Kevin Smith’s not done too badly for himself over the years, has he? He’s made a career by combining an encyclopedic knowledge of comic books and pop culture, diving between potty-mouthed toilet humour and smart-guy comedy, and… well, gags about getting high.
We all know about the arguments for and against cannabis – the pros and cons of legislation; the medical benefits and the health concerns. But in this instance, the 47-year-old claims it stood in his favour, as doctors told him that smoking weed might just have helped him survive his recent heart attack. I’d like to see the doctor’s report on that one, to be honest.
Appearing on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night, Smith recalled the night he was struck down by the dangerous ‘widowmaker’ heart attack.
“I honestly thought I was too high,” he told the show’s host.
“I had smoked a bunch of weed that day because I was doing the shows, then I smoked a joint right before the show and I got off stage and all of the sudden, I had a heart attack.
“I asked my doctor like after this was all done, I was like, ‘I hate to ask this question, man, but did I have a heart attack because of the weed? Because I smoked a joint right before the show’.”
However, the doctors appeared to have a surprising perspective on his condition. Smith explained how the doctor told him: “No. In fact, quite the opposite. That weed saved your life.”
The Mallrats director continued: “He said, ‘You kept calm…they told you [you] were going through stuff and you kept calm the whole time, so that joint saved your life’.”
And never one to waste an opportunity for a pointed quip, he added: “I’m putting that on a T-shirt.”
Smith suffered the heart attack on 25 February after performing in Glendale, California. He’d been due to do another performance that evening but that was cancelled after he fell ill, and later that day, he took to Facebook to explain his situation to fans.
Tweeting a picture of himself in hospital, he wrote: “After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack.
“The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100 percent blockage of my LAD artery (aka ‘the Widow-Maker’). If I hadn’t canceled [the] show to to go to the hospital, I would’ve died tonight. But for now, I’m still above ground!”
A ‘widowmaker’ heart attack affects the left coronary artery. An attack such as that Smith suffered is usually preceded by nausea, shortness of breath, pain in the head, jaw, arms or chest and/or numbness in fingers. Consequences can be severe if not dealt with appropriately.
Kevin Smith first found fame as a director in 1994 with the Generation X comedy movie Clerks, which introduced his ‘View Askew’ film universe as well as his most recognisable characters, Jay (played by Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (played by Smith himself).
The two characters went on to appear in Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, while Smith eventually moved aside from the View Askew series to write and direct films more rooted in the horror genre, from Red State to Yoga Hosers.
More recently he has been supporting the acting career of his daughter Harley Quinn Smith, whose latest film All These Small Moments premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival last month.