My long-winded summary of the Kevin Smith show follows below for the enjoyment of those who could not be there, and for the scanning of their own names for those people that were.
Questions And Answers About The 10/01/01 Kevin Smith Show
So who is Kevin Smith?
Kevin Smith is the writer/director of Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. He also plays Silent Bob. He also has his hand in a number of comic books and various other media.
So why was he at Cornell?
CUPB, the CCC’s sister organization – or if you’d rather, the non-musical CCC – brought him to do a show.
What sort of show was this? Was he doing stand-up, or lecturing about fighting Catholics, or what?
Actually, we weren’t really sure – or at least I hadn’t been informed – until about a day or two before the show. As it turns out, he’s doing four of these college shows, Cornell being the first. The show is almost entirely question and answer – anyone from the audience can ask anything they want and Kevin will answer it. His goal, in his own words, was “to outlast the audience until there’s only two guys left like at a Bruce Springsteen concert with their fists in the air going ‘BOSS!'”.
So what’s this about a DVD?
The tour is being taped for assembly into a DVD that should be released early next year. The camera setup was one large swinging camera that did a lot of wide crowd shots and reaction shots, one camera for each microphone used for a question, one camera close up on Kevin, and one roaming camera. It was shot on digital, not tape or film.
And how long did he last?
He came on stage at 8:40 (before I make up a question to explain why he was late, he was taking a shower), and he was literally pulled off stage by his wife Jen at 1:40 – so 5 hours.
5 hours? You’re shitting me.
Not at all. His wife had actually attempted to get him off stage right around midnight after the producer complained that the audience was starting to zone out and they were filming a lot of empty seats. Unfortunately, her arrival on stage woke everyone up, and she failed miserably at getting him to come off the stage.The cameras stopped rolling after 4 hours because they ran out of tape. By the time they actually pulled him off the stage, all of the camera crew had already broken down their equipment and was mostly gone.
How did he last 5 hours?
Honestly, none of us know – he was considerably larger than most of us had expected (and he made jokes about putting on the weight, too), and he STOOD for the entire show…my guess is the cigarettes and bottled water he was consuming on stage, but honestly I have no idea. He said later in the night that he wasn’t a night owl and that normally he would’ve been asleep by that point.
How did the CUPB crew last 5 hours?
Lots of caffeine, and for those people with passes, some alcohol. Did you know Guiness now comes in bottles with a special device, slightly different from the cans, that gives you the same great Guiness taste directly from the bottle? Well, you do now.
How was the crowd?
Probably the most interesting crowd I’ve ever had to deal with. Ariel Schwartz, the chair for CUPB, had to give a speech to tell everyone to be enthusiastic and somehow worked the crowd to a point where after just about anything Kevin Smith said, there was a HUGE wave of laughter. It obviously diminished over the evening, but I’ve never heard a louder crowd at Bailey…well, maybe for Moby, but it was close. So this was all very good…
Unfortunately, the crowd was also very hostile at times. People who were asking ridiculous or stupid questions would generally get taunted by hecklers in the audience if not by Kevin himself. In the words of Henry, “[Kevin] transcended all of it”, almost like an MC of a crazy game show. At times things were a little ridiculous (one lesbian who got up to the mic for an extended period of time was told to “show her tits”), but the crowd definitely added something to the experience.
How was your crew?
Kind of sparse, and very tired after a while. I appreciate the effort of those who toughed it out.
Did he do autographs?
Yup, until 3 AM. And I got to be the guy to stand next to him and feed him the glossies to sign for those people who hadn’t grabbed three of them already. Which was fun.
So what exactly did he talk about? Give us some examples, damnit, and no more of this masturbatory overview.
Well, let’s see…he was asked a lot of generic stuff (favorite scene, favorite movie, stuff about Mewes, Dogma questions, beginning movie-making advice) that doesn’t really stick out in my mind. One person asked him what he thought about Requiem, which got a surprisingly good reaction from the crowd. He got into a vivid discussion about the Hotel School sometime around 1:15 (he was not aware the Statler was a school before this point in the evening, he just thought it was a hotel); he dealt with one guy out of the audience yelling about his car not being environmentally friendly; the aforementioned lesbian had a long discussion with him about the message his movies were trying to send about homosexuality…there was a lot more, and I didn’t get to hear 80% of it because I was, well, you know, working.
Is the DVD going to be worth buying?
I think so. He was incredibly funny, and very quick witted. I’ll be damned if I know how it ends up looking on the final DVD, but it should rock. I’ll be buying it, at least – allegedly everyone on the stage crew, if not all the crews, will have their names in the credits.
Okay, bring on the anecdotes.
You got it.
- We had one kid sitting at the door from 2:30 until doors opened at 7:40 – he said “I don’t really have anywhere else to be.”
- When we opened the doors, there was a mob of about 250 people racing for the front of Bailey. For those of you who have never been in Bailey, it’s not exactly the easiest run to make, but they did it regardless.
- There were three kids sitting in the steps outside Bailey at 8 asking people if they had extra tickets. After watching them do this for 10 minutes, I went and got my two comp tickets (who I didn’t have anyone to give them to) and gave them to the three of them after being told they’d love me forever if I gave them the tickets. The other kid was let in anyhow.
- Kevin Smith’s arrival was announced on the radio with the apparent code-phrase, “The cake is here.” I’m still not sure why.
- After being asked what superhero he would be were he able to choose to be one, and saying Batman, a section of the audience (~7 people) all yelled “FLY, FATASS, FLY!” at the same time – to which Kevin shrugged, said “Okay”, then flapped his arms…then said “How long were you guys waiting to use that?”
- Apparently at some point during the show, he called Jason Mewes on his cell phone and held the connected Mewes up to the mic, who then yelled some pro-Cornell stuff.
- Kevin also announced the name of his upcoming movie at the show; it’ll be called Jersey Girl. Affleck will star if he doesn’t do Daredevil (or, in the words of Jen, “if he lays off the speed”).
- Kevin’s wife, Jen, smokes more than he does.
- A number of my housemates showed up; only two of them lasted the duration. Cheers, Cross and Em.
- Finally, during the autographs, a girl was getting a couple photos signed by him when she suddenly pointed at me and said “And I want an autograph from you because I love you and you’re awesome.” – it turned out to be one of the kids I had comped before the show. I signed happily.
- Kevin Smith – obviously, for being here and doing an amazing 5 hours, even if I wanted to kill him at the end.
- Amy Liu – tireless production chair for CUPB. Remained sane through much of the show, and pulled one insane rage to die for.
- Lizzie Macaulay – for constant distraction and smily faces drawn on my hands.
- Ariel Schwartz – for managing to get the crowd whipped to a frenzy.
- Kate Forester, Lisa Prichep, and Allison Bernstein, for their efforts as well.
- Ryan Short, Zöe Nelson, John Wiseman, Chris Johnstone, Henry Bloom, Marcy Partick, Kristen Massaro, Joe Lisi, Stefan Roesch, Ryan Stenson, Malia Jackson – stage crew did a great job.
- All of my security crew that was there for the duration, whoever that exactly entails.
- Joe Scaffido for keeping it real, whatever that entails exactly.
- The entire camera crew and entourage that was with Kevin.
- The people in the crowd who made things interesting.
- Kate, for trying to call me seven times during the show even though my phone was on silent – and then calling me first thing in the morning when she had a minute. Now that’s love. :)
If you have any more questions, email them to me and I’ll put them up here for the world to see. If you don’t know my email address or are unable to find it, you don’t deserve to ask questions.