I’ve only talked with filmmaker Kevin Smith twice in my life. Once on the phone and once in person, which I wrote about here if you care to hear the story.

Yet he’s one of my favorite people. He’s a guy who unapologetically keeps it real. Kevin is one of the greatest storytellers in the world.

Monday August 2 is his birthday and he turns 51. I knew it was his birthday but I didn’t know until I read it that now he’s the same age as Wilford Brimley was when "Cocoon" was in theaters. How could Silent Bob and Wilford Brimley ever be the same age, right?

Well he talked about his birthday on Twitter Sunday and let’s hope he just got done with a run.

Don’t worry, I’m sure the look is from exercise. Kevin Smith is probably in the best shape of his life. After battling weight issues since high school he finally suffered a heart attack in 2018 and got incredibly dedicated to saving himself. He started a vegan diet and lost over 50 pounds. Good for him!

As much as you may love “Clerks” or his comic book shop in Red Bank, in honor of his birthday here’s trivia about Kevin Smith you may not know.

His father’s lousy job shaped Kevin’s life. His father Donald was a New Jersey postal worker who had to work late shifts. His dad often found it difficult to get up at odd hours to go to a job he didn’t enjoy. This made Kevin vow to find something he loved to do for a living.

Why filmmaking? He mentions it in the video above. On his 21st birthday he watched a comedy called “Slacker” and it set his life in motion. Richard Linklater made the movie in his hometown of Austin, Texas and Kevin says it was unlike anything else he’d ever seen and it inspired him to make movies.

“It was the movie that got me off my ass,” Smith said. “It was the movie that lit a fire under me.”

He went to Vancouver Film School but dropped out halfway through because he felt he had already learned enough and wanted to save the rest of the money to make his first movie.

You may have heard how he maxed out all his credit cards to make his first film “Clerks” but did you know he also sold his much-beloved comic book collection? He raised the $27,575 he needed to shoot the low-budget project.

After the screening at the Sundance Film Festival Harvey Weinstein invited him to his table and struck a deal. The relationship would be one Smith would later regret due to the sexual assault case.

Did you know Smith, known for comedies, has made horror films? “Red State” inspired by the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church, “Tusk” and “Yoga Hosers.”

He actually dated the female lead from "Chasing Amy," Joey Lauren Adams for a time.

He’s married to Jennifer Schwalback Smith who has starred in more than half a dozen of his movies. She played Susan in “Jersey Girl” and Missy in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” just to name a couple.

Okay this one you probably know, but just in case. His love of comic books showed in the naming of their daughter Harley Quinn Smith.

Happy Birthday to Kevin Smith, one of the coolest Jersey guys you could ever meet!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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