talent in comic books.[55]

In 1999, Smith wrote "Guardian Devil", an eight-issue story arc of Daredevil for Marvel Comics, which was illustrated by Joe Quesada. Kevin Smith followed this by producing a 15-issue tenure on Green Arrow for DC Comics that saw the return of Oliver Queen from the dead and the introduction of Mia Dearden, a teenage girl who would become Speedy after Smith's run had ended.

Smith returned to Marvel for two mini-series: Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do and Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target, both of which debuted in 2002. The former was six issues long, but after the third issue was published two months after the initially scheduled release date, the final issues were delayed for at least three years, prompting Marvel to release an "in case you missed it" reprinting of the first three issues as one book prior to the remaining issues' release. The delay in part was due to Smith's movie production schedule (in this case, work on Jersey Girl and Clerks II) causing him to shelve completion of the mini-series until the films were completed. In 2007 he was announced as the writer of an ongoing Black Cat series[56] and The Amazing Spider-Man[57][58] in early to mid-2002. However, because of the delays on Evil That Men Do and The Target, the plan was switched so that Smith would start a third Spider-Man title,[59] launched in 2004 by Mark Millar instead. While Spider-Man/Black Cat was ultimately completed in 2005, Daredevil/Bullseye: The Target remains unfinished, with one issue published.

Smith wrote the limited series Batman: Cacophony, with art by friend Walt Flanagan, which ran from November 2008 to January 2009. As announced at the 2008 San Diego Comic-Con, the series featured the villains Onomatopoeia (a character created by Smith during his run at Green Arrow), The Joker, Maxie Zeus, and Victor Zsasz.[60] The trade paperback of Batman: Cacophony became a New York Times Bestseller in their Hardcover Graphic Books section.[61]

In 2010 Smith subsequently wrote a six-issue Batman mini-series called The Widening Gyre for DC, and a Green Hornet story for Dynamite Entertainment, the latter of which was based on an unused script he wrote for a Green Hornet film project that never came to fruition.[14][62]

In August 2011, Dynamite Entertainment debuted The Bionic Man by Smith, which was based on a 1998 script he wrote that was rejected by Universal as being "more like a comic book than a movie."[63]


In 2000, Smith and Mosier teamed up with television writer David Mandel to develop an animated television show based on Clerks. called Clerks: The Animated Series that aired on ABC in May 2000. It aired only two episodes before being canceled as a result of poor ratings. The six produced episodes were released on DVD in 2001.

During the mid-1990s Smith directed and starred in a series of commercials for MTV, alongside Jason Mewes, in which they reprised their roles as Jay & Silent Bob. In 1998 he directed best friend Jason Mewes as "Gary Lamb – Ground Activist" in a series of Nike commercials. That same year, he also shot commercials for Diet Coke. Two years later, he directed "Star Wars" toy commercials for Hasbro. He has also directed[64] and starred[65] in commercials for Panasonic. In 2004 he also shot a public service announcement for the Declare Yourself organization.[66] These advertisements brought Jay and Silent Bob out of their "semi-retirement."

On February 27, 2002 Kevin released a short film for The Tonight Show called "The Flying Car".

Acting roles and other appearances

As an actor, Smith is known for his role as Silent Bob in Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks II. He made a cameo appearance in the horror film Scream 3, and was featured along with Jason Mewes in several Degrassi: The Next Generation episodes, including a special, "Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi" (also as a fictional version of himself).

Smith also appeared in an mtvU show titled Sucks Less With Kevin Smith. The show gives college students ideas for things to do on the weekends. Smith also played the role of Paul, a cynical divorced man, in a Showtime television series pilot, "Manchild", filmed in December 2006. However, it was not picked up by the network.[67]

From 1995 to 1997, Smith played small roles in the View Askew movies Drawing Flies, Vulgar, and Big Helium Dog.

In 2001, he appeared in friend Jeff Anderson's Now You Know. After an August 2001 appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith returned to the show for monthly segments as a correspondent. The "Roadside Attractions" segments featured Smith traveling to random locations around the country and showcased places like Howe Caverns in upstate New York and the Fish Market in Seattle. While five of these segments were included on the Jersey Girl DVD, at least twelve were aired on the actual show. Smith regularly appeared on the program to introduce the pre-taped pieces.

In 2003, Smith appeared in a cameo role as coroner Jack Kirby in the film Daredevil. In 2006, he voiced the Moose in the CGI cartoon Doogal.

In early 2005, Smith appeared in three episodes of the Canadian-made teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. In the episodes, Smith, portraying a fictionalized version of himself, visited the school to work on the (fictional) film Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh! Smith wrote all his dialogue for the shows he appeared in. All three episodes were collected on a DVD entitled Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi. Smith and Mewes also appeared in two more episodes the following season, when they returned to Degrassi for the Toronto premiere of the fictional Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh! movie.

From July 2006 on, Smith has guest reviewed on Ebert & Roeper, in place of Roger Ebert, who was recovering from thyroid cancer treatment. These spots have been notable for the arguments between Smith and Richard Roeper over certain films, with Smith often citing Roeper's poor review of Jersey Girl to discredit his review of the film at hand. On his most recent appearance, Smith compared Craig Brewer's Black Snake Moan to the works of William Faulkner.

