Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK

Jay and Silent Bob Get Old - Tea Bagging in the UK Synopsis: Following the release of the cult-classic film Clerks in 1994, long time friends Jason “Jay” Mewes and Kevin “Silent Bob” Smith quickly became much loved stoner icons, with their mischievous characters going on to star in Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks 2.

Fast-talking, foul mouthed Jay and his “hetero life partner” Silent Bob hit DVD with their highly praised live comedy show, direct from London, Manchester and Edinburgh. No two shows are ever the same!

So sit back, relax and in the words of the great Jason Mewes, “Let Us F@ck!”.

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Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK 7.0

eyelights: Kevin Smith’s storytelling.
eyesores: Jason Mewes’ repetitious ramblings. the aimlessness of it all.

As with many others, I’ve been a fan of Kevin Smith’s ever since I discovered ‘Clerks‘. At the time, it was a fresh new mix of comedy and inter-personal relationships; it was candid, rude and relatively realistic. I gobbled up every one of his video offerings since, and, unlike many others, I have mostly been pleased with what he’s been up to.

When I stumbled upon ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old’, however, I was hesitant. While I had really enjoyed Kevin Smith’s earlier series of speaking engagements (‘An Evening with Kevin Smith’ 1, 2 and 3) I had been terribly disappointed with ‘Too Fat for 40!‘, which consisted mostly of pot-related jokes. Gone were the amusing personal anecdotes: now the stories relied heavily on drug humour.

My chief concern: seemingly on the wane, with pot-smoking as his new hobby, could Smith have anything left to say that I’d want to hear?

I mulled it over and decided to wait until after I’d read reviews first. Unsurprisingly, some people said that this was decent, but many said that this was disappointing in comparison to previous releases.  Armed with adjusted expectations, I eventually decided that I would take a chance. His record had been far too solid thus far to completely give up on him. One never knows, right?

‘Jay and Silent Bob get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK’ is a recording of three speaking engagements that Kevin Smith (a.k.a. Silent Bob) and Jason Mewes (a.k.a Jay) did in the UK in 2012. It’s a live tour that the two did under the SModcast header, which was originally a podcast that Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier (his friend and producer) did on a weekly basis.

While this was also broadcast live as a podcast, this set of discussions and Q&As were recorded on video in front of a live audience. At the time of these recordings, Kevin and Jay had been on the road for almost a year. They were notable for being Jay’s sobriety motivator, in that the pair would continue to do it for as long as he remained off of drugs – a recurring problem for him.

I was taken aback by Jay’s general presence: his voice was raspy as hell and he was unbelievably out of shape considering his age, wandering about like an old man. I know that he’d been hooked on some pretty hard drugs, but I’m not sure if this is indicative of a declining health due to abuse or if he was just not in top form at the time. Either way, it was actually kind of sad to see him this way.

The set-up is pretty simple: the pair were sitting down at a set of three tables, placed in a U formation, with beverages and a laptop. They would spend about an hour bantering, telling stories and then there would be a short audience participation segment called “Let Us Fuck!”, which consisted of short exchanges with volunteers, after which Jay would take turns with each one making up some sexual “position”.

Each show would last about 75 minutes long.

London 2012

London was apparently the ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old’ tour’s biggest show yet, with hundreds upon hundreds stacked into the auditorium to hear the pair. It was also Jay’s 690th day of sobriety. Smith brought his whole family with him for the tour , while Jay brought his spouse.

After a brief intro by his daughter, Smith started by retelling the plot of Disney’s  ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ to Jay… in tremendous detail. To say that this was tedious and redundant is an understatement (that’s what Wikipedia is for, dude!). On top of that, Smith was lacking his usual sparkle.

Soon enough, though, it became “The Jay Show”, with Smith relinquishing the spotlight for most of the remainder of the engagement. One might think that this would be an improvement, given Smith’s performance thus far, except that Jay’s not much of a storyteller in comparison.

His segment was mostly a recount of his first two experiences in London – which, invariably, revolve around sex. He was basically rambling and repeating himself endlessly, saying “oi” and “ho ho hum” over and over and over again, in a vain attempt to milk laughs he had received at the onset.

Sigh.

