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Kevin Smith Taped a “Killer” Stand-Up Special Just Before Suffering a “Widow-Maker” Heart Attack

Kevin Smith hosts IMDb Live at NY Comic-Con at Javits Center.
Kevin Smith had just finished taping a stand-up special when he suffered a “massive heart attack.”
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Filmmaker, actor, author, and comedian Kevin Smith is “still above ground” despite suffering a massive heart attack following a stand-up show taping on Sunday night. The 47-year-old Comic Book Men host tweeted a post–heart attack selfie from his hospital bed:

Smith had just finished the first of two tapings for his stand-up special Kevin Smith Live! at the Alex Theater in Glendale, California, when his heart attack struck. Smith made it through the 6 p.m. show but canceled the 9 p.m. one, telling fans that he probably would have died had he not done so (this is one of the better reasons to cancel a show). Smith shared further details in a Facebook post, as well as reflecting on his life:

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. 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). 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. It was such a gift. #KevinSmith

The Clerks and Chasing Amy director shared a photo on Instagram just hours before the show/his heart attack, telling live audiences that their “pity laughter will be like sponges to my flop sweat!” Little did he know he’d be experiencing a different kind of sweat.

Well wishes quickly came Smith’s way from Twitter users, including Patricia Arquette and Chris Pratt, whose offer of prayer provoked an unexpected backlash: