Have you ever been to Las Vegas?
Yes, I've been there a few times for fun and for work. And I love it.
Got any good Vegas stories?
I do, but I’m going to save them for the show.
So, anything you're planning on doing while you’re here?
I'm going to definitely do a little gambling. I don’t gamble big, I never like to gamble too much. I usually put a max of $300 on what I bet. I usually don't wind up gambling too long. As for shows, I don't know yet. I'll wait and see. My wife’s going to go, so when we have some free time I’d definitely like to go see something. I’m going to see what she’d like to go see.
You’ve made no secret about your drug-related past and how you’ve been clean and sober for the last several years. Any concerns about the temptations of Sin City?
I’ve been there sober many times. I think I’ve actually been there more sober than I have been messed up. I’ve been there a couple of times and drank, but never anything too crazy. I worry about [my addiction] in the big picture, but I’m not worried about gambling and having them ask me if I want a drink. That happens all the time, and it doesn’t bother me.
How did the podcast come about?
The podcast started with Kevin, who’s been doing a podcast for years with Scott Mosier called Smodcast. There was a “Highlands” episode that Kevin had done a couple of times with our buddies from Highlands we grew up with. He asked me if I’d jump up with him and do the first live Highlands show. And I did, and I really dug it. I wanted to start doing my own and call it Mewescast. I just needed to find someone to do it with. I did a few with my friend Matt and my friend Nick. We got through it and some people dug it, but their schedule and everything else just wasn’t working out. Finally Kevin was like, “We have another show next week and you and I, we’ll do it live and call it Jay and Silent Bob Get Old. I dug it and people came and seemed to dig it.
I think a big part of it was me telling my stories. Besides wanting to podcast in general, we could talk about us meeting and my battle with drugs and stuff. Even after I had all that clean time after I got [dental] surgery [around the time he was filming Zack & Miri Make a Porno], the reason I wasn’t able to get through it and take painkillers and stop taking them was because I didn’t really have anyone I was talking to, I didn’t have a support group. So Kevin thought it was the perfect opportunity to talk about it there. Me being a guest and having fun, and talking about the drugs and stories about the drugs. It was a big combination and it seems to be working well. I like it.
It seems like right now you’re making a career of our being candid about your life. Ever feel like you’re sharing too much information?
No, not really. there hasn't really been anything I mind sharing. I'm sure there’s one or two things I haven't shared yet. I just, really, it’s helping me stay sober, talking about it and getting stuff off my chest, so it doesn’t bother me, no.
How long do you and Kevin hope to keep the show going?
There’s plenty of other stories for us to tell. It’s just a matter of, you know, not everything can be told and be entertaining. I would hope we get to keep going for another tour in another six months or so. I believe we’ll be able to figure out ways to change it up and keep going.
Is it intimidating doing a podcast as a paid live show? Seeing as how everything is more or less unscripted, ever concerned you’ll draw a blank?
I definitely jot down a lot of notes before showtime. So we’ll sit and start chatting, talk for 20 to 30 minutes and draw a blank. That's when I’ll tell people, “Oh, this happened to me this week in San Diego,” or, “Remember when we did this in Las Vegas?” It's never a problem.
How has the live podcast gone so far? Are audiences responding positively?
I really don’t pay attention. I know that people ain’t all digging everything we’re doing, and I know people have made comments [on message boards]. Of course not everyone's going to like it, I just think they don’t have to necessarily attack you for doing it. I would rather not sit and dwell on a bunch of people saying bad stuff. [Doing the podcast] is helping me, and there's some people who like it. Don't get me wrong, I want people to enjoy themselves. I hope people are enjoying it, but I'd rather not pay attention [to negativity].
You do both the podcast Jay and Silent Bob Get Old podcast and Jay and Silent Bob Get Jobs Internet radio show. Which do you prefer?
I don’t know. I enjoy both of them. I guess ultimately the radio show because we get to do it everyday and I get to joke and bullshit with Kevin [Smith] for two hours. But I love the live shows too becasue I get to interact with the crowd, and Kevin and I get to travel and go to different places together.
