And speaking of Clerks:Bear Is Still Driving: An Oral History of Clerks: The Animated Series
It's got that disjointed oral history thing going where it's clearly multiple interviews stitched together. I particularly like the moment where they put Kevin Smith's insistence that they weren't copying Jim Mahfood's artistic style right after Chris Bailey's acknowledgement that their main influence was Jim Mahfood.
* They originally got a 12-episode offer from UPN, and everybody making the show wanted to take the offer, but they wound up going with ABC because Harvey Weinstein pressured them into it.
* ABC's change of heart probably came down to the success of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? When ABC bought the show, the network was in third place in the ratings and the execs were interested in just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck, but by the time premier time rolled around, Millionaire had become a smash hit and ABC was happy milking that for all it was worth rather than take any risks with unknown quantities.
* The "let's make the second episode a clip show" idea was Paul Dini's.
* The Korean animation sequence was by Steve Loter. The "voice of the semi-racist Korean animator" is David Mandel and it's all ad-libbed.
* There's a bit at the end where it sounds like Kevin Smith is looking to seriously pitch the show for a revival at Hulu. Now's the time to do it, considering the increased demand for animation during lockdown. And while I haven't cared much for Smith's recent output, the cartoon's strength was in its writers' room, not just Smith himself but guys like Mandel and Dini. I think a revival could be pretty good.
It's also interesting how little details can remind you about where you were back when. Before the show was released on DVD, I had a VHS copy of one episode, the second. I'd forgotten why I didn't have the first (actually the fourth, but first-aired) episode on tape. In the interview, they recount that the premier was delayed by a basketball game. So that's why: I wasn't home, I set my VCR, and it taped basketball instead of Clerks.
ETA: Forgot to mention: the bit where Mandel talks about the "celebrity voices are impersonated" disclaimer at the beginning of Clerks as if it were unprecedented is weird; presumably it's because he comes from live action where they don't do that because you can tell when a celebrity is being impersonated. (I mean, not that anyone would have thought Gilbert Gottfried was actually Patrick Swayze, either.) But he talks about it like it's something ABC just made up for Clerks, but South Park was into its fourth season with a "celebrity voices are impersonated...poorly" disclaimer by the time Clerks premiered. The Critic used to have one too (presumably also mandated by ABC, the network where its first season aired), though it was spoken over the end credits of the show, not displayed before the beginning.