What’s a “SMalk” show? I don’t know, but I don’t know what a “SModcast” is either. Regardless, movie director and some time indie darling Kevin Smith is going to try his hand at hosting a half-hour television talk show, tentatively titled (the) Kevin Smith Project. Kevin Smith and “his people”* are prepping the pilot, searching for both their first guests and their studio audience. Based on the description Vulture provides, the show doesn’t sound like it will be all that inventive from a format perspective, but Smith’s witty, acerbic persona and his potential for controversy (and the caliber of guests he will likely be able to get) are the real draws here.
“The idea is a Regis and Kelly talk show at the opposite end of the day for the opposite kind of audience — the 12-34 demo. Kevin and his co-host will talk water-cooler topics at the top of the show, followed by a celebrity interview and a comedy segment from the field (a la The Daily Show). Each show will feature one celebrity interview.”
Admittedly, when I first read about this, I audibly groaned. My cubemate at the day job probably thinks I was responding to her not-terribly-funny joke to a co-worker, but in reality I was imagining his indulgent Stan Lee interviews and dreading that becoming a series.
The audio of this, with Smith’s grating, barely grunted responses after everything Lee says more prominent, ought to be considered torture under the Geneva Conventions. Only an evil SOB like Dick Cheney would make someone suffer through that for half an hour. But in searching for that clip, I stumbled across the episode of “Dinner for Five” that he hosted (with guests Stan Lee, Jason Lee, J.J. Abrams, and Mark Hammil; your mileage for “caliber” might vary from mine), thinking I was about to get even more ammunition with which to shoot down this horrible-sounding idea. But then I watched it and I was enthralled.
Kevin Smith is, or at least was, a great conversationalist, which I then remembered was also true of his DVD commentary tracks that I used to find more entertaining than some of his movies. The bit (in part two) where he gets Stan Lee to talk about the early days of funny books is especially good, and so much better than the interview above. So, now I’m convinced that, if Smith can keep it a flowing conversation rather than a standard interview, this might be one of the best things he’ll ever do. I’m not saying it will one of the best talk shows ever, but it could be pretty interesting and fun to watch. It could at even last longer than the “Chevy Chase Show”.
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and will never link to another “Chevy Chase Show” clip on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He thinks the bit where Mark Hammil does his Harrison Ford impression is pretty great, too.