It was recently announced that my favorite television program Ebert and Roeper at the Movies, was cancelled, in order to make way for a new, E!-style entertainment news program, hosted by a couple of young guys, none of whom are me. (To be honest, when I first started with my movie reviews, the ultimate goal would have been to be one of the replacement hosts).
This show has been on longer than I've been alive. I remember watching it every Saturday as a child, as that's where I heard about most of the movies I saw, even at a young age. (I was a weird kid, what do you want). I reeled in shock when At The Movies became Siskel and Ebert, as At the Movies replaced our beloved Chi town critics with Rex Reed and Michael Medved. I stayed with the show upon the untimely passing of Gene Siskel, a man who loved Saturday Night Fever more than my friend Steve. (And Steve's reasoning was mainly the music*. Yes, Steve was always a little weirder than me). I remember the string of guest hosts leading up to Roeper's placement in the balcony. And now, thanks to the wonderful invention of DVR, I continue to watch the show, even though I think Roeper's gotten a little too big for his britches since Roger had to leave the show 2 years ago due to a cancerous growth that robbed the man of his voice. (But not his words).
It's foolish to change the format of the show, and I'm happy that Ebert and Roeper both decided to walk away as opposed to conforming. (Not that they were asked). I have a feeling they will continue in another medium (interweb, perchance?) and I will probably follow them until the bitter end. Or I've taken over. It's fun to dream.
Anyway, here's something from about 21 years ago. It's Siskel and Ebert doing a promo, then entering into a Zinging contest. It's pretty damn great. Enjoy.
*Senior year of high school, Steve and I would drive around town, blasting that Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. There was one track, an instrumental salsa beat tune, that we dubbed "Priest and a Cop", because it sounded like the theme song of a TV show that would possess that name. Steve would take this one step further, and put a piece of tape onhis collar, and bless the passengers in the cars that we passed. Like I said, we were weird guys).