Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith Talks Dogs & Acting At Netflix Is A Joke Fest

Kevin Smith is no stranger to standing onstage somewhere and talking. It’s something that he’s been doing for most of his career - when he isn’t playing a character that doesn’t speak, that is. From comedy clubs to theaters to Carnegie Hall and all else in between, he’s done them all. As a result, Smith really shouldn’t feel nervous this particular Sunday night. But tonight, he is.

“I’m nervous,” he tells us. “I do this all the time. But this is The Comedy Store.”

The Comedy Store is sacred ground, so to speak, for comedy fans. For over 50 years, there have been stories that any comedy fan knows. The names of comedians who have called that stage home is endless, and admittedly, Smith is a fan of many of them. He even took to wearing a trench coat - something that’s become a trademark - because of Sam Kinison. Kinison was a staple of the Store. Now, Kevin Smith stands on that same stage for his set at Netflix Is A Joke Fest.

Smith is an expert storyteller. The transition from filmmaker to storyteller was seamless, and he is renowned for his ability to captivate an audience using nothing more than words. Some shows have gone on for more than 5 hours. This show is going to be a tight ship, however, as there’s to be a festival after party in the room after the show. But for the next hour and a half, the sold out room is all Kevin’s.

Kevin Smith was the perfect festival closer at Netflix Is A Joke Fest.

Smith starts out by sharing a story about a recent event, where he had two police officers stop by his house, and ask to use footage from his security camera to find a missing person. While the footage wasn’t helpful, at least Smith got an entertaining opening out of the ordeal. (And we do hope the missing person was located). From there, Smith gave us a glimpse into what the night has in store for us.

The show came about as Smith started working with Netflix again recently, as he and Jason Mewes have joined the cast of That 90’s Show. While he’s no stranger to acting, he’s never really had a recurring part on a sitcom prior, so this is new territory for him. He also experienced that his overall demeanor wasn’t exactly what the show’s director was looking for. (“More grounded” is the word that was continually used). By show night, Smith did manage to get there. But he gave us a glimpse into how he approaches directing actors versus how another director might.

This was the extent of the show business side of the evening. When you’re seeing someone who has been in the business as long as Kevin has, you may be expecting to hear long tales about his favorite actors to work with, and who was the most difficult. These are stories he’s shared time and time again. But there’s a bit more personal - and relatable - element to what he’s sharing with us tonight. Dogs.

For the last half of his set, Smith tells a story that shows just how much he loves being a dog owner. While Smith may consider himself to be more of a storyteller than a traditional stand-up, he has perfected the art of comedy: Find something that everyone in the room can relate to, and find a way to bring humor into it. We all know what it’s like to get attached to a pet, and go through the experience of losing one. Smith managed to masterfully weave this tale with not one but four dogs over the course of this 30+ minute chunk. Keeping things on brand, he ended the evening not with a story about dogs, but rather a story about watching a couple standing up and having sex on Mulholland Drive. As anyone who knows that street, it’s quite a feat.

Smith was the perfect choice to end the festival with. Here’s a man who is so unabashedly honest, and is willing to share large chunks of his life with an audience at the drop of a hat.

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