Courtesy of Jay & Silent Bob
Courtesy of Jay & Silent Bob
Jay & Silent Bob will be in town, but they won’t be here to sell pot, that’s 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 don’t we do a podcast? Maybe if you’re accountable to others, and you talk about it, it’ll help you stay off that stuff. We’ll talk about drug use, how you’re doing each week. That way, you’ll 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.
“It’s awesome. When I go out in public, I’ll 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. Thursday’s will be their 102nd, and will also be made available online.
The show’s longevity may be attributed to a number of things, but one thing is for sure. Mewes doesn’t 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 that’s 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 didn’t sell pot (in real life),” Mewes said.
“Kevin wanted to focus on directing and producing the film, so he didn’t 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 that’s no coincidence. Smith and Mewes’ friendship is deeply rooted in comic books. That’s 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 Bob’s Secret Stash.” It’s 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 store’s experts name a price.
Hurricane Sandy spared it, fortunately.
“It’s right up the street from the beach, but it didn’t get damaged,” Mewes said.
His half sister and her family in New Jersey weren’t 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.
It’s back on the road this week. Mewes says he’s excited to check out Durango. It will be their first time here.
“The show will be very interactive. We’ll get the audience involved,” Mewes said.