Jason Mewes is jacked up on espresso getting ready for his flight from Los Angeles to Spokane. The first half and vocal end of the iconic Jay and Silent Bob stars in a number of Kevin Smith films such as “Clerks,” “Mallrats,” “Chasing Amy” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.”
Mewes, 46, who will perform Saturday at the Spokane Comedy Club, talks about how fortunate he is to have become friends with Smith, his biggest surprise on the set of his pal’s films and what he would probably be doing if he never became an actor.
What are you going to talk about at the Spokane Comedy Club?
I tell stories. I’ll start from the beginning when Kevin and I first met. Fortunately, he thought I was funny since my whole path was a fluke. He liked my weird sense of humor, and he started putting me in his films.
What’s your favorite film you did with Smith?
Really? “Mallrats” was slammed by scribes after Smith’s first film, “Clerks,” was a critical darling.
It’s my favorite because it was the first real film. When we did “Clerks,” it was like friends making a movie. We shot it at the mini-mart where Kevin worked. We hung lights with string from the ceiling and made light stands and props on “Clerks.” But with “Mallrats,” it was a real movie set.
I’ll never forget being in a hotel in Minneapolis. I had never been in a hotel for more than two nights in my life. I had a per diem, and I got to meet Stan Lee (who was in “Mallrats”). “Mallrats” will always be my favorite.
Unlike a lot of working actors, you never dreamed of being a thespian.
No, I didn’t. If it weren’t for Kevin, I would be leading a very different life.
What would you be doing if you never met Kevin?
I would be doing what I was doing when we made “Clerks,” which was when I was a roofer. I would have wanted to start my own roofing company. I remember my boss had a nice house and a wife who was 10 years younger than him and beautiful. That looked like a good life.
I never would have moved out of New Jersey. Prior to “Mallrats,” I had only been in New York and Florida. I also could have gone a very dark route. I have had struggles with addiction. Who knows what could have been?
What was it like being on the set with icons like George Carlin?
I was intimidated. Kevin was a huge fan of George Carlin. He would talk with him about his books and his standup, but I didn’t know about that, so I didn’t say much.
Who surprised you the most on the set of Kevin’s films?
Alanis Morissette. I didn’t think she would be chatty, but she was great when she was with us (in “Dogma.”). We had a lot of fun with her.
When Kevin had his widow-maker heart attack in 2018, what ran through your mind?
When I heard about it, I hoped it was indigestion, but it wasn’t, and it’s amazing he survived that. I can’t imagine a world without Kevin.
Exactly two months before the pandemic, you and Kevin screened “Jay and Silent Bob Reboot” at the Fox theater in Spokane. What memories do you have?
I remember how cool people were and just how nice everyone was.
Kevin has a tendency to go on forever when he performs at clubs. Will you deliver a marathon show like your pal?
No. Kevin has to be pulled off stage. I’ll tell stories for an hour. That’s a long time. I have a good time up there, but I know my limits.
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