“Don’t identify as an artist, be the art.“
About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. In other words, America’s number one killer claims 1 out of every 4 deaths.
Not all heart attacks are fatal. But when your heart’s left anterior descending artery becomes 100% blocked, the result is a massive heart attack known as The Widowmaker.
Few survive its fatal clutch.
Kevin Smith is the rare exception that proves the rule.
The arch villain in his own personal superhero comic book narrative, Kevin’s Widowmaker nemesis failed in it’s dastardly quest to claim his young life. Instead, like Spiderman in the aftermath of that fateful bite, it made our protagonist hero stronger — more convicted about his life, purpose, family and art.
One might even say it gave him superpowers — a new life animated by an urgent productivity. An emboldened creativity. And, more than anything, a spirit ennobled.
This week’s guest beat the odds. But this should come as no surprise for those well versed in the Kevin Smith canon. Because Kevin has always been an outlier — a fiercely independent voice who has been successfully cutting against the grain for as long as he can remember.
Today this charismatic master storyteller shares his most amazing tale to date — the story of Kevin Smith.
For the few unfamiliar among us, Kevin is a filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author and early podcast pioneer. In 1994 he burst into prominence with his hyper low-budget comedy Clerks, a film he wrote, directed, co-produced, and filmed in the convenience store where he worked. Premiering at Sundance, it was feted with the festival’s highest award before going on to become an indie cult classic.
In addition to countless appearances in both movies and television, Kevin has created a litany of films, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Cop Out, Jersey Girl, Red State, Tusk, Yoga Hosers and Clerks 2. Just last week he wrapped production on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.
An iconic and beloved character amongst indie film fans and comic book nerds, Kevin is immediately recognizable and famous for his hockey jerseys, backwards hat and well, his weight. But in February of 2018, between sets of one his stand-up shows, Kevin suffered his aforementioned heart attack.
A lifestyle change was needed. Desperately.
Harley Quinn Smith (a vegan herself) suggested Kevin adopt a plant-based diet. Kevin obliged. For the first time in ages, he began exercising. In short shrift, he lost 50 pounds. His blood work normalized. And the rest is history.
Today we unpack all of it. How maxing out his credit cards spawned an entire career. His perspective on podcasting as one of the very first to embrace the medium. And of course the amazing transformation that compelled me to seek him out.
Heart disease is ubiquitous. But as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn is so fond of saying, it’s a toothless paper tiger that need not exist. So if you feel stuck in lifestyle habits that are leading to your own fateful confrontation with that villainous Widowmaker, my greatest hope is that this conversation catalyzes the required changes well within your grasp to master — because inside all of us is a latent superhero waiting to unleash its fury on the unnecessary evil that is heart disease.
As a long time fan of Kevin, it was an absolute delight and honor to spend a few hours with him. I love everything about this exchange. I hope you do too.
Peace + Plants,
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Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support our sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.
Check out the zillion podcasts Kevin hosts on his SMODCAST Network
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect with Kevin: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | IMDb
- TODAY: Kevin Smith feels ‘wonderful’ after losing 58 pounds following heart attack
- Variety: Film Review: ‘Film Hawk’ Indie film champion Bob Hawk gets a thin but affectionate documentary tribute
- The Daily Beast: Kevin Smith on Surviving a Heart Attack: ‘It’s Like I Got to Attend My Own Wake’
- weightwatchers: Kevin Smith’s Journey to Become Healthier with WW | WW USA
- Indie Wire: Sundance Stories of Yore: “Clerks”
- Comicbook: Kevin Smith Celebrates ‘Chasing Amy’s Anniversary, Teases ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’ Changes
- Comicbook: Kevin Smith Shares Emotional Video in Honor of ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot’s End of Production
- Cheat Sheet: Which ‘SNL’ Alum Will Be in the ‘Jay and Silent Bob Reboot?’
- c|net: Stan Lee’s Captain Marvel cameo made Kevin Smith a ‘blubbering mess’
- IMDb: A Guide to the Films of Kevin Smith | DIRECTOR’S TRADEMARKS
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: How Kevin Smith Stayed Calm During A Heart Attack
- Non-profit: Sundance Film Festival | Sundance Institute
- Film: The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai* Director: W.D. Richter
- Film: Looking For Kitty* Director: Edward Burns
- Film: El Mariachi* Director: Robert Rodriguez
- Film: Slacker* Director: Richard Linklater
Films Directed by Kevin Smith:
- Chasing Amy*
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back*
- Jersey Girl*
- Clerks II*
- Zack and Miri Make a Porno*
- Cop Out*
- Red State*
- Yoga Hosers*
Notable People Discussed
- Ray Cronise: former NASA scientist turned innovator focused on disrupting diet and nutrition advice; podcast guest
- Andrew “Spud Fit” Taylor: ate only potatoes for a year. Listen to our podcast!
- Aubrey Marcus: experimentalist, entrepreneur, CEO of Onnit and podcast guest
- Harley Quinn Smith: Kevin’s daughter; vegan, actress and bass player in the bubblegum punk band, The Tenth Band
Scott Mosier: film director (The Grinch*), film producer, editor, podcaster, writer and actor best known for his work with director Kevin Smith, with whom he occasionally co-hosts the weekly podcast, SModcast
- Jason Mewes: actor, film producer and internet radio show host. He is best known for playing Jay, the vocal half of the duo Jay and Silent Bob, in longtime friend Kevin Smith’s films
- Bob Hawk: Indie film consultant, producer
- Amy Taubin: film critic and writer
Dr Marc Ladenheim: board-certified in cardiology and internal medicine and brings over 30 years to his practice in Burbank, California, saved Kevin’s life
- Stan Lee: was an American comic book writer, editor, publisher, producer and primary creative leader of Marvel Comics for two decades
- Penn Jillette: magician, juggler, comedian, inventor, author of Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales*
Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #212: Our Broken Plate: Disrupting Nutritional Science, Intermittent Fasting & How He Helped Penn Jillette Lose Over 100 Pounds
- RRP #258: SpudFit: How Andrew Taylor Lost 114 Pounds Eating Nothing But Potatoes For A Year
- RRP #427: Brian Koppelman On The Artist Within, Nurturing Your Voice & The Importance Of Consistent Creative Practice
- RRP #425: Tom Bilyeu On Exiting The Matrix, How To Develop ‘Techne’ & Why Mindset Is Everything
- RRP #365: Kurt Sutter Is A Fearless Storyteller
- RRP #249: Sacha Gervasi & David De Rothschild: Chasing Dreams, Seeking Adventure & The Power Of Story To Change The World
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