As a 21-year-old queer woman, I’m not really Kevin Smith’s target audience. Yet the Fat Man is my hero, and my devotion to him and his work has (almost) no limits. Somehow, the movie Chasing Amy became a twisted metaphor for one of my own failed love stories, and I grew up on Clerks, forcing any friends who hadn’t seen it into watching it, basking in all of its simple, black-and-white glory.
But the ever-talented Smith is more than just a director and Silent Bob. He co-hosts Hollywood Babble-On, his spectacularly successful podcast with Ralph Garman that’s supposed to be about celebrities but is mostly about dick jokes. Still, the comedian is an icon to me. I’ll take the dick jokes from him—somehow, I still manage to find the toilet humor hysterical.
On March 21, Smith and Garman came to Toronto for a live recording of their 200th episode. It was history in the making. My best friend Dylan and I got tickets as soon as we knew they were on sale, and the show shortly sold out. The night of the show, we set off on a mission over to the venue (disgustingly far away from the downtown core—”Why couldn’t he have just done it at Massey Hall like everybody else?” Dylan grumbled).
The audience, all 1300 people, was mostly full of Kevin Smith lookalikes—some in jerseys, some in the $20 merch shirts being sold in the corner. The place smelled, predictably, like a grow op. I, five-foot-five and awkward, did not fit in. Dylan, a foot taller than me and extremely thin, stood out even more. But this was my first exposure as to who Kevin Smith fans really were—white men who look just like him.
Like these men, I look up to Smith like an idol. His films managed to make their way into my preteen development, and helped define what I find good in comedy today. Seeing Kevin Smith that night was an honor to me—I was delighted to just be in the presence of a comedic god, whose own work influenced me in more ways than I can count. That is, until The Disappointment.
The show was funny—for the most part. At around the hour and a half mark, Garman read off the typical celebrity news, and all he had to say was “Keeping Up With The Kardashians season 10 premiered,” before the entire audience burst into loud “boos.” He introduced the segment, “Time To Talk About Kim Kardashian,” which then prompted the intro jingle, with the simple lyrics, “Kim Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, who gives a fuck?”
Well, clearly you care, Ralph, because talking about Kardashian is something you do often on your podcast. And in your day-to-day life, too, probably. The people who claim to care the least about a celebrity they dislike are often the ones who care the most, and Garman is no exception. His obvious (though misdirected) hatred towards Kardashian is unexplained, and is a perfect example of men feeling uncomfortable with women succeeding—despite what life has thrown towards them.
Kardashian is often seen as the villain in the whole sex tape debacle. God forbid we focus on Ray J, the man who leaked her intimate video without consent—no, Kardashian is a dirty whore and a slut for a) having sex and b) enjoying it. And the worst part? She overcame it! And people—especially the guys who love Kevin Smith—just can’t seem to handle it.
Garman proceeded to rag on Kardashian for posting an Instagram photo of herself getting her hair done with the caption “Being blonde is a full time job,” which finally culminated with him getting so angry he yelled, straight into his microphone (probably spitting on it—and the first two rows of the audience—in the process), “You know what a full time job is? No, of course you don’t, you fucking cunt!” This statement that was met with almost a solid minute of cheers and applause.
Clearly, the man knows his audience—but that doesn’t defend the joke or excuse the hideous language. Calling Kardashian a cunt does nothing—and frankly, name-calling in general is such base comedy it can hardly be called a “joke” at all. Outrage at Kardashian’s success comes off as bitter, jealous, resentful. But the question that remains is: Are you jealous of her success, or mad that she, of all people, got to have so much?
The woman got screwed over by society for a sex tape that was released in 2007. Despite her friendship with Paris Hilton and her famous father and step-father, this tape is what propelled her to fame and notoriety. Eight years is a long time, but the internet never forgets, and it’s clear her sex tape will never be forgotten. Still, despite the release of the video and the apparent burn to her career, Kardashian managed to rise out of the ashes. The woman built an empire in a world that had turned against her—in a world that still, to this day, runs back to the same tired sexist jokes that are made in an attempt to put Kim Kardashian in her place.
The truth is, men who like Kevin Smith are the kinds of men that hate to see Kardashian succeed. While Smith is a talented director with loads of cinematic and comedic success to back up his firm spot in history, all Kardashian has is a sex tape. The comparison is easy, no? What has she ever done, besides launch a hugely successful reality show, two spin-off shows, a fragrance, and a clothing line? But Kim Kardashian’s not a business woman. She can’t be—she’s a slut.
Not even my hero or his buddy are exempt from being called out for bad humor and sexist jokes. As much as I wanted to enjoy the rest of the show, I couldn’t— my mind kept going back to this dated routine. Making fun of Kardashian just isn’t funny anymore, Garman. It’s sexist. It’s old. It’s clearly hilarious to your audience, but in the grand scheme of things, making fun of Kardashian for getting famous from a sex tape just makes it sound like you’re mad that you weren’t the one in the tape with her. Get with the times and get some new material.
I suppose I should end this off with an open statement: I love you, Kevin Smith. And I love you, Ralph. But you guys have got to step your game up. Things are a lot funnier when you actually try. I know it’s easy to make insecure little boyz laugh—but I like to hold you guys in higher respect than that. I’m not mad, guys. I’m just disappointed. If you can picture me now, I’m folding my arms and looking down at you over my glasses. Truly, you’re capable of more than just name-calling and sounding like a pair of high school boys who are mad because the head cheerleader wouldn’t sleep with them. And I know there must be fans out there like me who would agree.
Sofie Mikhaylova has written for Vice and Noisey. Follow her on Twitter @sofiesucks.