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Kevin Smith was awake and singing during his heart surgery

Kevin Smith attends The IMDb Studio featuring the

Kevin Smith attends The IMDb Studio featuring the Filmmaker Discovery Lounge on Jan. 20, 2017, during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.. Credit: Getty Images for IMDb/Rich Polk

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who nearly died of a heart attack in late February, says he is recovering well and disclosed that he was awake and singing during his emergency surgery at a California hospital.

"I feel good," the 47-year-old "Clerks" and "Mallrats" director said on NBC's "Today" Monday.  "Honestly, like, the heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to me," Smith added. He recalled having seen his regular physician sometime after the procedure "and she was, like, 'It's been a long time.' I said, 'I saw you last year for the checkup.' She was, like, 'That was three years ago.' And I was like, 'Oh, that's why I wound up on an operating table.' " Smith said he had lost 32 pounds so far toward his goal of 50.

During the surgery to install a stent in his 100-percent-blocked left anterior descending (LAD) artery, he said, "They keep you awake while it's going on. They don't knock you out. So I was talking the whole operation.The surgeon  told me later on, he's like, 'You're very chatty. … You wanted to know everything … you were singing a song -- "Degrassi"?' And I was singing  the theme song to the Nick high-school series 'Degrassi  [The Next Generation]' because it's very hopeful. I was like, 'Whatever it takes / I know I can make it through…' "

Smith said he hadn't been aware of the heart problem that became acute on Feb. 25 after he had completed the first of two standup-comedy shows he was shooting in Glendale, California, for the upcoming Showtime special subsequently titled "Silent But Deadly." "I didn’t [know] to be honest, but I'll tell you what right now, that's because I'm stupid," he said half-jokingly.

In June 2015, the longtime-overweight director tweeted that had had lost 85 pounds. This followed his removal from a Southwest Airlines flight in 2010 for being unable to fit in the single available standby seat, and being inspired by the 2014 documentary "Fed Up," about obesity in America and the role of the food industry.

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