Thank You, Jeff Anderson
On multiple occasions, on and off the record, I have stated that Clerks is my favorite movie of all time. It is the perfect amalgamation of comedy, music, and capturing a moment in time. Young Kevin Smith had nailed it on his first try.
After that Kevin Smith's output has been on a slow and steady decline according to Rotten Tomatoes Critics/Fans' Tomatometer:
Chasing Amy 88/83
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back 53/75
Jersey Girl 41/48
Clerks II 63/84
Zach and Miri Make a Porno 65/66
Cop Out 19/39
Red State 59/54
Yoga Hosers 20/35
"1½ Stars: Yoga Hosers was so bad, Kevin Smith should be in detention."
-Fred on rottentomatoes.com
So after watching Yoga Hosers, I followed the news of Kevin Smith intently, waiting on a long promised Clerks 3. There was going to be a Mallrats 2, then there was no Mallrats 2 but a TBA Mallrats series? Then no Mallrats series.
Then there was going to be a Clerks 3, then no Clerks 3.
Whatever happened to that hockey movie undertaking?
Then there was going to be a Jay and Silent Bob 2, and....we'll see. What's the point of all my whining? Once Jay and Silent Bob 2 was announced, news leaked out that Smith, Mewes, and O'Halloran were all on board for Clerks 3, but an un-named person wasn't in and that's why the project fell apart. Well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the culprit was Jeff Anderson. For a brief moment I was mad, but shortly after I wanted to send a personal note of thanks to Jeff Anderson. At some point, the Clerks Franchise had become the Law of Diminishing Returns. Again, Clerks was a masterpiece. Clerks the Animated Series was awesome (no matter what ABC said). Clerks 2 was...good. Then there was that Shooting Clerks thing, and now Kevin Smith is super busy doing a dozen other different things, including working on his 10th year of SModcasting.
At some point, it's better to walk away from the adventures of Dante and Randall before damage is done to your memories of Dante and Randall. And if Jeff Anderson is the catalyst for that to happen, then I commend him for not cashing in a meaningless, to him, check. When I was young, I wanted that re-union concert. Now that I'm old, re-union concerts, more often than not, are sad and phoned-in events. I don't know Jeff Anderson, but in my mind he was preserving the magic of the past.
[Who knows. Maybe Jeff Anderson is a huge jerk and asked for a $5 million advance for Clerks 3.]
So I watched the Rick and Morty episode "the Wedding Squanchers" for the eighth (or tenth) time this weekend. I'm not beneath watching something awesome over and over. When is the last time I watched something Kevin Smith did even twice? 2001, when I bought the Clerks the Animated Series DVD. Specifically the episode "A Dissertation on the American Justice System by People Who Have Never Been Inside a Courtroom, Let Alone Know Anything About the Law, but Have Seen Way Too Many Legal Thrillers." I actually got the DVD out a few weeks ago and watched that episode again.
Kevin Smith is more prolific than I could ever be, and, if he's reading this, his response to this article would probably be "I bet Fred Hunt has an undeveloped screenplay in his drawer," and he'd be right. But when I go to sleep tonight, and I look over at my Kevin Smith signed Clerks poster, I'll still have my specially preserved memories Smith shared with me in my youth.