Clerks: Is Randall an homage to Tarantino?

Considering the giant splash that Reservoir Dogs made in the film geek community, is it possible that Kevin Smith adapted the character of Randall as a tribute to Tarantino? Randall is working as a video store clerk that has seen way too many movies. Tarantino worked as video store clerk that watched way too many movies. Randall’s dialogue is Tarantino-esque (especially the RotJ Death Star bit). Considering the timing(1992 for Reservoir dogs, Clerks written around 1992, official release in 1994), wouldn’t it be possible?
I know this is a very weak argument, but it’s been awhile since I’ve seen Clerks. Am I crazy, was it unintentional, or did Smith decide to pay tribute to a filmmaker he appreciated?
Not sure if this has been asked already, or if it is even a question, but I’ll go for it anyway. Please don’t hurt me.

I think there’s something to that - the problem is, did Smith have enough knowledge of Tarantino’s mannerisms at the time to parody him? Sure, Reservoir Dogs was out, but how widespread were Q-T interviews and the like?

Tellingly, in the Clerks Animated Series, after Randall gets the block of stores quarantined by the U.S. Govt., and Dante is trying to convince the military to end the quarantine, he says “You’re the victims of a hoax perpetrated by a pop-culture junkie loudmouth!” to which the Govt. Agent (Major Baklava, played by James Woods) replies : “Quentin Tarantino?” The line is repeated later the same episode.

It’s episode #3.

Being a film student at the time RD, was released, he would unquestioningly been familiar with all aspects of the movie and director. That made a huge impact on the indie film scene at the time. And since Smith planned on casting himself as Randal, it makes a lot of sense that the character would have lines referencing other directors. To me, at least.

Isn’t there a much simpler answer?:

Kevin Smith made the main character a convenience store clerk because he was a convenience store clerk himself. He used the convenience store he worked at as the set. There was a video rental place next door (in which, incidentally, he did the editing for the film), so he made the hero’s best friend a video store clerk. In most of his films there are duos of a fairly straight, sane character and his weirder, looser friend: Silent Bob and Jay in everything, Dante and Randall in Clerks, T.S. and Brodie in Mallrats, Holden and Banky in Chasing Amy. That’s just the way he always sets up his plotlines. The weirder, looser friend does not act much like Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino (in his interviews) comes across as smart, fast-talking, obsessed with movie trivia, and (to be honest) kind of sleazy-looking and unhandsome. The weird, loose friend is not so intelligent, lazy, kind of a wise guy, and passibly good-looking.

Randal isn’t Tarantino, he’s Kevin Smith. Smith wrote the role for himself, but early in rehearsals, he realized he wasn’t going to be able to direct and play Randal, so he got Jeff Anderson to fill the role (which is why Randal has the best lines) and Smith became his iconic “Silent Bob” character.

OK, I got that Smith wrote the part for himself. Perhaps my wording in the OP was a bit strong. After seeing Reservoir Dogs and hearing about Tarantino’s life, did Smith attribute characteristics to Randal as a tribute to an admired filmmaker? As in, he copied Tarantino to make Randal even cooler.

I completely agree with you description of the real-life Tarantino. I was more concerned with the characters in his movies, specifically Reservoir Dogs. The loose character, at least in my opinion, seems to be based on a similar style to Tarantino’s characters. Not so intelligent, but still able to participate in intelligent conversation and analysis. Randal knows his movies and analyzes the situation on the Death Star in RotJ. Brodie knows the mall and comics, he analyzes the Food Court and Superhero genitalia. I propose that Kevin Smith adapted his formula to either mimic or pay tribute to Tarantino’s style.

The Randal/Brodie/etc. character in Smith’s movies is apparently a cliche of Generation X lore. It’s a guy who’s intellligent enough that he could be doing something better than whatever he’s working at (which is some fairly low-level job), but he doesn’t choose to use his intelligence on conventional things. Instead he’s become an expert on some aspects of pop culture (TV, movies, comic books, music, etc.) so that he spends much of his time analyzing those things in conversation. If that resembles Tarantino, it’s because Tarantino is like the stereotype, not because Smith based the characters on Tarantino.