In February 2000, Jason Mewes appeared on the cover of High Times. He posed with a bong, while the cover lines blasted his signature catchphrase: “Nugga Nooch!”
For those who may not know, Jason is the talking half of Jay and Silent Bob. The other half is Kevin Smith. He’s the director of Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The characters of Jay and Silent Bob, an oddball, pot-dealing duo, which Kevin also made into comic book characters, appeared in all of these films. But Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was to be the star vehicle.
As the film’s release date grew closer, High Times reached out to Kevin Smith. Would it be possible to have both of them appear on the (October 2001) cover? He said yes, but there was a problem. He and Jason were working on different coasts. Art director Frank Max solved the problem. He proposed shooting them separately and then performing some computer magic.
So I photographed Jason on the East Coast. We set up a shoot in a New Jersey backyard, attached a pair of devil’s horns to his head and had him stab the air with his pitchfork. Then I flew to L.A. and shot Smith in his backyard in front of a plate of pot. Frank took over. He perched Jason on Kevin’s shoulder and – voila! Jason was spearing a bud!
My favorite memory of the shoot was when we placed the platter of weed in front of Kevin. He leaned down and took a whiff. Then he picked up a bud and inspected it. Then he asked me: “Is this real?”
I laughed and responded: “Absolutely. This ain’t Hollywood!”