How huge has Kevin been in your life?
Huge, huge. We’ve been friends for like 20 years now, but he’s definitely been a sort of older brother figure to me. He’s helped me around in situations I’ve been in, and he hasn’t given up. Most of my friends would stop calling me. One time when I hurt his feelings he talked to one of my counselors, and they said, “If he messes up again, you can give him tough love.” But he still talked to me. He just wasn’t as open arms. But even then he was there for me. That's what he was told to do, and it worked.
What is the best part of your life?
My wife and dogs and Kevin. All the stuff we’re all doing together. My wife works with Kevin on the company end of things, help promoting shows, getting the website up, working with companies to keep the website going and merchandise going, and all the stuff dealing with the company and website. It’s awesome, because I get to work with my wife and my best friend, so it’s awesome.
Who would like to work with?
I never really think about it, 'cause you know at times there’s a lot of guys I would like to work with, but I wouldn’t want to work with, you know? Like one of my favorite shows is CSI: Miami, and like I seriously watched it all nine seasons like five times through, and I would say I want to work on that show with those people, but at the same time, many people have said that [CSI: Miami star] David Caruso is a real jerk, and I feel like if I worked with him and he was a jerk, it would ruin the show for me.
I think a lot of people feel that way about their favorite celebrities.
There's a lot of shows I like that I feel that way about. David Boreanaz. I love Bones, and before that I liked Angel. But if I worked with him and he was an ass, then it would sort of ruin it for me. I'd rather just imagine he's Seely Boothe or Angel. It sounds corny, I know, but it's true.
How about 24? I couldn’t help but notice also you seem to be a huge fan.
Definitely. I just got through watching that for the third time. I’d love to work with Keifer Sutherland.
I think, based on stories I've heard about some celebrities, that your concern is probably justified.
It happens. A perfect example: I was at an AIDS benefit years ago, and Jack Nicholson was there and I was so excited. He was taking pictures with girls, and I was standing right next to him. And I had my camera with me. I said, “Hey, can I take a picture with you?” And he just looked at me like I was an asshole and he walked away. A few months after I was sort of bummed, because, “This guy’s awesome, and he was a dick!” I can understand, he’s busy, but he didn't even say, “You know what? Not right now, we're going to go eat,” or something.
Fans have those stories by the truckloads.
I would imagine it’s a bummer for other people. There’s, like, Joe Johnson out there, a 20-year-old kid who’s like, “Oh my gosh, I would like to meet Martin Scorsese, he made me want to be this and this.” And yeah, it would be a bummer if they met him and he was like, “Hey, little fuckhole, get away from me!” You can shatter someone’s fucking thing, so I would just rather watch [most celebrities] on TV. If I get to work with these guys, I don’t think my expectations will be as high.
Are you ever like that with your fans?
No, no. I mean. I don’t think we'd have the fans that ... I definitely wouldn’t be that way. There’s times where I would say I'm more ready to invite someone to come grab a slice with me, and other times where I say, “Hey, let’s take a picture and I've gotta go,” because I've been working 15 hours signing stuff and taking pictures and someone might catch me right at the end of the day. I still wouldn’t be rude with them.
Good for you.
You know, it’s weird for me to be talking about myself. [Adopts Jay accent] “I am the nicest to all my fans!”
I think the jury’s in on this one: You’re a pretty nice guy.
Well, yeah, and I'm grateful. Fans are who listen to our Smodcast, who come to our live shows, who watch the Jay and Silent Bob movies. How could I not be grateful and nice to these people who come up?
Speaking of Jay and Silent Bob: Any chance we’ll see them in another movie, and if so, any chance it’ll be called Jay and Silent Bob do Vegas?
(Laughs) You know, I don’t know if there will be. Honestly, it’s up to Kevin, and he said there wouldn’t be another after Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but he wrote them into Clerks II. We’re working on some animated stuff right now. If there’s a [return for] Jay and Silent Bob, it will be maybe just animation, not live action. But you never know ...