I don’t understand how I can be so fat with all the running around I did this year. It’s amazing: look at the pics and watch me get heavier and heavier as the year progresses.
Regardless, in broad strokes, what follows (complete with links) represents one of the best (professionally speaking, at least) years of my life. “Clerks II” was, naturally, the highlight, but I hadn’t fully realized how much more went on ’til I started compiling this list.
So, for the curious and interested, I now present you with the Year in Askew: 2006.
- We kicked off the year with the debut of the “Clerks II” teaser online.
I spent most of the Christmas break putting it together, sweating how much (or how little) to show. I went with the Anthax track “Among the Living” because a) it’s a bad-ass song, and b) it had titular (tee-hee!) relevance, considering the characters were fronting their own flick for the first time in twelve years. Anyway, the teaser was incredibly well-received (four hamburgers at JoBlo.com), but there was the usual bitching as well – this time courtesy of CinemaBlend…
(The great irony is that, when the flick hit theaters, CB gave us a great review.)
- I hit Sundance for the sixth time in twelve years, this time as a producer on Malcolm Ingram’s “Small Town Gay Bar”.
(Me and Malcolm)
This was the second year in a row that I had a doc I produced accepted by the fest (“Reel Paradise” was in the January ’05 Sundance). The flick went over like gangbusters and afforded us our first standing ovation of the year. IndieWire piece about Malcolm.
- Proving once again that Brits have great taste, Channel 4 in the UK named “Clerks” the 19th Funniest Film of All Time. And thanks to the glory of the internet, I was able to watch the clip from the show.
- It was a big Q&A month for me, with the first one dropping at Indianapolis’ Hilbert Circle Theater. Since I tend to overcompensate for being a) fat and b) talentless, I stay on stage from 8:30pm to 2:45am. Pre-show, I found a note in my dressing room from my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Veiling, alerting me that she was in the audience. She lasted about twenty minutes, ducking out somewhere in the midst of my story about Brazilian Fart Porn. Click here for a clip from the show.
- “Reel Paradise” hits DVD.
The Steve James-directed documentary about a family’s year abroad in Fiji running the world’s most remote movie theater was close to my heart, as the family in question was that of John Pierson – my longtime friend and even longer-time indie guru who sold “Clerks” to Miramax. If you ever want to read a fascinating study in the history of independent film, you must check out this book…
2006 also marked my thirteenth year of knowing John (and his wife, Janet).
(John and I outside the Angelika Film Center in NYC, ‘circa ’95… and a decade later, at the “Reel” preem, ‘circa ’05)
- The next two Q&A’s took me up to the Great White North, for a pair of killer shows with my Canadian Peeps. But this time around, I wasn’t in Toronto or Vancouver; I took my shtick to the Canadian heartland for twin sold-out sets.
First at Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall…
(where a local reviewer found renewed faith in me)
Then, followed the very next night by a show at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre.
- As if all that Q&A-ing wasn’t enough, I hit WonderCon in San Francisco for more of the same.
- I also went a east for a Q&A at St. Cloud State in Minneapolis.
- The guy who makes potty-mouthed pictures crammed with cock jokes goes all G-rated for his role as a Moose in “Doogal”.
Considering it’s not my flick, I wind up doing a shitload of press for it, including my first visit to “The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
- Mos and I shoot up to Skywalker Ranch for a temp sound mix. It’s the fourth flick we’ll mix up at the Ranch (and the first mix we’ll do on “Clerks II”).
- J.J. shows me an early cut of “Mission: Impossible 3″ at his production office. It’s instantly my favorite of the “M:I” trio. Aside from a p.s., the flick doesn’t change much from what hits theaters two months later.
- I do my sixth Q&A of the month at the inaugural New York ComiCon, held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
- After a few call-ins over the years, I finally go in-studio with Opie & Anthony for the first time.
- We have a screening of “Clerks II” at the IFC Screening Room in NYC. It’s primarily so Harvey and Bob Weinstein can gauge the flick’s playability, so we invite a bunch of folks from the message board at ViewAskew.com. As you might imagine, it goes over like gangbusters.
- It’s a big month out for Jen and I, as we head out to a bunch of events. Embracing our inner geeks, Jen and I attend the Museum of TV and Radio “Battlestar Galactica” panel.
Grace “Sharon” Park, however, is not dressed like this.
- We also revisit the sight of our very first date, hitting the Independent Spirit Awards for the first time since ’98.
I present the Best Director award. The Spirits also mark the 8th Anniversary of first time Jen and I ever fucked.
- I head to Austin as a guest lecturer at John Pierson’s Producing Class at the University of Texas.
The class grew a bit in size with my visit, so we held it in the Austin City Limits studio. A photographer from the Statesman took this insanely unflattering-yet-funny pic of me. Afterwards, I head over to the Alamo Drafthouse, where I host a screening of “House Party”.
- I shot some green screen for the “Evening Harder” menus.
- After hearing some throwaway comments about “Road House” on the “Clerks X” DVD, Sony asks Mos and I to record a commentary track for a new “Road House” DVD.
- Peeped out David Mamet’s “Boston Marriage” with Jen at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood.
Sat in with Kevin & Bean on the world famous KROQ to promote L.A. Wizard World – where I did yet another Q&A.
- Empire UK magazine names “Clerks” number 4 in the 50 greatest indie films of all time
- I hold a poker tourney with some comic pros at the house for a Wizard Magazine feature.
- My life changes forever on March 18th, 2006: I join MySpace.
My “Top 8″
My First Blog.
- I do nearly back-to-back Q&A’s at the University of Pennsylvania and Trenton State, and then hit one of the Devil’s playoffs games with Walt and Bry. A few days later, the tabloids get ahold of a long story I told about Mewes’ recovery from drug abuse at the U-Penn gig and extract only a tawdry, throwaway detail about Jason and Nicole Richie. In response, I pen the nine part “Me & My Shadow” blog. Given praise in both Newsweek and Entertainment Weekly, the series is hailed by some as the best piece of writing I’ve ever done.
- The “Clerks II” ‘net-only trailer goes online
- The “Degrassi” two-parter entitled “The Lexicon of Love” airs in the U.S. on The N. It’s a sequel of sorts to the eps featured on “Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi” – with the fake me and Mewes returning to Canada to premiere the fake flick “Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?” But more importantly? Paige and Alex make out.
- I do the photo shoot for “Evening Harder” box art.
- Film Independent asks Mos and I to moderate a discussion with with Gary Rizzo, the Academy Award nominated sound mixer who (with Tom) has worked on all our flicks since “Dogma”.
- Another Q&A, this time back in Jersey, at Stockton State.
- I receive one of the coolest awards that’s ever been bestowed on me: the UCLA Jack Benny Award for Comedy. Past recipients include John Belushi, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, David Letterman, Bill Murray, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, John Cleese, Conan O’Brien, and Adam Sandler.
- Mos and I head back to Skywalker for more mixing.
- Jen and I celebrate our 7th Wedding Anniversary
(A pair of Sumo Wrestlers at the altar up at Skywalker, circa ’99)
- Stan Lee, Johnny Rotten, Carrie Fisher and more come over to play, as we hold our second annual Poetry Event up at the house.
- We take our first vacation in two years: Jen, Harley, Byron, Gail and I head to Maui. A good thing is made even better when we get a call from Harvey Weinstein informing us that “Clerks II” is going to the Cannes Film Festival.
When we get home, there’s a poster shoot for “Clerks II”.
- Cannes Film Festival 2006! It’s our third time there (“Clerks” in ’94, “Dogma” in ’99), and this year, I’m in two flicks at the fest…
I have a small role in Richard Kelly’s Competition flick “Southland Tales”…
And a big hand in the out-of-competition midnight screener, “Clerks II”.
- I head back to the states and go in-studio with Opie & Anthony for the second time, then shoot down to Red Bank, New Jersey for Vulgarthon 2006!
This year, we screen “Clerks II”, “Catch & Release”, “Small Town Gay Bar”, and the “Jersey Girl” Extended Cut.
- I hit the Wizard World con in Philadelphia for the first time since my Father died.
- Three “Clerks II” teaser posters hit theaters
- On the way home from Philly, we test screen “Clerks II” in Kansas City
- Presented at the AMPAS Student Academy Awards
- Harley celebrates her 7th Birthday.
(A not-quite-seven Harley and her goony ‘rents)
- The website that started off as a joke in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” evolves even further: MoviePoopShoot.com becomes QuickStopEntertainment.com. Ken Plume, formerly of IGN, takes over the editorial reigns from departing EIC Chris Ryall.
- The Weinstein Company announces a “Clerks II” contest at MySpace: the first ten thousand people to join a specific page get their names in the “Clerks II” credits.
Within two hours, the ten thousand name quota is filled. The contest is extended to the “Clerks II” DVD.
To Be Continued…