Jay And Silent Bob Get Old
They first appeared all those years ago, way back in 1994, as two stoner-slackers hanging out the front of the convenience store in the cult classic indie-flick Clerks. The juxtaposition of the two characters; the fast talking, foul mouthed Jay and the backwards cap wearing, non-talking Silent Bob would, through a number of films that would come later, made these two characters cult figures in their own right. These days, however, you’re more likely to find Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) in front of a live audience spewing forth personal stories, as well as their views and opinions on just about every topic imaginable.
As part of SmodCast Internet radio their weekly recorded podcasts have gained a cult following and are the latest vehicle in the evolution for the two characters. “I sat down with Kevin and did a spodcast with him and I said, ‘Wow man, this is awesome, I want to do a SmodCast. But I really didn’t know what I wanted to talk about,” recalls Mewes on how their latest venture came about. As Smith was already a SmodCast regular it didn’t take him long to come up with an idea that would see him and long time buddy Mewes take Jay and Silent Bob into a new medium, and a new chapter. “[Smith] said ‘Hey, we have one more spot, why don’t we do a podcast and we’ll call it Jay and Silent Bob? And that’s it. We’ve been doing it since.”
Eventually the pair settled on a name for the podcast, simply calling it Jay and Silent Bob Get Old. To date they’ve recorded and broadcast 96 episodes which have seen them cover just about every topic under the sun – from discussing the perils of middle age to sharing personal stories about sex and drugs. The popularity of the podcast has also seen Jay and Silent Bob pack their bags and take the show on the road, including a recent stint of sold-out shows here in April and a huge run of shows throughout the UK. It’s the latter adventure that’s now spawned an accompanying DVD entitled Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK.
“The whole trip itself was amazing,” recalls Mewes on their travels to the land of scones and tea. “I would say the best memories I have would be like, the whole time. I loved London, I loved Scotland. We took the train from London to Scotland and coming out of the train station, we walked out and you look up and there’s this huge castle on the side of the mountain and that to me was just amazing. We just checked out a whole lot of history, a whole lot of tourist stuff, like old cemeteries and old castles and it just was awesome. I got to be there working but when we weren’t working I got to walk around and check out all these cool things that I’ve always wanted to see, and I got to do it with my wife and my best friend.” There’s no doubt that Mewes is enjoying his character’s new lease of life as well as the travelling benefits it’s afforded him. “It was a whole new experience for me, because how cool is it that we go sit and tell stories and talk in front of a bunch of people, and then in between that we get to walk around and check out castles and crown jewels?” he says.
The fact that Mewes and Smith grew up together and have worked with each other over such a long period of time gives the duo enough stories between them that they’re never short of material when it comes to show time. “We’ll definitely talk beforehand, like ‘Hey man, this is what happened this week, I want to definitely talk about this thing, but also because I was here you know five years ago, I want to tell the story about this, this and this,” explains Mewes. “And [Smith] will be like, ‘Cool, you know what happened to me last week is this. I want to talk about it, and then I’ll talk about this’. So we’ll definitely have one or two things that we want to talk about while we’re out there, but the rest of it is just us going back and forth and just grooving with it.”
While both Mewes and Smith are obviously enjoying their current roles, the adventures of Jay and Silent Bob look set to continue a number of other projects already in the pipeline, including an animated movie of the pair called Jay and Bob’s Animated Groovy Movie. Fans worldwide will no doubt rejoice at the news that their favourite cult stoners will once again appear on the big screen. “I got the first like fifteen, ten minutes animated and I showed it to [Smith] and he was stoked and now we’re going to put that out,” says Mewes. “So that’s the next Jay and Bob thing. And the next movie’s going to be a hockey movie that Kevin’s written and directed, and that’s the two things were doing together right now.”
BY JAMES NICOLI
Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK is out now through Via Vision Entertainment, distributed by Madman.