Kevin Smith's "View Askewniverse" franchise was one of the biggest indie filmmaking success stories of the 90s. Smith maxed out credit cards and sold his comic book collection to fund the production of Clerks, and this turned into a decades-long career in Hollywood. He has legions of fans, but we bet a bunch of them don't know all 10 of these facts!
Clerks was filmed after-hours in the convenience store Smith actually worked at
He worked from 6 AM to 11 PM, then would film until 4 AM. He often slept in his car before working again.
Clerks is loosely based on Dante's "The Divine Comedy"
This is why the main character is called Dante. The movie also has 9 chapters, to correspond with the 9 Circles of Hell from The Inferno.
A member of O.J. Simpson's defense team got Clerks an R-rating
The MPAA originally gave the film an NC-17 rating for its language, but Miramax hired Alan Dershowitz to get them to bump it down without any cuts.
Universal wanted to replace Jason Mewes with Seth Green as Jay in Mallrats
They didn't think Mewes was up to the task of playing Jay in a bigger movie, but Smith insisted. The studio had Smith keep Green on standby in case they didn't like Mewes' performance.
They also wanted SNL cast members to play the leads
They insisted that Smith should cast either Mike Myers, Adam Sandler or Chris Farley as Brodie, and Ethan Hawke as TS. The roles went to Jason Lee and Jeremy London.
Click to the next page for more interesting View Askew facts!
Chasing Amy was supposed to be more like Clueless
Smith had intended the movie to be a teen comedy taking place in a high school, but scrapped the idea when Mallrats bombed at the box office.
Smith protested his own movie (as a joke)
Due to its portrayal of the Catholic faith, protests of Dogma erupted around the United States. Kevin Smith joined one of them as a joke, and was even interviewed on TV.
Heather Graham was offered the role of Justice in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
She turned the role down because she couldn't understand why anybody would be romantically attracted to Jay. It went to Shannon Elizabeth.
Clerks 2 was made as a favor to Jason Mewes for getting clean
After Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith promised his longtime friend that if he kicked his serious drug habit, he would let him play Jay again. He made good on his promise.
Jay's Silence of the Lambs dance was something Mewes did in real life to annoy Smith
He had apparently done it for years off-screen, and decided that Clerks 2 was the time for the world to see it.