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Getting old and staying young with Jason Mewes

By in Culture

Jason Mewes, best known as Jay from the comedies Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy, and his long-time partner-in-crime Kevin Smith are heading to Saskatoon on Dec. 10 to perform their live show Jay and Silent Bob Get Old. The show promises to be a fun experience for fans, but after a 20-minute conversation with Mewes, I’m convinced the show will have plenty for newcomers to enjoy too.

After answering the telephone call, a boisterous “Jason Mewes here!” greeted me on the other end of the line. Already, my nervousness was melting away. Mewes spoke with genuine interest and enthusiasm. He didn’t seem disinterested or bored at all, although he must do countless interviews.

After I let him know that I was conducting the interview instead of arts editor Aren Bergstrom, Mewes jokingly asked, “Is Aren mad at me?” I laughed and muttered a lame response that I refuse to repeat. He chuckled and the interview began.

I told him about all the snow in Saskatoon and he immediately replied with, “Wheat? I hear there’s wheat there.” I mentioned that we had potash as well. He pretended to know what I was talking about and we moved on.

Mewes said he didn’t remember ever visiting the city before.

“I may have swung by there on a trip with a friend of mine named Natalie, but I think I would have remembered staying there for a bit,” he said. “I love me some Canada after all.

“I’m excited to be there, and take in some Saskatoon,” he continued. At this point I realized that he was essentially leading the interview.

On the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcasts, Mewes reveals that he initially had difficulty coming out of his shell and found acting tough, a strange fact considering how natural an actor he is. Apparently the natural, fast-talking Jason Mewes who pretty much had to carry Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back by himself was initially camera shy.

“Kevin used to make fun of me because he said when he met me that someone should put me in a movie,” he said. “But when I got on camera, man, I just froze and needed everyone out of there. I warmed up to it eventually but that wasn’t really until Mallrats.”

He was so shy, in fact, that the studio was worried about him when Smith made Mallrats, and initially thought of replacing him with Seth Green.

“They actually had him on hold because they were so nervous, and he was the best available person to play the Jay character.”

Thankfully, however, Mewes pulled it off and got more comfortable with acting until his career reached a point where he was playing more varied characters than just Jay. He happily reminisced about finishing the second season of Todd and the Book of Pure Evil on the Comedy Network and was excited about his upcoming roles in the movies noobz and Zombie Hamlet.

Of course, to many people he is always going to be part of the Jay and Silent Bob duo. He has a wonderful chemistry with his best friend, which is showcased in their SModcasts and their live show, particularly when the two of them got into a 10-minute chat about different types of poop. Mewes says Smith and the podcasts have helped him recover from his long drug addiction, improve his acting and just be himself.

“They’ve evolved from us discussing our beginnings and how we met to big moments in our lives like, ‘Hey! Remember my first threesome?’ and stuff like that,” he said. It was at this point that his filter turned off and I proceeded to conduct the rest of the interview trying not to roll on the floor laughing.

He ran down a few of the stories with such a casual attitude it was hard not to laugh.

“There’s this comic convention I go to every year,” he started. “And sometimes I tell stories about going there like ‘That time I shit my pants’ or when this girl showed me her pussy and I was kind of tempted, but I didn’t and blah blah blah blah.”

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes on stage for their Jay and Silent Bob Get Old live show.
He somehow managed to make a point in all of this by saying that he and Smith like to keep the stories relevant to the areas they visit.

Audience response to the live show has been great so far. Mewes reiterated how excited he is to visit Canada — but somehow he got lost telling me about one time in San Francisco when he saw three men walking around naked. With the enthusiasm of a professor he described the different types of naked people he saw around the town.

“I saw a girl wearing see-through panties and a wife beater and you could see her vagina, and then like 10 minutes later there was a guy with a feather taped to his dick. And he had fishnet stockings and a little wife beater. It was really interesting. So, my point is, the show is awesome and we’re really excited to take it up to Canada.”

Mewes said that for him getting old means more responsibility. Mewes married in 2009 and beyond the duties of being a husband, he takes care of his mom and expects a day when he can hopefully have a kid. Gone for him are the days when he would film a movie and sleep with the extras and party all the time. Most of all though, he feels healthier and happier than he’s ever been. You can hear it in his voice.

Mewes had some advice specifically for college students.

“Of course you’re gonna be nervous about your future and definitely have ambition, but things are gonna happen for you when they happen, if you work and have commitment. Things fall into place if they’re meant to be. I know some kids know what they wanna do, but you never know what’s gonna come your way.”

What can people expect from the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old live show besides stories and some eloquent rundowns on poop? Well, they have a thing called “let us act” for which Smith directs Mewes and audience volunteers in a scene from a famous movie, which has been unpredictable and a ton of fun, according to Mewes. They also like to hang out afterwards and sign posters, then jet off to some bar or coffee place and just hang with the fans.

[box type=”info]Jay and Silent Bob Get Old is Mewes’ new source of income so be sure to check it out at the Odeon on Dec. 10 and fill his coffers.[/box]

Graphic: Brianna Whitmore/The Sheaf
Photo: Supplied

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