Kevin Smith Suffers a "Massive" Heart Attack at Age 47

"I don't want my life to end but if it ends, I can't complain," the Clerks director says

By Zach Johnson Feb 26, 2018 12:00 PMTags
Kevin SmithDavid Livingston/Getty Images

Kevin Smith is on the mend.

The filmmaker has suffered a "massive heart attack," tweeting a photo from his hospital bed just after midnight Monday. Smith was filming a stand-up special, Kevin Smith Live!, at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Calif., Sunday; the shows were scheduled at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. "After the first show this evening, I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (aka 'the Widow-Maker'). If I hadn't canceled show 2 to go to the hospital, I would've died tonight," he tweeted. "But for now, I'm still above ground!" Smith, who is married and has an 18-year-old daughter, shared additional details on Facebook.

"I was trying to do a killer standup special this evening but I might've gone too far. After the first show, I felt kinda nauseous. I threw up a little but it didn't seem to help. Then I started sweating buckets and my chest felt heavy. Turns out I had a massive heart attack. The Doctor who saved my life at the #glendale hospital told me I had 100% blockage of my LAD artery (also known as 'the Widow-Maker' because when it goes, you're a goner). If I hadn't canceled the second show to go to the hospital, the Doc said I would've died tonight," he wrote. "For now, I'm still above ground! But this is what I learned about myself during this crisis: death was always the thing I was most terrified of in life. When the time came, I never imagined I'd ever be able to die with dignity - I assumed I'd die screaming, like my Dad (who lost his life to a massive heart attack). But even as they cut into my groin to slip a stent into the lethal Widow-Maker, I was filled with a sense of calm. I've had a great life: loved by parents who raised me to become the individual I am. I've had a weird, wonderful career in all sorts of media, amazing friends, the best wife in the world and an incredible daughter who made me a Dad.

"But as I stared into the infinite, I realized I was relatively content. Yes, I'd miss life as it moved on without me - and I was bummed we weren't gonna get to make #jayandsilentbobreboot before I shuffled loose the mortal coil. But generally speaking, I was okay with the end, if this was gonna be it. I've gotten to do so many cool things and I've had so many adventures - how could I be shitty about finally paying the tab. But the good folks at the Glendale hospital had other plans and the expertise to mend me. Total strangers saved my life tonight (as well as my friends @jordanmonsanto & @iamemilydawn, who called the ambulance)," he continued. "This is all a part of my mythology now and I'm sure I'll be facing some lifestyle changes (maybe it's time to go Vegan)."

"But the point of this post is to tell you that I faced my greatest fear tonight... and it wasn't as bad as I've always imagined it'd be. I don't want my life to end but if it ends, I can't complain," said Smith, who co-hosts several shows on his SModcast Podcast Network. "It was such a gift."

Chris Pratt was among the first celebrities to wish the filmmaker a speedy recovery. "Kevin we don"t know each other too good but I have loved you since Clerks and I'm praying my ass off for you cause I believe in the healing power of prayer. Can you please pray with me people!?" the actor tweeted. "Praying for you. I will continue to. You inspired me with Clerks when I was a senior HS." Pratt then tagged Michael Hodgins, his high school football coach from Lake Stevens, Wa., who introduced him to Clerks "cause he believed in me and knew I'd be inspired."

"Scary!" actress Patricia Arquette told Smith. "Glad your ok."

Kevin Smith Live! features the Mallrats director telling "long-ass stories that aim to amuse," according to a log line. "If you like your comedy by the pound, you can't go wrong with this yapping fool from TV's Comic Book Men as he talks about life, comic books, movies and more!"

Smith had been excited to film his first stand-up special in years, according to a Facebook update shared earlier Sunday night. "Tonight I shoot my new standup special! Many thanks to the good folks at @comedydynamics for making it all happen - especially with this killer backdrop! And thanks in advance to the audiences showing up to both shows in #glendale tonight!" Smith wrote on Facebook. "Your pity laughter will be like sponges to my flop sweat!"