This very short-lived animated series, based on Kevin Smith's first full-length movie, 1994's low-budget "Clerks", was made years after the film but years before I was familiar with any of the filmmaker's work. Only six episodes were ever made, and only two of them aired before the show was cancelled. Nearly ten years after the VERY brief run of this "Clerks" series, I can finally say I've seen every episode. I was interested in seeing it because I had seen all the movies Smith had made before this show ("Clerks", "Mallrats", "Chasing Amy", and "Dogma"), all of which I found funny, and I like cartoons. This show is definitely different from the live action movie (and Smith's live action movies in general) in more than one way, but that doesn't mean it's not funny.
The lead characters from the movie, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, are also the lead characters in this show, and are voiced by Brian O'Halloran and Jeff Anderson, who played them in the film. Dante is still a convenience store clerk and the idiotic Randal is still a clerk at the video store next door to where Dante works. In each episode, the two friends find themselves on a different adventure, and things tend to get more bizarre than they do in the live action film. They regularly meet Jay and Silent Bob, Kevin Smith's two recurring characters that are featured in the vast majority of his movies. These two are also voiced here by the actors who play them in the live action movies, Jason Mewes and Smith himself, but the difference here is that they sell illegal fireworks instead of drugs. A recurring character in this series that is NOT in the movie is Leonardo Leonardo, an evil local millionaire and rival of Dante and Randal's.
I watched the six episodes all in order, and when I saw the first one, with the hilarious "Is it safe?" opening sequence, it already seemed like I was in for a really funny show, and I wasn't let down. Each episode has some priceless moments, with Dante and Randal's awkward friendship and many bizarre situations they find themselves in. There are many priceless comedic highlights other than the "Is it safe?" gag, such as Randal getting his money back from several different filmmakers in court, which is just one example! Jay and Silent Bob contribute to the humour here, just like they do in live action form. The weakest part of the entire series is probably the two noisy circus twins in the final episode, "The Last Episode Ever", who come into the convenience store during a fair taking place nearby. They reminded me too much of the Jakovasaurs in that one episode of "South Park". However, these twins only appear briefly in "The Last Episode Ever", and there are many other much funnier aspects of that episode, including the "Matrix" parody, another major highlight of the show.
Differences between the "Clerks" movie and TV show, other than the fact that one is live action and the other is animated, include the show being less realistic and more chaotic than the 1994 film, doing things that would likely take a big budget to do in live action format, something Kevin Smith certainly didn't have when he made the live action movie. Another difference is that due to some TV restrictions, the explicit sex talk and swearing had to be toned down, though the vulgarity certainly wasn't completely avoided. However, despite these differences, one thing this short-lived TV show from 2000 has in common with the 1994 movie is that overall, it's funny. It's not the greatest cartoon show ever made, but if you're a fan of modern adult cartoons, and also a fan Kevin Smith's humour and don't mind if it's a bit cleaner than usual, I recommend the six episodes of this show. I also agree with those who say the series ended too soon.