Monday, 27 May 2013

Clerks: The Animated Series 2013 Return Possible

So to any of you who know me, either online as some twisted Internet pseudo-personality, or more unfortunately for you in real life, it probably won't blow your mind that I like Clerks. Now, if you don't know what Clerks is, A) Shame on you and B), the debut film of director Kevin Smith, shot famously on incredibly little money and detailing the mundane life of convenience store "Clerks" in Smith's native New Jersey. While I think out of the three of us, I am the one of which Clerks has continued to endear most, the Kevin Smith story does not end there.

Clerks: Dante Hicks and Randall Graves

Perhaps more famously than these two, Kevin Smith's films also include a pair of drug dealers/lay abouts/malcontents called Jay and Silent Bob. They appear in pretty much every film in what shall be offhandedly referred to as the "View Askewniverse", and have seemingly become large pop-culture icons in their own rights, with some of my acquaintances having only known them as "those guys from Dogma", or more hilariously in my opinion, "the guys from "Because I got high by Afroman".



One day I want to do an article about all the funny places Jay and Silent Bob have ended up over the years. That is probably the main appeal of the characters for me, you can make them be anywhere, because they have nowhere to be.

Silent Bob (Left) is played by Kevin Smith himself.

So anyway, I got slightly distracted, Clerks was a success, it won awards at Cannes and Sundance in 1994, and grossed in the millions despite not reaching anywhere near 6 digit figures. Skip forward 6 years to 2000, and we finally get to the Animated Series part that you saw in the article title. Approached I believe by ABC to make a "Clerks: The Animated Series", partially to capitalise on the "simmering cult" status the films had achieved. Kevin Smith made a cartoon series.

Cartoon Versions of: Dante, Randall, Silent Bob and Jay

And to paraphrase the bible for no reason "and on the second millennia he did make Clerks TAS, and it was good". It was really good in my opinion, the 6 episodes that got made are incredible, though tragically only two were shown, and that was episodes 2 and 4 (though both of them are masterful). ABC, being idiots, cancelled the show. But thankfully it exists in DVD copy and you can still buy it to this day, and watch it all on youtube if you don't have a region 1/region free DVD player. (I say in my opinion because Harvey views the show as "pretty good", though I put this down to him not watching it recently. That might only further divide our opinion)


Most episodes ended with a segment in the style of a Public Service Announcement involving Jay, Silent Bob, and usually NBA All-Star Charles Barkley

Clerks: The Animated Series was ahead of the times. Ragging on Seth McFarland, while indulging in actually funny one-shot gags, clever writing, self-awareness, inane conversations about pop-culture. An episode dedicated to making ClerksTAS "more like the movie" and a clip-show that occurs in the 2nd ever episode. (Even more hilarious when you factor in the 2nd episode was the 1st episode people saw). Unlike the later McFarland projects, it made the most of celebrity voice acting, it played on stereotypes from cartoons like the Simpsons, and generally knocked the ball out of the park.

Only 5/6 Paragraphs in and BANG, the actual news announcement.

And now it might be coming back! As well as Clerks III being confirmed, Kevin Smith has said he is interested in making a new, or revived, Clerks TAS, which has me infinitely more excited than Clerks III (No offence Clerks III). It is just my hope that they can get the guy who plays Randall fully on board, because he seems generally the least down with doing new things. It is all coming around because Miramax recently got unsold or resold to the Weinsteins or something. That is quality journalism for you.

And to end, have some funny pictures of Clerks: The Animated Series, which if you haven't seen, I heavily suggest you check out. 

George Lucas called to court for a completely unrelated trial to explain why the Phantom Menace sucked so hard (This was made in the 2000s, that shit was relevant).

I rate "Korean Animation Studio" ending of the 4th episode to be up there with the Banksy Simpsons opening with mixing satire and political commentary as one. 

Alec Baldwin plays the deliberately based on, and explicitly referenced Mr Burns-esque old guy billionaire pseudo-bad guy. 

So yeah, for three hours of quality animation, you could do much worse, and hopefully soon, we might just get more. 






22 comments:

  1. Got to have a look at this which will take time...back later.

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  2. I'm back. A lot of it is like listening to you talk to Harvey. Loved star wars v lord of the rings video.

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  3. Is it safe?, Car full of midgets!, the bear is driv ing etc. This show has spawned a lot of catch phrases and in jokes. A bit of a cult, much like yourselves.......

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    1. Big American Party! Disco Dancing. I'm glad you have enjoyed it, it has cheered me up on a down day that I spread C: TAS to someone.

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    2. Its great to find something new, thank you

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  4. Why are the Americans so much better at the man-in-the-street humour than we are? If we produced the same scenario it would be dull and unfunny. What is their secret?

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    1. I've thought about this often and I genuinely think it might just be that the way American's talk is just way more casual and cool than us, that it's much freer flowing and so engaging to listen to.

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    2. Yes, totally agree with that but there has to be good content too. They seem to have better writers over there...?

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  5. Kevin Smith filmed Clerks in the store where he worked, but was only allowed to film after the store closed. I love that Theres hope for us all! (He also appeared in Die Hard 4).

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    1. Haha, yeah, sadly I envisage my rise to stardom to be along the lines of Kevin Smith. Talk about unimaginative.

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    2. When is the screenplay for 'whataboutcynics', set in a bedroom and with long running joke about commenters being anonymous coming out then? Get writing!

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  6. Damn you, nice Mr Chapman. I only looked this up to see what all the fuss was about and now I'm hooked on youtube video clips of Clerks when I should be doingother things. If I end up a tramp in the gutter it will all be your fault.

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    1. Don't worry, I decided to rewatch the entire thing a few days before my exam on Fascism. No gutter...yet

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    2. That was supposed to say 'I may meet you in one', i've been watching a lot of video clips.

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  7. Just watched episode 1 and 2, how had I not heard of this?

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  8. Was Kevin Smith joking about making Clerks 3 a Broadway show?

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    1. Knowing Kevin Smith he was probably just high. I know he recently finished the screenplay to Clerks III, but, hopefully, it is meant for just the screen.

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    2. See 'Clerks lll: Kevin on bringing his Jersey boys to Broadway'.

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    3. Just had a look, I think that was when the Weinsteins and him weren't getting along, and Anderson wasn't looking likely to come back.

      Hopefully everything has fallen into place now.

      (Though for the record I'd totally watch the Broadway show)

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    4. Me too with bells on.

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  9. Im going to steal that word, askewniverse. I definitely live there.

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