Twenty-five years ago, Clerks opened in two theaters.
Starring no one you'd ever heard of, shot in black and white, profanely hilarious and instantly rewatchable—because you weren't quite sure if what you had seen was good or just "independent"—the minuscule-budget comedy ended up being the first brick in the Kevin Smith empire.
The grainy slice-of-slacker-life film didn't feature some of the bigger stars who would end up being regulars in the View Askewniverse, such as Ben Affleck and Jason Lee. But it introduced the world to Jay and Silent Bob, played by Jason Mewes and Smith himself as the taciturn half of the weed-dealing duo who only breaks his silence to utter something profound. They became a franchise unto themselves, one that resumed Friday with Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the duo's first major screen appearance since 2001's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
But it all started with Clerks.