In the introduction, you actually make a major point about how you didn’t really write the book necessarily, but you also talk about how the birth of the SModcast came from wanting to record your father.
With the type of stories that you’re telling, you leave yourself wide open. Is it cathartic for you to share these stories with an audience?
Honestly, it’s not so much cathartic as it takes a deep, sickening degree of arrogance to believe that every story you’re going to tell is interesting. But for some reason, I don’t know why I have that. Maybe it’s because after years and years, people keep telling me, “Hey, you’re funny!” “Hey that’s interesting!” so I start to kinda believe it, but I just kinda sit down and think, “This is interesting. People are gonna find this interesting.” I mean, it’s not even like I’m taking a shot in the dark. Man, I hope this works! If we could just pull this plan together! I’ve done it enough where I’m like, yeah, I’m gonna go out there, and I know this kind of thing makes people laugh. This makes people laugh with this type of delivery. So I kind of know going in that I’ve got some people at least willing to laugh. All I’ve gotta do is make sure we give ’em The Funny.
Do you not do it for any internal reason?
The internal reason was – I want to sit down with Scott and do it. And also, I’m sure there’s an internal reason that’s like, I grew up listening to Bill Cosby albums or watching Sam Kinison or worshiping George Carlin, and that just rubbed off somewhere. Like, “Oh! I like being in front of people talking.” You know, I would never consider myself a comedian nor would I try to pursue that. That seems like – there are people, actors who have sometimes started music careers even though they can’t necessarily sing. And I’m certainly not talking about Bruce Willis. I like Bruce Willis. I have every Bruce Willis album there was. But, at the same time they carpetbag into another career, and I never wanted to be that guy. You know, where it’s like, “You know him as Silent Bob! Now he’s a stand up comic!”
So I couldn’t, and plus, stand up comics don’t need the audience. They like the laughter, but they get up there and just generate. Don’t matter who’s out there. The only time they interact is when waiting for the laughs to die down or when someone’s heckling. So I can’t do that. I can’t go up with a “set.” It doesn’t feel right to me, but I can go up there absolutely unprepared and be like, “What do you guys want to talk about?” and they start asking questions. They lead the way.
To me it just makes sense. If someone is interested in you…as long as there’s interest in me, I’m happy to be like, “Here! Take it all!” You know? I’m like a fucking grandmother where you’re just like, “Can I have a piece of cake?” “No! Take the whole thing! I shall ice it for you!” I can’t give a piece of bundt. I have to give you a huge cake with a big glass of milk and some ice cream on the side. Because I’ve gotta overcompensate, dude. I grew up fat. That’s pretty much where it all comes from I’m sure if I traced it back in therapy. If I was that kinda guy. It’s not so much like I must get this off my chest, now. Now it’s just about that I like talking and people seem to like it when I talk. So let’s go.
What’s your take on Disney buying Marvel?
I talked about it on the MTV.com the other day. Which I just called “The MTV.” I feel so old.
Thank you. But what I said was – it’s a good thing. It’s all positive. Basically it’s a business decision and a very smart one. Disney had a hole in their empire. They weren’t reaching boys of a certain demographic. Males under 12 or something like that. Girls they have in droves because the fucking Disney Princesses. They have that well covered, but they couldn’t reach boys. You’d go into the Disney Store, and they’d be like, “Hey, we have a Captain Hook figure!” Boys aren’t interested in that shit. They didn’t have anything they could throw boys. They had princesses galore they could throw girls, but boys aren’t interested in fuckin’ Tarzan or Mickey Mouse or something like that. So for a while Disney tried to develop their own boy brands in-store throughout the corporation, but then they realized, “Wait a second. Wouldn’t it just be smarter to buy an operating boy’s brand that we know works and attracts the audience? And, shit, man. Marvel’s not owned. Time Warner bought DC years ago, and when they did, they bought a library of, like, 2,000 or 3,000 licenses. We do the same thing here. We drop a bunch of money on ’em, let them continue doing what they do because obviously they’re doing quite well, and we just collect the profits from the whole thing. Thus, our brand is made whole again, and then we have every quadrant as Walt said we needed when he opened the doors and then cryogenically froze his head or whatever.”
