Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Entertainment and Ebert

Roger Joseph Ebert (1942-2013)
  • Journalist, film critic and screenwriter.
  • Co-hosted Sneak Preview (PBS) with Gene Siskel. 
  • Entertaining viewers while critiquing entertainment.
I was still pretty young when I came across "Siskel and Ebert" (as they were fondly referred to in our house). I remember a lot of arguing. They never seemed to agree on anything. It was like watching a political debate over an issue I didn't even know I needed to worry about. I was transfixed, trying to find out how their words affected me.

I can only remember being concerned with shows like E.T., Star Wars, and Goonies (to name a few). I don't remember if they argued over those or not. Or how my parents condoned the time I spent watching two grown men argue on television. Maybe they thought it was educational. Maybe they didn't know I was watching it. :) Of course this was back before the internet, so Siskel and Ebert were one of the few sources for entertainment reviews. And it was PBS, so you was legit. :)

I remember liking Ebert's face. He seemed kind, even when he was debating an issue. I felt bad that I hadn't kept up with his life or the challenges he'd faced. I went in search here, and here to see what else I had missed. It was a lot, I'm sad to say.  I even heard on the radio this morning that he had suffered the loss of his voice some years back. How tragic not to be able to speak for yourself. And yet, with all the new mediums today I know that his voice was still being heard. Still is.

You will be missed Mr. Ebert. You're an icon. A leader in the world of reasoning and talking things out. Educating viewers through your movies and reviews. Opening our eyes to what we might not have otherwise seen.

Thank you, Roger Ebert.


  1. I have some of those same memories from my childhood! It's hard to believe both those icons from our childhood are gone.

  2. I thought it was a great idea: two film critics from competing local newspapers review movies. Sometimes the sparks would fly, but I was always impressed how they could end each discussion having made their points and counterpoints, agree to disagree, and move on. When Siskel died, Ebert was genuinely upset. He said he had lost a dear and respected friend. I also remember seeing Ebert on a talk show after he'd had his jaw surgery where he was able to use some kind of text-to-voice technology to speak.

    He was an icon, and a movie reviewer I trusted. Seriously. If a movie had "two thumbs up" among its shout-outs, I was interested. There were few movies Ebert liked I hated, and vice versa.

    He will be missed.

  3. A little healthy debate is always educational! Good luck with the rest of your A-Z.

  4. Yes! He really did say some lovely things. A loss, for sure..

    Happy A-Z'ing! You're almost done with the first week!

    AJ Lauer
    #atozchallenge helper minion
    Twitter: @ayjaylauer

  5. He had one of those faces you could trust.

  6. Ebert will be missed.
    Great post.
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine


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