“Tough Sh*t; Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good” by Kevin Smith

“Tough Sh*t; Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good”
Written and Read by Kevin Smith
Published by Penguin Audio (2012)
Approx. 6 hours.

First and foremost I have to admit I am a Kevin Smith Fanboy, but even more so now. Although I don’t think I can call myself a full-fledged Fanboy since I don’t listen to his Smodcasts. I’ll explain Smodcasts later. I really should listen to them, but I listen to so many audiobooks that I have a hard time finding a place to squeeze them in. Okay, okay, I will start listening…one smodcast between each book, fine, are you happy, Mr. Smith?

Anyway, back to this book, Kevin Smith, to many folks is that “Clerks” guy, or maybe the “Chasing Amy” guy, or maybe “the Too Fat to Fly” guy, or more recently the “Comic Book Men” Guy. No matter what your association with Kevin Smith you know it’s a lot of humor, usually self-deprecating, and even some bouts of reality thrown in at a super-sized delivery box. (sorry could help the fat joke, but being a fat lazy slob as well, I can do that.) Kevin Smith was king of the indie films (and still is in my book) during the 90s, beginning with the movie “Clerks,” a tale of two slackers hanging out at a convenience store and their obsessions with pop culture (particularly Star Wars). Okay actually it was a lot more than just that but I’m not reviewing that movie at this moment. Smith, had the dream to become a filmmaker and sought out that dream. Soon his movie was sold to Miramax and the entire Jay and Silent Bob run of movies began. Jay and Silent Bob seemed to be anchors in all his movies, with Silent Bob being played by Kevin Smith.

During his filmmaking career, Smith created a whole new genre of films that would soon be copied and become a staple in summer movies, the Bromance. Kevin’s films showed that men can interact with each other and that the movie can exist entirely on the basis of a friendship between two guys. With “Clerks” & “Clerks 2” there was Dante & Hicks and in an odd way, Jay & Silent Bob. The Bromance film would later be copied in such films as “Good Will Hunting” (no he didn’t help write that one, which he talks about that controversy in this book), “The 40 Year old Virgin,” “Superbad” and “Pineapple Express.” the last three you’ll notice were Seth Rogen films, he comes up in this autobiography a few times.

So making Indie films was the beginning and soon Kevin was sucked into the corporate world of Hollywood. At one point he got to meet his big screen idol, Bruce Willis. While working with Bruce he found him to be a decent guy, but when Kevin was called on to direct Willis, Smith found out that Bruce was a “douchebag” (his word not mine, I don’t know Bruce Willis, but I, like Kevin Smith, am a fan of his work). This one of the many events Smith talks about in “Tough Sh*t” that begins to make his passion of filmmaking actually work, and begins his journey to seek out something else to keep his mind creative.

On a good note, Kevin Smith says that the line “You should never meet your heroes.” should be changed to “You should never meet your heroes, unless the hero is George Carlin.” Kevin Smith grew up appreciating and loving Carlin’s ability to talk smart, using the English language in a very intelligent way while still sprinkling in some colorful expletives to grab the attention of the audience. When he met with Carlin he discovered that Carlin was the genuine article, and a down to earth Human being. All of these stories are included in “Tough Sh*t” and more.

The biggest lessons Kevin learned and shares with the listener/reader of “Tough Sh*t” are from “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky. Kevin watched a series on hockey and learned from “The Great One” two major lessons: Gretzky was great because of assists not just because of the high number of goals scored and don’t be where the puck has been be where the puck is going to be. Throughout this book Kevin talks about how he has applied these lessons to his life.

This peek into the world of Kevin Smith screams with subtlety, what makes the man Kevin Smith. From his respect for his dad who died screaming to his beautiful wife and daughter, Smith turns out to be a pretty darn decent human being. He’s the type of guy that if he were your friend, you’d have a friend for life. Kevin Smith is able to tell his story in the fashion of his hero, George Carlin. Speaking intelligently and with lots of wit and a sprinkling of what could be “offensive” language. From stories of helping his friends to adoring his wife, I feel after reading this book I know the man personally. I wish…but for now I’m happy being a Kevin Smith Fanboy.