Kevin Patrick Smith (born August 2, 1970) is an American filmmaker, actor, comedian, public speaker, comic book writer, author, and podcaster. He came to prominence with the low-budget comedy film Clerks (1994), which he wrote, directed, co-produced, and acted in as the character Silent Bob of stoner duo Jay and Silent Bob. Jay and Silent Bob have appeared in Smith's follow-up films Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Clerks II and Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, which are set primarily in his home state of New Jersey. While not strictly sequential, the films frequently featured crossover plot elements, character references, and a shared canon described by fans as the "View Askewniverse", named after his production company View Askew Productions, which he co-founded with Scott Mosier. Since 2011, Smith has mostly made films in the horror genre, including Red State (2011) and the "comedy horror films" Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016), two in a planned series of three such films set in Canada dubbed the True North trilogy. He has also served as a director-for-hire for material he did not write, including the buddy cop action comedy Cop Out (2010) and various television series episodes. Smith is the owner of Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, a comic book store in Red Bank, New Jersey, that is the subject of the reality television show Comic Book Men (2012–2018). He also hosts the movie-review television show Spoilers. As a podcaster, Smith co-hosts several shows on his own SModcast Podcast Network, including SModcast, Fatman Beyond, and the live show Hollywood Babble-On. Smith is well known for participating in long, humorous Q&A sessions that are often filmed for DVD release, beginning with An Evening with Kevin Smith.