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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/24/2010

Meta-post: Kevin Smith vs. Sarah Silverman, DC-style [UPDATED]

By Michael Cavna

Note: The original post was published Fri., April 23, at 1:45 p.m.

ksmith2.jpg 2010 file photo / Getty Images

Two edgy, oft-profane, beguilingly charismatic 39-year-old entertainers -- both with uncommonly tight ties to Matt Damon -- visited Washington on Thursday night for touring gigs that drew adoring throngs.

Only one of the events was immensely satisfying.

To be fair, the first event was a book tour, and Sarah Silverman was there -- at Borders on 18th & L NW -- to move product. Namely, her brand-new memoir, "The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee." (The Post's Emily Yahr was also there to capture the scene.)

The personable Comedy Central comedian was winning, grinning -- and efficient. That snaking autograph line moved quickly. But no books were personalized. This was all about a nanosecond smile and a signature.

Ninety minutes later and a quick cab/Metro ride away, by contrast, Kevin Smith was launching into a signature evening. At the sold-out Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, he staged one of his multi-hour, heavy-on-fan-question nights as part of a very casual "speaking tour."

The bearded comics writer/filmmaker/author/pride-of-Jersey was utterly comfortable in his own skin (right down to his self-effacing fat jokes), if not his signature outfit: hoodie (navy), ankle-scraping denim shorts and backward ballcap. Smith -- director of "Clerks" 1 and 2, "Mallrats" and "Chasing Amy" right up through this year's "Cop Out" -- had his fans in the palm of his perspiring hand from the get-go, and he seemed to feed off that energy. The room was the height of pure geeklove -- from shared "insider" references to a hug for a female fan who giddily requested the embrace.

Smith recently attended a George Carlin tribute ceremony in New York, and Thursday night's crowd reveled in his storytelling about the late comedian. Smith relayed stories about how sweet and sentimental Carlin could be in person. Once, after Carlin talked about his then-recently deceased first wife, the touched Smith said: "I wish you were my mom and dad."

Smith also said that by example, Carlin -- whom he called "an incredible craftsman" as an entertainer -- "taught me a way to live. ... to play it truthfully." Added Smith: "I miss him every day and think about him every day."

Some other sound-bite highlights from the play-it-truthful talk:

On the star of his most recent film "Cop Out": "You need a full night's sleep to hang out with Tracy Morgan."

On whether it's worth it to attend film school: "If you get to meet [View Askew Productions co-founder] Scott Mosier, then yes."

On the kind of advice he got growing up: "My parents were a different breed of cat. They said: 'If you try something and it doesn't work ... STOP.' "

On whether to get indignant about Hollywood's addiction to remakes: "They're gonna spend the money anyway. There's no such thing as a sacrilegious remake."

On desire to make the (newly delayed-for-3D-makeover) "Green Hornet": "I didn't want to do someone else's idea."

On what it takes to be a film director: "I think you're either a born storyteller or you're not."

Like Smith, Sarah Silverman is a born storyteller. An often hilarious one. Washington can only hope that next time, she has time for a "speaking tour" -- for some real connection with her fans, Smith-style -- rather than a book, a look and the next autograph, please.

silverman.jpg 2010 file photo / Getty Images

"2 FAT 2 FLY"? Filmmaker Kevin Smith is kicked off flight because of his girth

UPDATED: Fan's YouTube clip from the Kevin Smith event [Language perhaps NSFW]

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By Michael Cavna  | April 24, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Geek Buzz, Superheroes, The Animation, The Comic Book  | Tags:  Chasing Amy: The Criterion Collection, Clerks, George Carlin, Kevin Smith, Mallrats, Sarah Silverman, Scott Mosier  
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Kevin was AWESOME. I was there for the whole show. I just wish it could have been longer. So does he, in a totally different context.

Posted by: EricS2 | April 24, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

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