View Askewniverse

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The View Askewniverse is a fictional universe created by writer/director Kevin Smith, featured in several films, comics and a television series; it is named for Smith's production company, View Askew Productions. The characters Jay and Silent Bob appear in almost all the View Askewniverse media, and characters from one story often reappear or are referred to in others. Smith often casts the same actors for multiple characters in the universe, sometimes even in the same film; Smith himself portrays the character of Silent Bob.

Smith's recurring characters, settings, and motifs first appeared in his debut film, Clerks. Since then, the main canon has consisted of six feature films, in addition to several short films, comic books, and a short-lived animated TV series. The View Askewniverse is centered on the towns of Leonardo, Highlands, and Red Bank, all located in Monmouth County, central New Jersey.[1] Chasing Amy also takes place partly in New York, and both Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back involve road trips. It's possible that Wes Craven's Scream franchise world is also a part of the View Askewniverse since Jay and Silent Bob make a cameo appearance in Scream 3 when they are in Hollywood at the same time the murders are taking place, and Craven cameos in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, where he is shown filming a fictional Scream 4.

Media[edit]

The following is a complete list of media in which the View Askewniverse has been portrayed.

Feature films[edit]

  • Clerks (1994) – The first in the series of the View Askewniverse, follows a day in the lives of two clerks, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves.
  • Mallrats (1995) – Takes place one day before the events in Clerks. The film is about two young men, Brodie Bruce and T.S. Quint, who hang out at a mall after being dumped by their girlfriends.
  • Chasing Amy (1997) – A heterosexual man, Holden McNeil, falls in love with a lesbian, Alyssa Jones, causing conflict with his homophobic best friend, Banky Edwards.
  • Dogma (1999) – The world ends if two angels enter a church in New Jersey and it is up to Jesus' last scion, Jay and Silent Bob, and the thirteenth Apostle to stop them.
  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) – Jay and Silent Bob try to stop a "Bluntman and Chronic" movie from being made.
  • Clerks II (2006) – Roughly ten years after Clerks, Dante and Randal are now employed in the fast food industry.
  • Potentially includes Jersey Girl (2004). As Betty Aberlin's nun character is unnamed, it is unclear whether it is a reprise of the nun whom she portrayed in Dogma. The film shares no other characters or events with the rest of the films.

Short films[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Clerks: The Animated Series – six episodes featuring characters from the movie Clerks. that originally aired on ABC in 2000 (only for two episodes) and were later released on DVD in 2001.

Comics[edit]

  • Clerks. (comic) – a three-part comic book series published in the late 1990s, continuing the adventures of the film's main characters.
  • Chasing Dogma – a four-part series about Jay and Silent Bob's adventures between the events of Chasing Amy and Dogma. Many elements of the comic would end up in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
  • Bluntman and Chronic – the comic "created" by Holden McNeil and Banky Edwards in Chasing Amy, published to coincide with the release of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
  • "Jay and Silent Bob in Walt Flanagan's Dog" – a story in Oni Double Feature #1.
  • "Bluntman and Chronic in The Derris Affair, Part 1," – published in Oni Double Feature #12.
  • "On the Perils of Cinema" – a one-page Clerks. comic in the November 1999 issue of Talk magazine.
  • Where's the Beef? – 20-page comic bridging the gap between the events depicted in the opening scenes of Clerks II.

Non-canon[edit]

Film[edit]

  • Much of the cast of Mallrats featured in a simultaneous production, Drawing Flies, which features two actors credited as one of their characters in the View Askew films; Kevin Smith credited as Silent Bob & Ethan Suplee credited as Willam Black. Both are referred to as different characters within the film, but "Silent Bob" is credited as himself. Smith also wore the same Bob coat from Mallrats in the film.
  • Scream 3 – Although not officially a part of the View Askewniverse, the third film of the Scream franchise, Jay and Silent Bob make a quick cameo appearance, appearing as tourists visiting Sunrise Studios. In the original Scream, a VHS copy of their first film Clerks can be spotted in Stu Macher's house, as well as a poster in the video store. Kevin Smith would later go on to include Wes Craven in a cameo as the director of the then fictitious Scream 4 in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; in addition, a copy of Scream 3 can be seen in the background of a scene taking place within a video store in Smith's Jersey Girl. Note also that there is a Clerks hat seen in Mallrats.
  • Superman Lives, an unused draft of Kevin Smith's script, featured a character named "Derris." It also mentions a "Governor Caitlin Bree" and her son "Brodie."
  • Smith revealed in interviews that a reference in Red State to a pair of disgruntled neighbors caught growing marijuana was a reference to Jay and Silent Bob, though this is never made explicit in the film itself.
  • Fanboys, The group of 'Fanboys' encounter characters played by Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith (Jay & Silent Bob in the View Askewnivere, respectively) at a gasoline stations restroom.

Television[edit]

  • Clerks – a live-action pilot for a TV show, based on the film Clerks. (This production did not involve Kevin Smith).
  • MTV's Jay and Silent Bob Shorts
  • VH1's I Love the 90s (2005) ("Jay and Silent Bob Re-name Your Favorite TV Show" & "Guys We'd Go Gay For")
  • VH1's I Love the '90s: Part Deux (2005)
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation (fictional filming of "Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?" over 3 episodes)
    • "The Lexicon of Love: Part 1"
    • "The Lexicon of Love: Part 2"
    • "Goin' Down the Road: Part 1"
    • "Goin' Down the Road: Part 2"
    • "West End Girls"
  • Yes, Dear 2004 episode, "The Premiere"
  • Video on Trial Episode #1.31 (2006)
  • My Name is Earl – Stars Jason Lee and Ethan Suplee have co-starred in numerous films directed by Kevin Smith, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II. In one episode, Earl claims to have robbed a Quick Stop.[2] Another reference in the series is how Randy, on waking up, blurts out "poopie trim"[episode needed] which he similarly blurted as Willam in Mallrats, as did Chris Rock in Dogma.

