By Orest Szopiak
First, I had to find Roy Thomson Hall.
So I got a phone book and looked up R. Thomson. I decided the easiest way was to just dial him up and ask directions to his place. “Hello?” he said. “Is this Roy Thomson?” I said. “Actually, this is Ray Thomson.” “Oh,” I said, disappointed. “Could you put me through to your brother?” After a silence, “Didn’t you call 20 minutes ago?”
To make a long story short, I found the place and was soon in my seat waiting for the show. Mr. Smith appeared in a swamp-green trench coat, introduced by his five-year-old daughter, Harley Quinn. The audience cried for him to “Lay the podium down!” which he did, and they cheered. A technician then set the podium upright again, and they booed. It was a wonderful thing.
I won’t go into detail about Mr. Smith’s remarks on his love of Tim Hortons, his guest appearance on Degrassi, or the ubiquitous references to hiding behind a rock. You’ll see all that on An evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder. Suffice to say, I came in not liking him all that much, but was soon laughing so hard that I couldn’t help but like him.
Smith had a rapport with the audience you wish every stand-up comedian had. This wasn’t so much a lecture as a press conference-comedy show-stoner convention-lecture. Whatever you think of his films, Mr. Smith can be a most intense young man (he is only 34), and not so silent as he appears in films. The man showed himself to be intelligent, clever, and, I admit-mirthful.
So the chain of tripped-out topics continued. Mr. Smith made light of his weight, his marriage and referred to his genitals as “the Smith shame.” Jason Mewes (Jay of Jay and Silent Bob) showed up, followed later by a man in underwear with a towel on his head. By the end, no stoner in the audience was afraid to yell out whatever valuable ideas swam around in their stoner brain, so we heard many interesting questions, like “What would you do for a flying car?” to which Kevin replied something I can’t repeat in print. I really can’t.
The evening lasted almost four hours, which I’m told is a very long time. Some of the audience got tired. I myself drifted out of focus a few times and dreamt about my aspiration to one day appear on the cover of our newspaper in a bridal gown. But Mr. Smith made sure to throw in something jazzy every two minutes to get back attention.
“Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff should have a fight to the death with broken bottles,” he said. Finally, it was over. For four hours he had been on the ball, incandescent, and so forth. But after the show he was a tired, tired man.
“Haven’t you people heard enough?” he joked as he approached the round table of four respectable media representatives, plus me. “So where are you all from?” he asked. “Ryersoooon!” I enthused, in true Ryerson spirit. “Oh, so you’re from right around the block, huh.” “Yep,” I replied. Then the questions began.
Now, understand, I had all sorts of great questions prepared, like “What’s with the beard?”, “Are you really Kevin Smith?” and “Why do you keep making the same movie?” but was shocked into shame when I saw the actual circumstances of the interview.
We were just two tired guys at a table full of media skeletons. Clearly, the jerk act wouldn’t work.
So I asked him, what’s the deal with Degrassi: the Next Generation? It’s not a cult show. It’s glossy, it’s cute, it’s designer fashion. But he didn’t buy that. He said the original Degrassi wasn’t cult during its first run either.
“And it’s not like they’re going around wearing Gucci, Armani, Chanel clothing,” he said. “Club Monaco?” I said. “Nope,” he replied.
He then took a walk through the lobby to meet a few fans.
In conclusion, I found his personality charming and his vulgarity mirthful. It was a night I’ll never forget because I’m on the DVD.