Marc Bernardin, Kevin Smith's Fatman Beyond podcast co-host who appeared briefly in Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, is back for Clerks III. The twist? His cameo, as seen in the trailer released recently, is actually as an established character from the Clerks cartoon. Fans of that series, which ran on ABC before being cancelled, but then screened periodically on Cartoon Network and Comedy Central, might remember Lando, a character who was introduced after a fake reader mailbag complained that the series did not feature enough people of color. Named for the Star Wars character, Lando was a friend to Dante and Randal, who would make periodic cameos to dole out sage advice.
In the animated series, Lando was voiced by Pootie Tang and Bee Movie star Mario Joyner. Apparently, the character was not originally going to appear in the film, with Smith hoping that Bernardin would join other cast members to play hockey on the roof of the Quick Stop, but after a scheduling conflict, Smith decided to bring Lando into the live-action canon of the View Askewniverse.
"If you remember, years and years ago we made a very unsuccessful Clerks cartoon, which aired twice on ABC before they cancelled it, and then all six episodes were put on home video....In the Clerks cartoons, they would often go for advice from time to time for their friend Lando. Marc is playing Lando in Clerks III -- name-checked as such."
You can see the full podcast below.
The movie, which is set to be distributed by Lionsgate, is Smith's first new feature film since Jay & Silent Bob Reboot, in which Brian O'Halloran's Dante Hicks, the point-of-view character in the original Clerks and its 2006 sequel, Clerks II. That movie was the last time fans got a look at Jeff Anderson's Randal Graves, who appears to be the lead in Clerks III.
Randal, who has always been something of a wish-fulfillment character for Smith himself, is set to suffer a life-threatening heart attack in the movie, as Smith did in real life. It will spur the lifelong slacker to find the one thing he likes better than working retail and making fun of his customers: he's going to make a movie.
A movie about working retail and making fun of his customers, naturally.
There have been a few different ideas for Clerks 3 over the years, with one getting so far that there was a live script reading in 2020. Smith has suggested in the past that the holdout was Jeff Anderson, who is more reluctant to return to the world of Clerks than the rest of the cast. Randal is irreplaceable, though, and without all of the leads on board, Smith has said that it's a non-starter. This time, Smith brings back Marilyn Ghigliotti, who played Dante's girlfriend Veronica in Clerks. She is the rare View Askew lead who has not been seen in another of Smith's movies since, making her return especially significant.
The first Clerks centered on one very bad day in the life of Dante Hicks, a convenience store worker who got called into work on his day off and spent the whole shift dealing with belligerent customers, freak occurrences, a sex-obsessed ex-girlfriend, and his obnoxious best friend, Randal. Clerks II saw Dante ready to settle down and get married -- but secretly in love with someone else, and dealing with the reality that he has one day to decide where his heart lies.
Clerks 3 will be released this fall.