In addition to appearing on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Smith is an avid fan of the original Degrassi series, Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High and references to the original are present in some of his early films. He also appeared in the 2009 made for TV movie Degrassi Goes Hollywood.

Smith directed the pilot for The CW Television Network show Reaper.'s summary of the show is "A twenty-something slacker finally scores a job as the devil's bounty hunter." He describes it as "less Brimstone or Dead Like Me and more like Shaun of the Dead than anything else". He went on to say that the reason he took the job was that he has always wanted to direct something he did not write, but never had an interest in doing it on the big screen.

At the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Smith would write and direct an episode of the Heroes spin-off, Heroes: Origins,[68] but the project was canceled because of the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike. That year, Smith appeared in a number of films. He co-starred as Sam in the film Catch and Release, starring Jennifer Garner.[69] Later that year, he appeared as a hacker called The Warlock in the fourth installment of the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard.[70] At year's end, he appeared briefly in friend and fellow writer-director Richard Kelly's Southland Tales, in which he played the legless conspiracy theorist General Simon Theory. That same year, Smith also did voicework for the CGI film TMNT as a diner chef. He was also seen as Rusty (a friend of lead Jason Mewes) in Bottoms Up with co-star Paris Hilton.

Smith has also cameoed in the second season premiere of the sitcom Joey, where he played himself, on an episode of Law & Order in 2000 (episode "Black, White and Blue"), Duck Dodgers (2003 as Hal Jordan, voice only) and Yes, Dear (2004, as himself and Silent Bob). Smith appeared in the second episode of season two of Veronica Mars, playing a store clerk. He stated on his Web site that Veronica Mars is some of the best television work ever produced.[71]

Smith has also done small roles on television in shows such as Law & Order, Veronica Mars, Joey, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Phineas and Ferb. In an episode of Yes, Dear, he appeared as Silent Bob, standing while smoking a cigarette as the end credits rolled.

Smith has appeared in four Q&A documentaries: An Evening with Kevin Smith, An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder and Sold Out: A Threevening with Kevin Smith. The fourth installment, Kevin Smith: Too Fat for 40 was broadcast on epix on October 23, 2010. The first is a collection of filmed appearances at American colleges, while the sequel was shot at two Q&A shows held in Toronto and London. The third and fourth were filmed in Red Bank, New Jersey at the Count Basie Theater on Smith's 37th and 40th birthdays, respectively. The first two DVD sets were released by Sony Home Video, while the third was put out by the Weinstein Company. Smith appears with Marvel Comics guru Stan Lee in Marvel Then & Now: An Evening With Stan Lee and Joe Quesada, hosted by Kevin Smith. The film is similar in tone to the Evening with Kevin Smith series. Proceeds from the sale of the film benefit The Hero Initiative, a charitable organization that aids ill or aging comic book creators.[72]

Public appearances

Smith's longest Q&A session took place April 2, 2005, at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey.[73] The sold-out event was over seven hours long, took place from 8 pm through 3 am (which due to daylight saving time, was actually 4 am). Following the Q&A, he opened Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash for a meet-and-greet with the numerous remaining audience members, which ended around 6:30 am. Smith then hopped a plane and did another Q&A at the Raue Center For The Arts in Crystal Lake, Illinois, that night. Planned for two hours, it lasted just over five hours, ending a little after 1 am Central time.[74]

In 2009 Smith made a sold out appearance at Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House in 2010.[75][76]

On the Internet

Smith has a website, The View Askewniverse, which opened in late 1995. He also has an online blog, "My Boring-Ass Life", the contents of which were published in a book by the same name. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back's fictional website became real in 2002. It became Quick Stop Entertainment and was the home of SModcast until it was sold and Smodcast moved to a dedicated website, which also carries the other Smodcast network podcasts in early 2010.

On February 5, 2007, Smith and Scott Mosier began SModcast, a regular comedy podcast. SModcast has since spawned into a podcast network called the SModcast podcast network and its own digital radio station called SModcast internet radio (S.I.R).

Secret Stash

Smith owns and operates Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank, New Jersey, a comic book store largely dedicated to merchandise related to his films and comics. The current location is its second. The store was moved to a defunct ice cream parlor on Broad St. after Smith sold the Monmouth St. property. The New Jersey location is managed by Smith's long time friend Walt Flanagan, who appears frequently in Smith's films. A second Secret Stash in the Westwood section of Los Angeles was opened in September 2004 and was managed by long-time associate Bryan Johnson, who has appeared in Smith's films as Steve-Dave.[77] Smith had announced that he would close after his lease expired and Johnson wanted to resign, but eventually relocated to Laser Blazer, a DVD store in Los Angeles.[78] In January 2009 the West Coast Store closed, leaving the east coast store as Smith's only operating store.


2010 Southwest Airlines incident

On February 13, 2010, Kevin Smith was on board a Southwest Airlines flight in Oakland bound for Burbank when he was removed from the plane, allegedly over concerns he was too obese to fly safely.[79] Per Smith, he was able to put both armrests down in accordance with Southwest Airlines policy, and both passengers on either side did not object to his presence. Smith was then removed from the flight after being told he was a safety concern. After being booked on a later flight and being offered a $100 Southwest Airlines voucher, which he turned down, Smith lashed out at Southwest Airlines on his Twitter account.

Southwest Airlines representatives later released two statements regarding the incident via their blog.[80] In the first statement, Southwest claimed that Mr. Smith "has been known to (...) purchase two Southwest seats" and cited its "Customer of Size" policy which requires that customers who cannot put their armrests down purchase two seats. In his podcast, Smith stated that he regularly purchased two seats, and had done so the previous week, because he preferred not having to sit next to anyone, not due to his size. In releasing this statement, Southwest disclosed Smith's personal travel details without his permission. The first statement also claimed that the flight captain has personally determined that Smith was too large to fly. In its second statement, Southwest contradicted this claim, stating that the captain had not singled out Smith.[81]

Smith later released an entire episode of SModcast devoted to the subject, giving a lengthy description of the incident, in which he claimed that he had been able to lower the armrests completely and comfortably and claimed to have been repeatedly lied to by airline personnel. He also referred to the airline as the "Greyhound of the Air" and vowed to never fly the airline again.[82]

In his podcast, Smith stated that on his return flight a large female passenger was told to ask him if it was all right that she was sitting next to an empty seat he had bought between them, and it was suggested by Southwest staffers that she may need to purchase an additional seat due to her size, even though she had been placed next to an already-purchased empty seat. She was also the subject of an episode of SModcast.[83]

Smith also released 24 video statements on YouTube further describing the incident.[84] A year after the incident, he had lost 65 pounds through controlled diet and regular exercise, including walking up and down a hill near his home in the Hollywood Hills.[49]

Cop Out controversy

A talent rep associated with the production of Cop Out reported conflicts on set between Smith and Bruce Willis, saying of Smith, "He smokes way too much pot. He sat behind his monitor. He didn't interact with the actors. The actors felt they were on their own."[85] Smith defended his use of marijuana while working, claiming "I dealt with every actor who wanted to be dealt with on that set" and pointed to the amount of projects he worked on while making Cop Out to counter claims he was unproductive because of marijuana.[86] Smith admitted in an interview that heavy marijuana-smoking had become an integral part of his work ethic after claiming that he watched actor Seth Rogen on the set of Zack and Miri Make a Porno use marijuana as a tool to become a more creative and "productive" worker, saying "The moment I start smoking, I start working. ... That way, no one could ever take it away from you."[87]

Kevin Smith thinks critics should have had to pay to see "Cop Out." But Kev, then they would REALLY have hated it.

—Critic Roger Ebert, responding to Smith[88]

In response to the critical drubbing his 2010 film Cop Out received, Kevin Smith lashed out at the community of film critics on his Twitter account saying, "Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid. All you’ve done is make fun of something that wasn't doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats some fun laughs."[89][90] Smith also implied on Twitter that he may charge critics for advance screenings of his films, a service which has typically been provided free; this subsequently ignited a strong response from some critics condemning his stance as "dishonest" and "disingenuous".[89]

Personal life

Smith is married to Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, and photographed her for the magazine Playboy. Their daughter, Harley Quinn, was born June 26, 1999, and was named after the character from Batman: The Animated Series, who was created by friend and fellow writer Paul Dini.[91] They live in the Hollywood Hills,[49] in a house Smith purchased from longtime friend Ben Affleck in 2003.[92]

Although Smith was raised Catholic, he has said on "Back to the Well", the Clerks II documentary, that now he only goes to Mass on the day before he starts production of a movie, and the day before it premieres. He never smoked until his debut film, Clerks, in which he used the cigarettes as a prop, but never actually inhaled. In fact, he has said that prior to filming Clerks, he was a staunch non-smoker.[93] He quit smoking cigarettes in 2008 after taking up smoking cannabis. Smith only began smoking pot at age 38 after working with Seth Rogen on Zack and Miri Make a Porno.[94]

Kevin Smith is a hockey fan and loyal New Jersey Devils fan. Smith has also expressed an admiration for his second-favorite team, the Edmonton Oilers.[95]





Books by Smith include:


Trade paperback introductions:

  • Hitman: 10,000 Bullets (by Garth Ennis, DC Comics, 1996)
  • Preacher: Until the End of the World (by Garth Ennis, Vertigo Comics, 1995)


  1. ^ Kevin Smith at The New York Times, accessed March 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Condran, Kevin. A Skewed View. Jersey 2004.
  3. ^ Film
  4. ^ As stated in an interview in Clerks 10th Anniversary DVD.
  5. ^ Jeffrey Overstreet. "A Warm & Fuzzy Kevin Smith?". Christianity Today. Archived from the original on April 13, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007. 
  6. ^ Smith, Kevin. Interview by Robert K. Elder. The Film That Changed My Life. By Robert K. Elder. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2011. N. p236. Print.
  7. ^
  8. ^ A.O. Scott, "Kevin Smith's 'Red State,'" The New York Times, September 23, 2011.
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