Jay and Silent Bob struck back 20 years ago when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back first premiered on the big screen. Written and directed by Kevin Smith, it was the fifth movie to feature Smith and Jason Mewes as the titular stoners after they were first introduced in Clerks in 1994. The feature was released in theaters on Aug. 24, 2001, making the movie officially 20 years old.
Typically, Jay and Silent Bob were presented as supporting characters in their previous movies, but Jay and Silent Bob Strike Backfinally puts them in the lead roles. It picks up with the duo learning of a movie getting made based on Bluntman and Chronic, a fictional comic book featuring their likenesses. Hoping to score big checks by demanding royalties for the movie, Jay and Silent Bob set out for Hollywood on their biggest adventure yet.
Along the way, the stoners meet an animal liberation group called the Coalition for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-Dwellers. This includes Shannon Elizabeth's Justice, who serves as a romantic interest for Jay --- though Silent Bob was still able to later get a kiss from his new primate pal. The group also included Eliza Dushku as Sissy, Ali Larter as Chrissy, and Smith's wife Jennifer Schwalbach as Missy. Other actors featured in supporting roles include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, George Carlin, Seann William Scott, and Will Ferrell.
At the time, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was meant to be the final adventure of the iconic characters, so various characters from different View Askew movies were brought in for what was intended to be a swan song. Longtime fans of Smith's movies would appreciate cameos that included Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson (Clerks), while people like Ben Affleck (Chasing Amy) and Jason Lee (Mallrats, Chasing Amy) would also appear in dual roles. Alanis Morissette (Dogma) even appeared as God after the credits to close the book on the View Askewniverse.
As we know now, there would be more to come from Jay and Silent Bob. Five years later, they were back to their old tricks in 2006's Clerks II. More recently, they starred in 2019's Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which served as a meta-comedy that spoofed the recent remake and reboot trend in Hollywood. In the movie, which intentionally has a similar premise to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the stoners head back to Hollywood hoping to prevent a Bluntman and Chronic reboot from getting made.
The 20th anniversary of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back also just so happens to come at a time when Smith and Mewes are filming their return to the roles once again. Smith is currently shooting Clerks III in Leonardo, New Jersey, which brings back Jay and Silent Bob alongside several stars of Clerks and Clerks II. Lionsgate recently picked up the movie for release and Smith has been shooting on location at the original Quick Stop. Apparently, a lot can happen in the span of 20 years, even if it doesn't seem like that long ago when Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was released.
Happy 20th anniversary to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. If you want to revisit Jay and Silent Bob's adventure from Leonardo to Hollywood, you can find the movie streaming on HBO Max. Fans can also look forward to catching the duo in the upcoming sequel Clerks III.