The Master of His Domain

By Karpel, Ari | Newsweek, February 13, 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Master of His Domain

Karpel, Ari, Newsweek

Byline: Ari Karpel

Reality shows, comedy films, self-help books--is there anything Kevin Smith can't do?

Getting kicked off an airplane for being too fat turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Kevin Smith.

At first, of course, he was humiliated. "It felt like they stripped me of all my accomplishments by reducing me to 'fat guy in a little chair on a plane,'?" says the indie-film director and comedian, known for such mid-'90s slacker classics as Clerks and Chasing Amy. He figured he had two options: "Crumble, wither, die, and go away. Or fucking rise, man. Rise above it."

And rise he has.

Ever since Smith was famously ejected from a Southwest Airlines flight in February 2010, he has taken back the power he lost that day and used it as fuel for an extraordinary career reinvention. "That moment was a kind of leap-off moment," he says. "That was where things really started to drastically change."

No longer willing to fly, Smith parked himself at the "SModcastle," a 50-seat theater in Hollywood where he turned his already-popular podcasts (or, as he calls them, SModcasts) into a live experience and became one of the first people to make money off the burgeoning medium.

Long disillusioned by the movie business, he thumbed his nose at the Hollywood industrial complex by riding a bus cross-country and selling out venues like Radio City Music Hall in an oddball self-distribution plan for his horror film, Red State.

This week Smith's self-deprecating humor and geek appeal return to TV with a comedy special called Kevin Smith Burn in Hell, airing on EPIX. And on Feb. 12, AMC will debut Comic Book Men, a reality TV series set in the Red Bank, N.J., comic-book store Smith has owned since 1997. The show finds Smith's employees--two of whom were real-life models for characters in Clerks--assessing the value of collectibles that customers bring in, like vintage Bionic Man dolls. That's intercut with podcasting sessions where Smith and his pals posit fanboy inquiries like "What superpower would you choose to have?" Think of it as Pawn Stars meets The Big Bang Theory with a splash of Jersey Shore (minus the abs).

And in perhaps Smith's most unlikely move yet, his first self-help book will hit shelves in March. Its title, like much of Smith's vocabulary, includes a word traditionally unfit for a family newsmagazine. And yet every bit of Tough Sh*t: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good stands apart from other celebrity books.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Master of His Domain


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?