Trivia / The Critic

  • Actor Allusion
    Marty: Look! It's Yesterday Night Live alumnus Jon Lovitz!
    Jon Lovitz: Make way, make way, you comedy peons. Famous movie star coming through, and I'm carrying something you've never seen before: It's called "talent"!
    Jay: I wish I had half his looks.
    Marty: Well, you kinda sound like him.
    Jay: You think?
    • Later, in the ninth webisode, Jay attends a Broadway rendition of The Graduate, where the lead actress has been replaced by Jon Lovitz.
    Lovitz: Benjamin, don't go! I know you want me.
    Jay: Wow! Everything's big on him, except his ego!
    • There's also Jay's singing, alluding to Jon Lovitz's operatic abilities.
  • Cancellation: First by ABC, then by FOX.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor: Jon Lovitz, Charles Napier, Park Overall.
  • Channel Hop: After the show's first season on ABC, it then moved to FOX for the second season. Then it reran on Comedy Central until the rights ran out and it appeared on IFC (the Independent Film Channel, a.k.a "the channel that airs Portlandia") and Reelz Channel. It's now on DVD and does air on some overseas channels.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Christine Cavanaugh (Chuckie Finster from Rugrats and Dexter from Western Animation/Dexters Laboratory, among other roles) voiced Marty.
  • The Danza: As with The Simpsons, in The Critic, Doris Grau voices yet another chain-smoking, sarcastic, old lady named Doris (only here, she's a make-up lady for a fat, ugly film critic, not a school lunchlady who lost her passion for her work years ago and makes disgusting food from low-end ingredients bought due to school budget cuts).
    • Averted with Jay. Even though he looks like his voice actor, Jon Lovitz (and was almost named Jon), the writers decided to name their critic character Jay.
  • Executive Meddling: Al Jean has alluded to this trope being very much the case in real-life in DVD commentaries for both this series and The Simpsons (particularly the Simpsons episode that combined The Simpsons with The Critic, which drove Matt Groening to remove his name from the credits for that episode).
  • Old Shame: Mike Reiss wasn't thrilled with how the webisodes turned out. He and Al Jean had to work on them from 10 PM to midnight every day, after already working a full work day, so they were exhausted. And the ability for the show to quickly parody movies that were just released in theaters was rendered null by the various animation studios taking too long to produce them. And when they did go up, they were released with little fanfare.
  • The Other Darrin: Rhea Perlman (best known as Carla Tortelli from Cheers) replaced Brenda Vaccaro as the voice of Ardeth in the second season for two episodes.
  • Production Posse: Some of the staff came from the first four seasons of The Simpsons. Later, many of the writers, directors, and animation staff worked on Futurama.
  • Rerun: The show was in reruns on Comedy Central back in the early 2000s, but the show has since vanished from the airwaves (at least in America). The entire series (including the webisodes) has been released on DVD.
    • The show can still be viewed on Reelz channel. But good luck finding that (here's a hint, it's usually in the high-200s and it might not be available on most cable packages)
    • Due to it being out of liscence, however, the entire series can be easily found on Youtube.
  • Screwed by the Network: Twice!
    • FOX was noted to have been far worse than ABC. While the series suffered in the ratings in Season 1, Season 2 was actually successful — retaining much of The Simpsons lead-in. However, after FOX first picked up the series, new executives took over and didn't want it. Al Jean has also suggested that because FOX didn't own the series, they were far less inclined to keep it going. Worst of all, FOX purposefully didn't officially cancel the series like ABC did - all just to prevent other channels from picking it up.
  • Trope Namer: No Celebrities Were Harmed, heard during the end of the closing credits when Jay announces "Celebrity voices are impersonated. No celebrities were harmed in the filming of this episode."
  • Uncanceled: FOX picked up the show after ABC dropped it, but sadly, after 10 episodes, they also did the same. Perhaps the best joke of the Webisodes had Jay muttering how ABC, FOX, and Comedy Central all literally kicked him out.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • Besides the fact that the Twin Towers are in the intro sequence, some of the (then) fake movies reviewed actually got made later ("Jurassic Park 2"). And Cats has been closed since 2000.
    • Then there's the "topical" political references. Jokes about Malcolm Forbes and Admiral James Stockdale do not age well. On the other hand, the Reverend Al Sharpton has actually gained more national recognition since the show.
    • Yes, there was a time when the worst joke that could be made about Bill Clinton was that he supposedly ate a lot (see also the "War Lords!" sketch on Saturday Night Live). Seems quaint, given the Monica Lewinsky scandal a few years later. Now, whenever a joke is made about Clinton, it's not about food, but sex.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • "Every Doris Has Her Day" was going to use Cat Stevens's songs from Harold and Maude instead of "A Bicycle Built for Two", to spoof the growing friendship between Jay and Doris, but the producers couldn't get the rights.
    • The show was originally going to be live-action, with John Lovitz playing Jay. This never came to be due to potentially high production costs.
    • Cyrus (Alice's cheating husband who left her after he cut an album that blatantly revealed that he was unfaithful to her) was going to make a second appearance if the series continued.
    • Korean-American comedienne Margaret Cho was originally cast to voice Jay's sister, Margo, but this has been redubbed with lines from Nancy Cartwright.
    • Jay was originally going to be named Jon.
    • About nine scripts were written for a possible Season 3. One story idea was a parody of Single White Female, with Jay meeting his biggest fan, who promptly models himself more and more on him. The fan would've been voiced by Maurice LaMarche, who would increasingly impersonate Lovitz as the episode went on.

Miscellaneous trivia:

  • Jay's birthday is January 26, 1958. It is presented on his driver's licence in the episode "Uneasy Rider."
    • Also, the pilot first aired on January 26, 1994, which was Jay's 36th birthday. Jay mentions he's 36 in a few episodes in the first season. It was also mentioned in the show's first phone gag in the pilot in the opening credits.
      Elenor Sherman: Jay, this is your mother. Your father and I are taking you out of our will. We feel you already have enough money. Oh yes, and Happy Birthday.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/TheCritic