Clerks Uncensored
directed by Kevin Smith
(Miramax, 2000)

Some folks might say Jay and Silent Bob are already cartoon characters. If there's any doubt, watch Clerks Uncensored, a shortlived television adaptation and continuation of the movie Clerks.

The six short episodes, collected on a new DVD, reunite Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) with Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson). The latter two are clerks at a convenience store and video store; the former are slackers who loiter outside and, all too frequently, pop their heads inside.

Besides the main character voices, the cartoon features the vocal work of Alec Baldwin as a megalomaniacal mall owner, Gilbert Gottfried as Patrick Swayze and Jerry Seinfeld, and actors Matt Damon and Judge Reinhold and basketball player Charles Barkley as themselves. Several characters from Smith's movies are also reprised here.

So many oddball cartoon series have hung onto the airwaves, I'm disappointed that this one did not. Sure, the series was a watered-down version of the film, but the writing, the dialogue and the delivery remains clever and the stories off the wall.

Much of Smith's trademark humor is sidelined to meet television standards; Jay and Silent Bob in particular suffer under the strict restrictions. But it's a fun concept nonetheless, and fans of Smith's work should definitely check out all six episodes on DVD.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 14 September 2002

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