If you have a tough time believing that Jason Mewes - the foul-mouthed stoner from Kevin Smith films like 'Clerks' and 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back' - is now 43 years old. You're not the only one. Mewes himself can't believe how old he is. "I like where I'm at right now with age, but I'm shocked when I think about how old I am," Mewes told Civilized yesterday. "Not to say, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm an old man.' But when I say the number of my age it just seems so unbelievable to be honest. It seems so crazy that I'm over 40."
So crazy that it's one of the themes in 'Jay and Silent Bob Get Old' - a live podcast that Smith and Mewes have been touring around the world for years now - performing at theaters, clubs and even a church once. The next stop being the port city of Saint John, New Brunswick, where Canadian maritimers will hear Kevin and Jay's candid conversations about life and some raunchy improv games.
"We play a game at the end of the show. I grab three members of the audience and bring them up on stage. And we come up with weird sex positions like "The Ewok Cock Block" or "The Boston Cream Pie in Your Eye." Y'know, just weird stuff. The person will walk offstage and go, 'Okay, how're we gonna get this across? Let's do this, and we'll do that, and then we'll do this.' And it's a lot of fun. It's like fake sex onstage in weird positions."
Was it awkward doing that and swearing when you were in that church?
I did feel a little weird about it. It felt odd cussing - a lot of cussing, actually - in a church at first. But after we got started, you almost forget and zone out. But I would say for the first 15 minutes, it definitely was weird and I felt naughty.
Worried the roof was about to fall down on you or something?
So how did the show come about?
The podcast started about six years ago when Kevin opened a small, 40-seat blackbox theater called SModCastle. He was doing a couple podcasts with a couple guys and I would go when they were doing their shows. It seemed like a lot of fun, so I told Kevin that I really wanted to do a podcast. And he was like, "Yeah, I'm totally down. We just gotta figure out what you want to talk about."
At the time, I'd been sober for about 4 months after a relapse. Before that, I'd been clear for almost five years. And Kevin asked me why I felt that I'd relapsed. And I told him at that moment in time when I'd relapsed, I wasn't really accountable to anybody. I wasn't going to AA meetings or anything. So he said, "Listen, you want to do a podcast, then we'll do a podcast and you have to talk about everything that's going on. This way you're accountable to everyone who listens."
That's how it started. And I had no idea we'd be still be doing it six years later. I'm over seven years sober now.
Congratulations. That's awesome, man.
Thank you very much. Yeah, it's been really awesome because we started the podcast to help me stay sober and stay accountable to people who listen. But what's been awesome is that after we do these shows, I talk to people. And I'd say at least one person at each show says, "Hey man, thank you so much. I've been listening to the podcast since day one. And I've had some battles back and forth with drinking and drugs. And when I got sober, this really helped me stay sober. And now I'm 9 months clean or ten months clean. And it's inspiring and it just got me through."
So that's something I didn't expect. I had no idea it would help other people.
Exactly, and I didn't expect that. So that's been a really amazing part of this whole process. I really dig it. Not to mention that Kevin and I have also gotten to be better friends. We've known each other for almost 30 years, and in the last six years, we've gotten to know each other better and become closer friends from the podcast because now I'm being honest and telling him everything and spending a lot of time with him. And we've gotten to travel a bunch. It's honestly been really amazing. We've got to go to some really cool places.
What's life like on the road for you and Kevin when you're doing these gigs?
We'll do a little sight-seeing together. A lot of times we'll go to the mall and get mall massages. Nothing too exciting cuz, again, I'm sober. So it's not like we go out to bars or clubs or anything like that. We usually hang out in the hotel room and watch movies or chat and catch up if we haven't seen each other.
But a lot of times Kevin flies in the day of, goes to the hotel, eats, showers, then goes to the show. And a lot of times he has to leave right afterward - maybe he has to go home to do 'Hollywood Babble-On' podcast in California, or he's going to Vancouver to direct an episode of 'Supergirl.' And I only see him for 30 minutes before the show. So if it's just me, I usually go out to Walmart. The last few months, I've been on a Lego kick where I wind up going to Walmart or Target and buy some Legos and I'll build Legos in my hotel room.
Again, it isn't very exciting [laughs].
There's no crazy tour riders?
None of that. Not at all. Our rider is, "Jay gets Red Bull, and Kevin gets iced tea." When I do the show, I usually drink about 3 or 4 Red Bulls and Kevin usually drinks a couple ice teas. And that's all we ask for.
And when Kevin smokes up, does he avoid having a joint around you because that could be temptation?
No, it's not a big deal. In the beginning, he was worried about that. But weed is no temptation. The last time I had weed it was THC pills, and that was about 13 years ago. So even when I relapsed for 15 months before going seven years sober now, I didn't end up smoking.
