4 Apr 2013
Upon the passing of Roger Ebert today people have taken countless approaches to memorializing a man that they so eagerly and comfortably welcomed into their living rooms for years. Some have found comfort in his acceptance of mortality. Some choose to remember how eloquently he spoke on a wide range of topics. Some still gain pleasure from how mercilessly he ripped terrible films. Some highlight his perseverance through illness and ability to reinvent himself through emerging technology. Some relive their personal connections and interactions with him. And yet some see it as a cruel reminder that the voices that shape our culture are only temporary.
For me it’s been a reminder of the importance of friendship. After Gene Siskel’s passing in 1999 Roger soldiered on with his career as a critic in print, online and on TV with Richard Roeper. But he will always be intrinsically linked to Siskel. And it was easy to see why. They were great friends. It was not always sunshine and rainbows as anyone who followed them knows. At times you wondered if they really even liked each other at all. But they never doubted their relationship. I love watching this clip of outtakes from one show. One undeniably overweight, and the other with a speech impediment, both ribbing each other mercilessly about the others flaw. They both just sit there and take it. And laugh
We should all be so fortunate to have friends like Roger and Gene.