Jason Mewes gets real, comes clean in Jay and Silent Bob Get Old

Jay and Silent Bob have making “reality” shows for almost 20 years. It only seems like fiction that the truth is stranger than.

According to actor Jason Mewes, “Jay” is real – at least “me from age 14 to 19,” he says. Partner-filmmaker Kevin Smith wrote the sex-crazed stoner character “straight up from who I was,” whom you might know from such films as Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II.

“It’s 50-50 now,” Mewes says. “I’m still obnoxious. I’m silly. But I have boundaries now. I can’t be shouting things at girls on the street.”

And yet, Jay still helps pay the bills. As the pair continue to milk this unusual modern comedy duo on stage, screen and podcasts across the realm, with an X-rated combo of Cheech and Chong and half of the Marx Brothers, there’s a whole wealth of material to draw from as they age. Cue the latest venture: The “Jay and Silent Bob Get Old” tour. Be part of this “live podcast” on Thursday at McDougall United Church, such a holy place for such unwholesome entertainment.

Readers as yet unnerdified by the spell of Kevin Smith might be wondering: What the hell is this, anyway? Is it a stand-up comedy show or a “spoken word” performance? Subtle difference. One is funny. Is it a Charlie Sheen-inspired public confessional or an AA meeting with jokes? Or maybe we should think of it as a couple of guys telling stories about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll collected during their experiences in telling stories about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Behold the great cycle of reality entertainment!

Maybe it’s all of the above – plus a lot of audience participation. Mewes says every show is different.

“It’s not stand up comedy,” he says. “It’s us telling real stories, and none of it’s fake. Every show is different stories about the night before, the week before or 20 years ago when we first met – the first time I had sex with someone and came in three seconds. The first time I had sex with a girl and I farted. Or shit my pants. Or talking about getting high, about drugs, or getting off drugs. Or Kevin talks about having sex with his wife. We’re talking about how we’re getting older.”

Just for the record, he’s 37.

Clerks II, he goes on, contains a scene where Jay talks about going to rehab and getting arrested for driving with a deployed airbag, “And I went to rehab and got arrested for driving with a deployed airbag.”

There’s an interesting component to these sort of undefined public appearances. Charlie Sheen’s tour, Mewes recalls, only started doing well when Sheen would honestly address the questions he got from the audience, as in, “Did you really have sex with those two girls? Give us the gory details.”

So he did. And so does Jay – parcelling out his troubled life as entertainment, charging people money to hear all the gory details on such things as the depths of heroin addiction. And fans are happy to pay it.

Mewes says, “When you think about it, it is weird that people might sit there and laugh about my life, about me sitting in a bathroom shooting dope and getting arrested. People want to be entertained and that’s what seems to entertain them.”

Asked where the entertainment stops and his real life begins, or if he ever gets lost in his own character, he seems not to understand the questions – the questioner has some trouble, too – but on the matter of all the attention on aforementioned gory details, there is a plus side, he says.

“I guess I could say I’m flattered that people are coming to hear me talk about myself. And it helps me. I’ve had people tell me that their brother is sober now because they listened to my story and it inspired them. And it helps me stay sober. It’s shocking, sometime’s it surreal, but it’s my life.”