The passing of Roger Ebert – America’s most famous movie critic – brings back memories of face-to-face encounters with the great one…
I had seen him at ShoWest and other industry functions over the years but never got to see the Real Roger until I had him on-air on Jack Goes To The Movies during KY-102‘s glory days.
Roger was a great guest, a real down to earth mensch.
There was nothing phony about him and his approach to movie critiques were very much in line with the way I evaluate the products of the silver screen.
Namely entertainment for the masses.
Forget the art approach many self-important critics take, I’m more concerned with whether the guy spending money at the box office gets his 10 bucks worth.
Ebert and I are more “dinner and a movie” guys.
Fast forward several years to a roundtable studio junket in Chicago. Five critics per table with rotating movie stars. Wouldn’t you know my chair was right next to Roger’s. And after a round of introductions not only did Roger remember his earlier visit on Jack Goes To The Movies, he made the following observation:
“You’re from Kansas City, do you happen to know that quote whore from from there?”
I gave him a puzzled look and he shot it right back at me again. That said it all.
So two thumbs up for an industry great who raised the bar for all of us.