Thursday, July 24, 2008

ebert looks back on his life in the balcony

As you've probably heard, Ebert and Roeper is no more. For me, after Gene Siskel died, there was simply no way to carry on -- there was no way to replace him -- but Ebert has tried gallantly in the years since. With he and Richard Roeper officially walking away from the program, Ebert writes about the show's long history (33 years) and his memories of Siskel. Among many striking moments was this recollection of discovering that he and Siskel were famous because of their show ...
The day we fully realized it in our guts, I think, was the first time we were invited to appear with Johnny Carson. We were scared out of our minds. We'd been briefed on likely questions by one of the show's writers, but moments before airtime he popped his head into the dressing room and said, "Johnny may ask you for some of your favorite movies this year."

Gene and I stared at each other in horror. "What was one of your favorite movies this year?" he asked me. "Gone With the Wind," I said. The Doc Severinson orchestra had started playing the famous "Tonight Show" theme. Neither one of us could think of a single movie. Gene called our office in Chicago. "Tell me some movies we liked this year," he said. This is a true story.

You can read the entire piece on Roger Ebert's blog.