Loaded with the perfect amount of raunchy comedy, sexual deviance and memorable characters, these five Kevin Smith movies belong in any true fan’s collection. The New Jersey native first burst onto Hollywood’s radar after he maxed out ten credit cards and sold a portion of an extensive comic book collection to raise the $27,575 needed to create his debut film. “Clerks” went on to become an instant cult classic and one of the most profitable independent films in motion picture history. Smith took advantage of the success and went on to release a number of films that showcased his love for New Jersey, his understanding of engaging conversation and his special brand of vulgar humor.

“Clerks” (1994)

Along with introducing the world to Jay and Silent Bob, Kevin Smith’s comedy debut “Clerks” documents a day in the life of two friends, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, who work as clerks at a convenience store and video store, respectively. Almost exclusively conversation driven, the film touches on such important subjects as which “Star Wars” movie had the best ending and how the number of oral sex partners compares to the number of regular sex partners, while sticking with the underlying theme that can best be summed up by Randal’s bit of wisdom, “This job would be great if it wasn't for the f-ing customers!"

“Mallrats” (1995)

Kevin Smith’s second film takes place one day before the events of “Clerks.” The film focuses on T.S. Quint and his best friend, comic book-loving, Dixie cup-carrying Brodie Bruce, and their quest to win back their girlfriends. Spending the day at their local mall to help distract from their painful breakups, the two interact with a number of colorful characters, including Jay and Silent Bob. When T.S. finds out his ex-girlfriend will be participating in a dating game show to be held at the same mall, he enlists the help of Jay and Silent Bob to destroy the set. Just as with “Clerks,” Smith’s sophomore offering is conversation driven and loaded with pop culture references.

“Chasing Amy” (1997)

Though Kevin Smith’s first two films dealt with the issues of relationships and sex in a comedic way, “Chasing Amy” marked a departure from the type of humor he had previously written. The film’s more serious tone deals with Holden, a comic book artist who falls in love with Alyssa, a lesbian. The complex relationship that springs from their coming together leads him to question her past and forces them to deal with his sexual insecurities. Smith explores the mechanics of such an intense relationship and the emotional turmoil created by such insecurities. Jay and Silent Bob appear in this film as well, though in a more toned down setting. “Chasing Amy” also features Silent Bob’s longest monologue to date.

“Dogma” (1999) 

Not one to shy away from controversy, as apparent in his first three films, Kevin Smith’s fourth film delves into the touchy subject of religion. “Dogma” is the story of two fallen angels, portrayed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who have found a loophole in God’s law that will allow them to get back into heaven. It is up to Jay and Silent Bob to help the last descendant of Mary, Jesus’ mother, to stop the angels from accomplishing their goals, as it will destroy everything in existence. “Dogma,” while sparking controversy with just about every religious group in the world, saw a return to the comedy of Smith’s earlier films.

“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001)

The fifth film in Kevin Smith’s “View Askewniverse” finds Jay and Silent Bob on a cross-country adventure, headed for Hollywood to stop the production of a film based on their comic book alter egos, Bluntman and Chronic. Along the way, the pair runs into a team of female jewel thieves posing as animal activists. The women trick Jay and Silent Bob into creating a distraction for the police while they make off with priceless gems. Jay and Silent Bob find themselves on the run from the law, with an orangutan in tow, all while trying to get to Hollywood to disrupt the film.