Comics[edit]

  • Chasing Amy – In Japan, the screenplay of Chasing Amy was adapted into a novel by Kenichi Eguchi and published by Aoyama Publishing. It is a book that is roughly half-novel, half-manga, with Moyoco Anno providing the art for the comic book pages.
  • Jay and Silent Bob made a brief appearance in one panel of Green Arrow (vol. 3) #6, standing outside Jason Blood's Safe House in Star City. This issue was written by Kevin Smith during his 15-issue run on the character.
  • Demonic versions of Jay and Silent Bob can be seen in one panel on the second page of Angel: After the Fall issue #5, standing outside of a cafe in the safe haven of Silverlake. Writer Brian Lynch confirmed the reference and attributed their inclusion to artist Franco Urru.[citation needed]
  • Two characters who look similar to that of Jay and Silent Bob appear in the manga Aoi House seen in the background of the mall.

Music videos[edit]

References in pop culture[edit]

TV[edit]

Music[edit]

  • Daniel Dumile (as Viktor Vaughn) references Silent Bob in his song "Saliva" on the album Vaudeville Villain.
  • The song "Vow Of Silence" by Lemon Demon is about someone who vows to never speak again. The bridge contains the lyrics "Now I'm no silent snob, but Teller and Silent Bob tend to do an awful job."
  • In The Ataris song "Bad Case of Broken Heart" there is Silent Bob's dialogue from "Clerks" at the very end of the song. Additionally singer Kris Roe directly references Clerks in The Ataris song "Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start" in which he talks about wasting time in East New Jersey (where the Quick Stop from Clerks is located) saying "Or how I hung out at Quick Stop pretending that I was in Clerks."

Comic Books[edit]

  • In the comic book Runaways, the first issue of the third volume featured a scene where Xavin shapeshifted into Silent Bob and Chase said he is glad he made Xavin watch his Kevin Smith movies.
  • In the Spawn comics in issue 95, page 11, panel 1, Zabraxas and Abbadon (Ab And Zab), make a reference to LaFours. Upon LaFours not being present, they shrug it off as "I think my guy watched too many movies."

Recurring actors[edit]

Smith often casts the same actors for multiple characters in the universe, sometimes even in the same film. This is most notable in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, in which several actors play multiple characters from earlier View Askewniverse films. Some of the more notable include:

Actor/Actress Clerks Mallrats Chasing Amy Dogma Clerks: The Animated Series Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Clerks II
Jason Mewes Jay
Kevin Smith Silent Bob
Writer
Director Executive Producer Director
Editor
unnamed character in the Independent Feature Film Market cut from the Clerks X DVD
Editor Editor
Scott Mosier Producer Executive Producer Producer
Editor Editor Editor
Angry hockey-playing customer, Willam Black Roddy
(cameo)
Tracer collector Bus passenger
Second Unit Director
Extras wrangler, William Black
Second Unit Director
Concerned Father
Walt Flanagan Woollen cap smoker, egg man, offended customer, cat-admiring bitter customer Walt the Fanboy Woollen cap smoker
Bryan Johnson Steve-Dave
Brian O'Halloran Dante Hicks Gil Hicks Jim Hicks Grant Hicks Dante Hicks
Jeff Anderson Randal Graves Gun shop clerk Randal Graves
Vincent Pereira Hockey goalie, engagement-savvy customer Startled pinball player Quick Stop customer
Ernest O'Donnell Rick Derris Bystander Cop
John Willyung Dante's killer (alternate ending) Cohee London Passerby
David Klein Hunting-cap smoking boy, low-IQ video store customer, hubcap searching customer, angry mourner Bald comic fan
Director of Photography Director of Photography
Virginia Smith Animal masturbator customer Comic-Con woman
Grace Smith Milk maid Milk maid
Joey Lauren Adams Alyssa Jones (Clerks: The Lost Scene) Gwen Turner Alyssa Jones Alyssa Jones
Jason Lee Brodie Bruce Banky Edwards Azrael Brodie Bruce/Banky Edwards Lance Dowds
Ben Affleck Shannon Hamilton Holden McNeil Bartleby Holden McNeil/himself Gawking guy
Ethan Suplee Willam Black Fan Golgothan (voice) Teen #2
Shannen Doherty Rene Mosier Herself
Renee Humphrey Tricia Jones Tricia Jones
Malcolm Ingram Creepy staring guy Creepy staring guy Pissing customer
Dwight Ewell Hooper X Kan the gang leader Hooper X
Matt Damon Shawn Owen (TV executive #2) Loki Himself
Dan Etheridge Priest Plug Deputy
Chris Rock Rufus Chaka Luther King
George Carlin Cardinal Glick Blowjob-giving hitchhiker
Paul Dini George Lucas
Writer
Bluntman & Chronic Loader/Clapper
Alanis Morissette God God
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith Missy Emma
Harley Quinn Smith Baby Silent Bob Kid in window

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/sep/24/kevin-smith-red-state?newsfeed=true
  2. ^ ""Faked My Own Death" Episode Trivia (IMDB)". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0654808/trivia. 2013. 

External links[edit]