I'm all for weed. I think it's great. Before my mom passed away, she couldn't hold food down. She'd eat and then throw up. But weed would help her. My buddy Jamie who's passed as well, same thing. He was super sick. Weed was the only thing that helped him hold food down. I really do feel that weed has medical properties to it, so I'm all about it. When I was younger, I smoked a lot of weed. But there's no temptation for that.
I can be around drinking, and I can be around smoking and not even think about doing either one. The opiates are my downfall. So if they were popping painkillers in front me, I can't imagine I'd be cool with that [laughs]. But marijuana and drinking and stuff, I'm okay with.
And you're not the only one who's struggled. You look at the States right now, and the opioid problem is all over the place.
Do you address that in the show? Do you have any advice for people who are going through what you were going through?
I mainly talk about my own experience and what's going on with me. I don't necessarily give advice because I feel like everybody has their own thing. But I do feel like one thing that could help everyone, regardless, is surrounding yourself with good people - even if they drink of they smoke.
I have friends who drink in front of me all the time or smoke. But I know for a fact that if I said, "Hey, pass me that doobie." They'd go, "No way." And they'd give me a mouthful of 'what-the-heck's-wrong-with-you?'
If you surround yourself with people who aren't like that, and one day you get tempted and say, "Hey, throw me a beer." And they're like, "Yeah, of course." Then they're not really your friends and they're not good people to surround yourself with.
Being with good friends has been a big help with me. People who if they even see me with a beer in my hands will say, "Hey what're you doing?" "Oh, I'm holding it for a friend." "Alright, you'd better be." I think that's important for everybody - not just me. I feel like anyone trying to get sober should surround themselves with good people and stick with them.
I would definitely tell myself to not party, of course. The drugs definitely detoured me from doing more stuff. Maybe after 'Mallrats,' I could've really focused on working and acting. Who knows - maybe I could've gotten more movies. But I feel I've been lucky and I've done a nice chunk of movies and work, but I wonder how much more I could have done if I wasn't lost. Like there was one point where I was really in bad shape and I literally disappeared for almost a year.
But at the same time, the weird thing is if I hadn't relapsed, Kevin and I wouldn't have been touring for the past 4 years. The friendship and the bonding over the past few years with the podcast and traveling and all that - we've gotten really close, so there's all these really good things out of the relapse.
And like you said, the podcast has helped other people too - people who relate to what you've gone through, and what you're talking about has helped them. It must feel good - and somewhat surprising to think that you took this stoner character and now you're helping people get sober, stay sober and deal with addiction.
Totally. There's another good thing. So it's weird. Look at all these good things that have come out of it. But it's not like, "Oh, I'm glad I did drugs." But if I could go back in time and tell myself not to do drugs and not to get strung out, where would I be now? What would I be doing? It's such an interesting thing. I almost feel like it would just happen the way it was supposed to happen.
What sort of advice do you think your younger self might in return?
Not sure. My head was up my butt when I was younger. So I don't think he would give me any advice.
Right on. How do you think your younger self would feel about where you're at now?
I think my younger self would be super stoked about having a kid - and shocked at the same time. Honestly, that's something I've really wanted for years. I always wanted to have a child and be married, but I didn't think it was possible
So your younger self would be impressed that your life's on track and you're doing the family thing.
Any plans to appear on screen with your daughter Logan Lee? Kevin's daughter Harley Quinn Smith has appeared in 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,' 'Clerks II' and other movies.
I would love that. Yes, definitely. And she probably will be up there in Canada with us.
Have you and Kevin ever been to Maritimes before?
I'm not sure. I've been to so many cities that they kind of blend together. Sometimes Kevin and I will get to a venue and go, "Oh, I remember this place."
And you guys have been to Canada a number of times. What do you like most about the Great White North?
I definitely enjoy the people. I think that there's a lot of good people in Canada. We get good crowds of good people at the show. Canada itself is just lovely. We've been to Vancouver, which is a really cool city. We've spent time in Toronto, went to the hockey hall of fame a few times. And we've gone skating on the Rideau Canal [in Ottawa].
So what should Saint Johners expect from 'Jay and Silent Bob Get Old'?
It's Kevin and I telling some funny stories about hijinks that have gone on in the past. Usually we open up with some chitchat about what's been going on in the past few weeks. And then I tell a sex story. Then in the next segment, I read my journal. Then we do the days - how many days I've been sober. We talk about how that's been going. Then we end up playing the game, 'Let Us Fuuuck.'
That's where we get into the Ewok sex positions and stuff like that.
Yeah. And when I get there, I try to come up with something funny and interesting about the venue or the location. Where is the venue again?
The Imperial Theatre in Saint John. It's a super old theatre in a super old city.
So we'll be making the most with the ghosts at the Old Imperial Theatre.