No matter how many movies, podcasts and television shows Kevin Smith produces or directs for the rest of this time here on this Earth, he will always be associated with Clerks, that black-and-white indie sensation that catapulted the New Jersey native to superstardom. And he knows this. Which is why, when celebrating his 48th birthday -- a day he almost didn't reach -- Smith posted the perfect callback to his Clerks roots. Lean against your own wall and enjoy:

You might think that Kevin Smith is exaggerating, or speaking in his usual hyperbolic tone, but he's 100% accurate when he says in this Instagram post that the wall upon which he leans changed his life. It's the wall of the Quick Stop convenience store where Smith shot Clerks. But what he's really referencing is the heart attack that almost claimed his life back in February of this year.

While performing in California, Kevin Smith was between shows at the Alex Theater when he suffered a heart attack. Emergency surgery saved his life, while an extreme diet changed it. Smith was overweight -- his stories about not being able to fly on Southwest are now legendary -- but after doctors ordered he shed pounds to save his life, he did just that. And as you can see in the above photo, Smith is now half the man he used to be... a lyric from an Alice in Chains song, which I know Smith himself will appreciate.

The joke in the Instagram post is also a callback to the most famous line from the Clerks screenplay, in which the lead character of Dante (played by Brian O'Halloran) repeatedly tells people that he isn't even supposed to be working on the day that's featured in the movie:

Kevin Smith isn't really known for his films anymore. In fact, he joked that he wanted to survive his heart attack because he didn't want Yoga Hosers to be his last movie. It won't be. In addition to his long-rumored Moose Jaws film -- which is supposed to complete a trilogy that started with Tusk -- Smith is hard at work on Jay and Silent Bob Get a Reboot, which would be a sequel/reboot meta concept for his Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back... itself a joke at the types of movies that Smith grew up on, and went on to make.

Happy birthday, Kevin Smith, from your friends here at CinemaBlend. We are happy that you are still around to entertain through your podcast network, television shows and, occasionally, your films. Snooch to the nooch, sir, for years to come.

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