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Earlier this year, director, writer, podcaster and professional nerd Kevin Smith suffered a massive heart attack after filming a standup special in Southern California. In the wake of such a frightening event at such a relatively young age, the filmmaker best known for lowbrow raunchy comedies was incredibly reflective and poignant, while also committing to make some life changes after this wakeup call. And while he may be dieting and exercising more, he probably won't be cutting out smoking weed. As it turns out, the miracle plant may have saved his life. Kevin Smith explained what happened when he talked to the doctor during the heart attack, saying:
I said, 'Doc, honestly, I just smoked too much weed this morning. That's what this is. I honestly thought I was too high. I'd smoked a bunch of weed that day because I was doing the show and then I smoked a joint right before the show and then I got off stage and all of the sudden I had a heart attack. He goes, 'No, quite the opposite. That weed saved your life.' And I was like, 'Do tell! Like, what do you mean?' He said, 'You kept calm. They told you [that] you were having a massive heart attack, and you remained calm the whole time, so that joint saved your life.'
Well if that's not the most poetic and thematically appropriate statement given Kevin Smith's career, I don't know what is. The director, who is known for stoner comedies and whose most famous character is Silent Bob, a pothead who has his own superhero alter ego named Bluntman, was just saved from certain death by the ganja. Snoochie boochies indeed. As Kevin Smith told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, he actually suspected that the weed was the cause of why he wasn't feeling well, when in fact it kept him calm during a time that a person might understandably freak out and thus make the situation worse. This had to give Kevin Smith a chuckle in such a harrowing situation. He has never been shy about smoking weed, and now he has even more reason to extol its virtues.
Kevin Smith's filmography has often featured stoner characters and instances where pot plays a part, especially in his ViewAskewniverse films where he and lifelong friend Jason Mewes play Jay and Silent Bob, two stoners, drug dealers and occasional heroes. In Mallrats, Jay smokes up a couple of game show contestants to incapacitate them so Jeremy London and Jason Lee's characters can sub in. Kevin Smith even wrote and directed a comedy pilot called Hollyweed. Kevin Smith has gotten away from the stoner type comedies that have made him famous of late, instead focusing on weird, horror-esque films that haven't always been received that well. He has already talked about returning to his former properties with a continuation of Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, so perhaps he now has even more inspiration to do so.
Kevin Smith can take comfort knowing that unlike the food he was eating, weed wasn't killing him. Now he just has to remember when he has the munchies, he should opt for salads, almonds and yogurt instead of greasy, fatty and sugary foods. He seems to be doing much better now too, as he has lost weight and was recently visiting Disneyland with his family. Here's hoping he can continue this progress and keep making his unique brand of films, even if the more recent ones are harder to enjoy sober. Kevin Smith's stand-up special, the one which he filmed right before suffering his heart attack, Silent But Deadly, premieres on Showtime on May 11 at 9 p.m.