Eventually, it was time for their juvenile and unclever audience participation segment, “Let Us Fuck!”, which consisted of Mewes and a volunteer inventing the following “position” to some of the lamest “raunchy” music ever:

  1. Jason Mewes takes out a flesh knife on the London Brown Eye
  2. Great Britain Rectally Smitten
  3. Riding Nelson’s Column
  4. The Great British Teabag

And that’s it! That what London got for 75 minutes! I was pretty dismayed by how low Smith had gotten. But at least there wasn’t any pot humour…

Overall impression: 6,5

Manchester 2012

For this show, 1300 people packed themselves into the auditorium to see Smith and Mewes. Thankfully, Smith was more on top of his game, moderating the exchange with a little more of his usual flair. The show started with Mewes, but Smith was able to lead and reel him in some.

On this evening, Mewes regaled us with the story of his visit to a Chinese shop to get herbs to… ahem… last longer, then he got a massage and some reflexology as well. He also spent some time talking about his experiences with Viagra – which, one can imagine, was a bit explicit.

Jay also told us about being in his hotel room and trying to ogle a naked woman across the way from his room for about an hour… only to discover it was a guy. It was miserably long, and Jay remained repetitious, but not nearly as much as in London. And at least he was funny here.

Then Smith brought fans up to date with respect to his sick dog, which only had movement in its upper body left, and how his other dog was acting out because of all the attention that was going to the older one. This was sobering and kind of sad – not quite an uplifting ending to the show.

But then they had another ridiculous segment of “Let Us Fuck!” to help us change the channel – for good or bad:

  1. The Manchester United
  2. Manchester City, Put it in the Shitty, Make it Kinda Gritty
  3. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (featuring a guy who dressed up as Silent Bob)

While the Manchester show was an improvement over the London one, it wasn’t exactly riveting stuff. I would probably have been disappointed to have paid good money to see this live…

Overall impression: 7.0

Edinburgh 2012

This programme began with a small tour of Edinburgh with Jay, visiting the city and architecture. We didn’t actually see much, really: what we saw was mostly Jay wandering about as he was going to and fro. Essentially, this is as vacuous as Jay is; it contributed no information and few chuckles.

The show proper started with Smith and Mewes arriving in kilts, which segued to Jay taking his underwear off and then talking about sex with his wife on the tour (how embarrassing for her!). It didn’t take long before he started talking about his past experiences with hemorrhoids.

Smith and Jay talked about Braveheart for a while, then about an AIDS benefit that they went to in 1995 (where Jay tried to take picture of everyone; Jack Nicholson refused), then Smith talked about the TV show “In Search Of” (which was hosted by Leonard Nimoy) and about the Loch Ness Monster and Big Foot.

For this final show, Smith took on a larger role her, managing the exchanges well. I finally got the impression that he hadn’t lost his gift of gab in a haze of ganja after all – something that I had doubts about following the first two shows. It was certainly a welcome change after his pitiful start.

By this point, Jay was pleased to say that he’d been sober for 692 days. He proceeded to tell the audience about his mom’s drug addictions, and how she would get he and his sister to shoplift and steal mail from their neighbours when he was a kid. Jay also talked about his own addictions (crack, heroin, …etc.). Rather sobering stuff.

But nothing washes away gritty reality quite like another riveting installment of “Let Us Fuck!”:

  1. Cum Split from my Kilt
  2. The Deep-Fried Mars Bar
  3. Sheep Shagger

Overall impression: 7.5

Once per show, while the pair were blabbing away, there would be some piss-poor animation to highlight what one of them was recounting. Ugh. Sadly, the animator of these shorts ended up being hired to make ‘Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie’. A darned shame, if you ask me.

In the special features, there were also some extra bits that were edited out, including a little bit more “Let Us Fuck!” (as though we needed more). I don’t know why it was cut out as these bits were short and not entirely worse than the rest, but at least the DVD’s producers made it available to fans who just had to see everything.

All in all, though, ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging’ in the UK’ was nothing worth writing home about. It got progressively better, which gives (perhaps a false sense of) hope, but it’s nothing close to Smith’s earlier speaking engagements, which were riveting and hilarious.

Still, I may someday take a chance on ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in Ireland’ (or as it’s known in North America: ‘Jay and Silent Bob Get Irish: The Swearing O’ the Green’). I believe these shows were recorded immediately afterwards, so perhaps there might be even better. Maybe?

We’ll see…

Dates of viewing: November 3-4

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