I just wanted to pay my respects to Roger Ebert, who passed away today.I have been so impressed by his courage and positive attitude during the past few years. The man was such a talented writer, and, his film criticism, whether you agreed or disagreed with him,was far from the usual “look how clever I am” style of writing that some alledged critics foist upon us.
I remember, years ago, back when he and Gene Siskel were doing the first version of their “At the Movies” show on channel 11 here in Chicago. We had done a parody on my show, a copy of which someone on the staff asked for to play at one season’s wrap party. Supposedly Roger found it funny, and Gene wasn’t too thrilled by it (maybe because his part was played by Tombstone)!
In later years, I met Roger a few times- I recall when he ran into me when I had returned to the airwaves on WCIU, and said “hello, Son” (referring to my old Son of Svengoolie monicker). I told him the story of how Jerry G,. had told me to just use the “Svengoolie” name, since I was all grown up- and Roger responded something to the effect of nobody would believe that I would act like a grown up!
The last time I saw him in person was at a Museum of Broadcasting event, after his illness had robbed him of his power of speech- but not the power to communicate. And communicate he did- right up to the end of his life,letting us know that new cancer had been discovered, and that he would be stepping back slightly while he was being treated for it