Before They Were Stars (2-for-1 Special): Jim Breuer and Keri Russell in “Clerks: The TV Pilot”

Kevin Smith fans have probably heard of the short-lived Clerks: The Animated Series, which only lasted a handful episodes, but has developed a cult following. But you might not be aware of the live-action TV series of Clerks, which was produced without the knowledge or participation of Kevin Smith the year after the movie came out. The pilot for Clerks was produced by Disney in an attempt to cash in on the success of the film, but they seemed to forget that doing a lame G-rated television adaptation of a vulgar, raunchy R-rated movie just wasn’t going to work. As a result, the pilot was never picked up and turned out so bland that it’s been nicknamed “Saved by the Clerks“. However, the pilot is notable for featuring early roles for both Keri Russell and Jim Breuer right before he became a cast member on Saturday Night Live. In fact, Breuer wound up getting the role of Randal after Jeff Anderson and Brian O’Halloran, the original Randal and Dante from the film, auditioned for the TV version of their roles and were rejected!

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