There has been much discussion over the exit of Ebert and Roeper from At the Movies and Ebert himself finally addressed the matter this morning at Roger Ebert’s Journal.

“I was surprised how depressed I felt all day on July 21, when Richard and I announced we were leaving the Ebert & Roeper program,” he begins. He goes on to talk about how the show began, whose idea Spot the Wonder Dog was, their first appearance on Johnny Carson and his love-hate relationship with Gene Siskel.

He good-humoredly concludes with a couple of oft seen YouTube clips of him and Siskel repeatedly taking the piss out of each other during the filming of some promo spots.

10 Responses to “In Ebert’s Own Words”

  1. Damn, what it would have been to be a cinephile in the heyday of Siskel & Ebert…

  2. Wasn’t it Sparky the Wonder Dog?

  3. I lived through that Alexander, I am a ripe old fart of 53, but I can honestly say they were the definitive movie critic team. They really went at each other too, but always made nice and kept the show going for a number of years. Of course they coined that ubiquitous “Thumbs Up–Thumbs Down” slogan.
    The problem with Ebert now however is that he seems to like 90% of what he sees, issues about 30-40 four-out-of-four ratings a year, and as a result is the quintessential “softie.”
    But how can anyone not feel for this man and his endurance and resilience? He is as much a part of American culture as any single person, and he did (somehow) win a Pulitzer prize for his reviewing. He’s no Kael, Kauffmann or Agee, but he’s an institution, and his departure from the show is very sad. But his reviews will still be coming to us through syndicated sources.

  4. Roger says “Spot”. I’m going with Roger.

    Im kind of torn at this point about the show. It was never the same after Siskel died, it lacked that chemistry. Ebert is still writing and that’s important.

  5. But the clip I just watched featured Sparky…

  6. YouTube does not lie.

    Did Sparky/Spot go through changes?

  7. Possibly when they left PBS…

  8. Or possibly Ebert’s high.

  9. THere’s a bunch of clips of them (or there were) from early appearances on Carson and Letterman back in the day that show how combatitve and fun they were. The irony is that I enjoy reading Ebert a lot now even though he’s a bit too positive about films in his reviews in general, but back in the day I often disagreed with him. I still remember his somewhat negative review of Raising Arizona. After having seen Blood Simple on cable, the clips of RA on their show had me mesmerized and I honestly couldn’t buy Ebert’s review. I used to love when he and Gene would tear into each other. You could tell they weren’t putting it on for the cameras: they had a true love/hate relationship with eachother.

  10. As I’ve said before, I prefer reading Ebert when he talks about the classics.

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