New Jersey-ite Jeff Anderson was working at AT&T when high school friend/aspiring writer-director Kevin Smith cast him as one of the leads in his exceptionally low-budget first feature Clerks (1994). As lackadaisical video store employee Randal, Anderson was foul-mouthed slacker apathy incarnate, debating all manner of personal and pop culture minutiae with convenience store worker Dante. A hit at the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, Clerks became one of the emblematic 1990s independent film success stories -- and earned acting neophyte Anderson an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Debut Performance. Despite that recognition, Anderson has since only played a bit part in Smith's controversial religious comedy Dogma (1999) and voiced Randal in the short-lived Clerks: The Animated Series (2000). Anderson married his Clerks co-star Lisa Spoonhauer in 1995.
In 2002 Anderson made his first foray into writing and directing with the raunchy romantic comedy Now You Know - a film which also found him conveniently cast in the lead as a man attempting to salvage his failing relationship with an unsatisfied fiancee. Having recently resurrected his popular Clerks character for the Smith short The Flying Car - an effort which held the curious distinction of being the first-ever short film commissioned by The Tonight Show - Anderson would soon be flipping burgers alongside his old pal Dante in the eagerly anticipated sequel Clerks II.