They basically made a very smart business decision, and they’re not gonna go in and fuck with Marvel, man. It just doesn’t make sense. No business buys something that’s working – and right now Marvel is fucking working, for the first time in decades Marvel is working – so Disney’s not gonna go in and say “Tame it down! Tame it down!” or change it or Mousify it. Disney owned Mirimax, and they never fucking changed anything. Disney bought Mirimax and within six months Mirimax put out Clerks or bought Clerks and then within a year put out Clerks which was, arguably, one of the the scrappiest, dirtiest American independent films made at that time. So, you know, they’re okay to let brands be brands. They just want the money from them. That’s what a business sale is all about. So now they got themselves, what, 4,700 licenses or something like that. Never mind the big guns like Spidey or The Hulk and all that shit. You know there’s someone at Disney going, “How the fuck are we gonna profit off Vision and The Scarlet Witch? Figure this out!”
So Disney buys Mirimax, and within 6 months, they release Clerks.
Well, within a year.
Now Disney buys Marvel, how does Kevin Smith weasel his way into doing a Marvel movie through Disney?
Uhh…I have no fucking interest. Especially because Marvel announced last year, which I’m sure is one of the reasons they announced – it was kind of an overture to Disney – that they weren’t gonna make any R-rated movies. They’re like, “We’re not taking any of our brands and making R-rated movies. We’re a family-oriented company. We’ll never have anything more than PG-13. That’s all we need. Punisher notwithstanding, we’re not making R-rated movies.” So, what’s Disney gonna say? “Hey! We want you to make R-rated movies!” No. Of course not. They’re like, “We’re a family company, too. PG-13 is really good for us. You know, and look what Dark Knight did with PG-13! You can knife people! You can cut their face open in a PG-13!” So, at this point, Disney has basically made one of the smartest business decisions, one of the smartest sales or purchases in big business in a while. Because that brand has been around for a long time, they bought a shit ton of licenses, and the company’s on the move. On the rise. They’ve come into their own.
As long as they don’t mess with it artistically.
And I don’t think they will. I mean, I don’t think so. It just wouldn’t make sense. They’ve never done it historically. Why would they suddenly start now with a brand that they clearly know what they’re doing over there?
So suffice it to say that you’re excited for a Marvel/Pixar collaboration?
Of course! That’s the upside, dude. Why would anyone bitch when there’s even the slightest – I mean, it may never happen, but guess what, it’s a lot closer to happening than it ever was before that Pixar makes any Marvel movie. And I don’t care which one it is. If Pixar chooses to make a Marvel New Universe film, I’m there! You know what I’m saying?
If they choose to just do Longshot, you know, I’m there. If they choose to do Cannonball: The Movie, I’m there. I’m gonna see anything Pixar does that’s Marvel-oriented. Any character. Doesn’t even have to be the big ones, doesn’t even have to be the big guys and shit like that. You don’t have to give me a fucking Captain America Pixar Movie. You could totally give me a fucking Werewolf By Night Pixar Movie, and I’d be like, “Thanks man!”
Nice. While waiting for that, you’ve got A Couple of Dicks coming up that’s being released in February.
February they’re saying, but that could always change. They’ve been saying February for the last six months.
Are we gonna see some promotional materials and marketing stuff soon?
I hope so. Lord knows that Warner Bros. seems to know a thing or two about releasing a picture. So hopefully, yeah, they’ll kick their advertising campaign into gear long before the movie hits theaters. I haven’t seen anything yet. I’ve kind of just been buried in the edit. They’ve still been fighting the good fight to keep the title. So, I don’t know. I guess soon. When we were in production I saw pencil sketches of posters, and it was pretty much what you’d think. Bruce Willis standing next to Tracy Morgan, kind of thing.
It’s a situation where they call you and tell you they’re releasing the trailer?
I imagine it would be. If I was them, that’s the way I’d handle it, because I personally have been involved in the other shit, and it’s not like it helped. It’s like, “Hey, man, my personal involvement meant we made it to $50 million.” My movie’s have always made the same amount of money.
I believe the fliers that you put up 16 years ago…
Yes! My bad. You’re absolutely right. I did…it turned out that it wasn’t the fliers, though. Bob Hawk said he went because of the catalog thing.
But you took that shitty picture, and you wrote that shitty introduction to it.
[Laughs] And I’ve been doing shitty, basic marketing ever since.
If it’s not broke…
It’s a Disney strategy.
But that’s been the leitmotif of my career. That’s what got me into trouble with the online community for the better part of a decade, because I always felt, well, people liked Clerks because it looks like shit. So why do I have to make movies that look good? As long as the content is good and what they’re saying is funny, I don’t really have to concentrate on the visuals. Fuck the visuals! That’s when people get pissed. It’s like, “Hey! You call yourself a filmmaker! This looks terrible! You’re no Wes Anderson, you fat piece of shit!” and I’m like, “Well, yeah I know, but I didn’t think you guys cared about the visuals when it came to me.”
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