Jay Sherman is a New York film critic who has to review films he doesn't like for a living.
Jay Sherman is an overweight and somewhat snobbish New York TV movie critic who is forced to review the most pathetic films to which is he always says, "It stinks." In addition to the film parodies, the show also deals with his professional life working for his tyrannical media mogul boss and his personal life with his friends and family. In a world that seems determined to snub him both in the asinine arts he has to endure and his own difficult relationships, Jay gets along as best he can, while enjoying life's bright spots.
|Complete series cast summary:|
|Jon Lovitz||-||Jay Sherman / - 33 episodes, 1994-2001|
|Nick Jameson||-||Various Characters / - 33 episodes, 1994-2001|
|Maurice LaMarche||-||Jeremy Hawke / - 33 episodes, 1994-2001|
|Nancy Cartwright||-||Various Characters / - 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Christine Cavanaugh||-||Marty Sherman / - 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Gerrit Graham||-||Franklin Sherman / - 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Doris Grau||-||Doris Grossman / - 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Judith Ivey||-||Eleanor Sherman 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Charles Napier||-||Duke Phillips / - 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
|Kath Soucie||-||Various Characters 23 episodes, 1994-1995|
This is the only TV show ever reviewed on Siskel and Ebert. Due to the fact that it was a television show and not a movie, they decided to fore-go the thumb vote. Both critics generally liked the show but gave the advice that it needed to focus more on the movie parodies and less on sitcom staples.
The show was meant as a "love letter to NYC" by the show's creators and producers. Ironically, it received very low ratings in NYC, as well as other major cities in the U.S., but did extremely well in the Midwest.
Actress Nancy Cartwright uses her natural voice playing Jay's sister Margo.
Though it has a cult following, "The Critic" is most famous for flip-flopping networks. It started on ABC, where it stayed for less than a month then it was canceled and Fox picked it up where it stayed for an entire season, then Comedy Central had it for a few months as part of their Sunday night animation block, then UPN was slated to pick it up but dropped it. Then it got a good run as a series of shorts at Atomfilms.com. Even still, it has retained a cult status.
The restaurant that Jay dines at, L'âne Riche, is French for "The Rich Donkey", but is here better translated by its double-entendre meaning, "The Rich Jackass".
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert famously turned down offers to guest star on TV shows and in movies because they felt it would have been a conflict of interest. But this turned out to be the exception and this is the only show in which they guest starred together. The episode was called "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice" and the story is a parody of Algo para recordar (1993) in which Jay and Alice attempt to patch things up between the duo when one of their verbal feuds causes them to split up.
Jay Sherman is deliberately created as a cross between Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.
The awards that Jay has won over the years are two Pulitzer Prizes for criticism, a People's Choice award, a B'nai B'rith award, five Golden Glodes, a PhD in film, and an Emmy.
After the show was cancelled, UPN offered to pick it up. About 9 or 10 Season 3 scripts were written.
This series marks the second (and by extent, the final) time the late Doris Grau portrayed a character named Doris. Prior to this, she portrayed Lunchlady Doris on The Simpsons.
According to the DVD commentary, the character of Duke Phillips was based on Ted Turner.
The only TV show Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewed. They were generally lukewarm towards the show but they praised Charles Napier as Duke Phillips.
Following the show's second cancellation, the show was revived briefly on Atomfilms.com.
Originally conceived as a live-action show.
Originally aired on ABC, but then switched to the FOX network.
The voice of the character Vlada appears to be an homage to actor Vladek Sheybal, who appeared in movies such as From Russia with Love. Sheybal also famously wore a van dyke beard for much of his career, as does Vlada.
In the episode "A Pig-Boy and his Dog", Jay gives his puppy the full name "Un Chien Andalou", after Luis Buñuel's 1929 film.
The voice acting debut for Billy Crystal. Later he'd go onto voice Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc (2001) and its Prequel Monsters University (2013) as well as a cameo of the character in Cars (2006) and Calcifer in the English dub of Howl's Moving Castle (2005),
Even though this series takes place after the events of the original TV series, none of the original secondary characters (with the exception of Vlada Veramirovich of L'Ane Riche) appear or are mentioned at all.