Clerks 3 Poster Offers Jersey Spin on Popular Internet Meme

The latest teaser poster for Clerks III is both a nod to Clerks II, and a spin on one of the most widely-used internet memes. The image, which features Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) behind the counter of the Quick Stop while flames surround the pair, is an obvious nod to the "This is fine" meme, but also acknowledges a major plot point from 2006's Clerks II, the last time Anderson returned to Kevin Smith's "View Askewniverse," and the last time several of the characters set to appear in Clerks III appeared onscreen.

The "This is fine" meme comes from KC Green's 2013 webcomic "On Fire," and depicts a dog sitting at a table, saying "This is fine" as the room around him burns. While the second half of the strip sees the dog freak out and be burned once it's too late, the initial panels are usually all that's used, with the context of the meme usually being that people are in denial about a dangerous situation.

The poster also works for Clerks, because at the start of the second movie, the Quick Stop -- that's the convenience store where the first one was set -- burned down due to Randal's negligence. The second movie happened primarily at a Mooby's -- Smith's in-universe fast-food joint -- before long-suffering retail employees Randal and Dante decided to rebuild the convenience store and run it themselves.

In the tweet, Smith also teased that there would be another poster coming today, ahead of tomorrow's trailer debut for Clerks III.

You can see it 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.

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Clerks 3 will be released this fall.