Watch Jay & Silent Bob ‘Get Old’

Comedy duo to visit FLC, will shed light on success, failures

Jay & Silent Bob gained fame in Hollywood through films such as Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Thursday night, theyll entertain at Fort Lewis College with a live show. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Jay & Silent Bob

Jay & Silent Bob gained fame in Hollywood through films such as Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back. Thursday night, theyll entertain at Fort Lewis College with a live show.

Jay & Silent Bob will be in town, but they wont be here to sell pot, thats for sure. They just want to chat.

The comedy duo has been through a lot together during their 25-year friendship, and their Get Old show at the Community Concert Hall will delve into some of their most private experiences.

In real life, Jay is Jason Mewes and, as on screen, is foul mouthed. Silent Bob is Kevin Smith, but he is actually quite talkative and a successful film director.

Like their movies, such as Clerks and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, their live comedy show will be raunchy. There will be mention of sex, alcohol, drugs and whatever other adult content they may come up with. Some of it will be for entertainment purposes, but some of it will also come from a very real and personal perspective.

Mewes, 38, is on a tour of sobriety. The show began as a podcast in 2010 as an intervention. Doing hard drugs such as heroin on and off for nine years, he had a huge problem, and his life was going nowhere fast.

I explained my situation to Kevin, and he said Why dont we do a podcast? Maybe if youre accountable to others, and you talk about it, itll help you stay off that stuff. Well talk about drug use, how youre doing each week. That way, youll be accountable to people, Mewes said by phone from Los Angeles.

And things are looking good for him these days. At the time of our talk a few weeks ago, Mewes was 920 days sober. He and his wife, Jordan Monsanto, also celebrated their four-year wedding anniversary this month.

Its awesome. When I go out in public, Ill be at Starbucks or Target or something, and someone will come up to me and say, Hey, Jay. Thank you so much for your podcast. I just turn it on and it inspires me to stay sober one more day, Mewes said.

Their show can be heard free on iTunes, or www.smodcast.com. They recently recorded their 101st podcast Jan. 23 at Laugh Factory in L.A. Thursdays will be their 102nd, and will also be made available online.

The shows longevity may be attributed to a number of things, but one thing is for sure. Mewes doesnt hold much back. He wants to talk about the ups, and the downs.

For example, while taking heroin with his ex-girlfriend at her powerless and heatless apartment around Christmastime 2003, Mewes almost burned down the apartment while he was sleeping and knocked over a candle. It was then that he realized he needed to change, he said.

Mewes friend drove him cross country to New Jersey where there was a warrant out for his arrest for a probation violation. The judge sentenced him to six months of rehab.

It helped. He was sober for about five years. But then he had back surgery, and he got addicted to Vicodin.

I knew I had to stop, so I quit taking the pills, and then thats when Kevin invited me to do the podcast, Mewes said.

These friendly gestures between the two began about 25 years ago. Smith, 42, was working at a convenience store in Highlands, N.J., called Quick Stop, which would go on to be the setting for his film Clerks, in which the duo plays pot dealers in front of the store.

Smith knew he could count on Mewes when he helped him open the convenience store at 5 a.m. one Sunday morning.

I was the only one that would go in that early to give him a hand, Mewes said.

Not long after that, Smith began writing a script for Clerks, which was released in 1994 and went on to receive top honors at Sundance Film Festival.

Smith and I would actually hang out in front of that store like we did in Clerks. The only difference is that we didnt sell pot (in real life), Mewes said.

Kevin wanted to focus on directing and producing the film, so he didnt want to give himself too many lines to memorize, Mewes said.

Smith also wrote, directed and acted in Chasing Amy, which stars Ben Affleck as a comic-book creator.

And thats no coincidence. Smith and Mewes friendship is deeply rooted in comic books. Thats how they became friends. They met at the local community center in Highlands, where Smith worked, and they hit it off with the comics connection.

They now have a comic-book store named after them, which opened in 1997 in Red Bank, N.J., Jay and Silent Bobs Secret Stash. Its the setting of an AMC series called Comic Book Men.

Starting its second season Feb. 14, the series is the Antiques Roadshow of comic books. Customers visit the store to peddle their possessions, and the stores experts name a price.

Hurricane Sandy spared it, fortunately.

Its right up the street from the beach, but it didnt get damaged, Mewes said.

His half sister and her family in New Jersey werent so lucky.

Their house was literally under water up from the beach three houses in from the beach. It got flooded up to the second floor, Mewes said. Hopefully, they can get some grant money to fix it up.

Their 100th podcast, recorded Dec. 22 at The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club & Podcast Theatre, was a benefit for victims of the storm. All of the money from the show was donated to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Its back on the road this week. Mewes says hes excited to check out Durango. It will be their first time here.

The show will be very interactive. Well get the audience involved, Mewes said.

mhayden@durangoherald.com