The Critic

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Jan 26, 1994 on FOX



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • (Jay and Marty are watching Seinfeld)
      George : I thought you were taking Kathy out tonight.
      Jerry : Why do they call it "taking out." I took her to a restaurant. It wasn't out, it was in. I would say I'm taking her in, but the she sounds like a pair of pants.
      (Kramer then comes sliding through the door. Marty laughs at this, but Jay doesn't)
      Marty : Why aren't you laughing, Dad? This is how people actually talk.

    • Jay: Nobody loves me.
      Vlada: Vlada loves you.
      Jay: No you don't, you just love my money.
      Vlada: True, but it is a love that will never die.

    • Jeremy: Jay, bubbeleh, never date an actress, and never do blackface at the NAACP Image awards. Two things I've learned from experience.

    • Jay: What are you doing here?
      Valerie: I'm having dinner with my agent.
      Jeremy: He must be the one sucking the marrow out of the bones.

    • Marty: There's a critic's screening of the new Sylvester Stallone
      movie tonight.
      Jay: What's it about?
      Marty: Let's see... He plays a concert pianist who--
      Jay: To the multiplex!

    • Jay: Please, you've got to tell me... Did a beautiful woman leave my apartment?
      Valet: I wouldn't know, I've been drinking in the alley all morning.

    • Jay: And that's me on the set of Dances With Wolves. They gave me a small part; I played Throws Like a Girl.

    • Kid: Mr. Philips, we go on in five seconds.
      Duke: I own this network boy, just put up that picture of me on a horse.
      (TV screen displays a picture of Duke on top a horse)
      Duke: God, I look fabulous.

    • Jay: (sighs)
      Doris: What's wrong?
      Jay: I'm 36 years old, I'm lonely, my hair comes out of a spray can...

    • Beauty and King Dork Lyrics
      Vacuum: A story told through time
      Happening in New York
      He's a lemon
      She's a lime
      Beauty and King Dork
      Toilet: He's Adam to her Eve
      She's Mindy to his Mork
      Her hair's like silk
      His hat a weave
      Jay: Beauty and King Dork

    • Jay: Ehh?
      Valerie: (Screams)
      Jay: Sorry, I'll just go to the bathroom and let you make a graceful escape.
      Valerie: No, no! I really enjoyed last night.

    • Jay: Now for the part that you love most and I find embarrassing on the Shermometer, this film rates an "absolute zero!" Brrr!

    • Jay: Now Son, you may just have noticed there was a beautiful woman in my bed.
      Marty: I won't tell anyone.
      Jay: Actually, I wish you would tell everyone. Particularly, your mother and her personal trainer, Alberto.

    • Valerie: I guess I should be going, but I just can't leave. Do you get that feeling?
      Jay: Yes, but I live here.

    • Jay: I'm not going to stop loving you after I've been decaying in the ground for 200 years.
      Eleanor: (angrily) Can't one dinner go by where we don't talk about your rotting corpse?

    • Jay: Son, let me tell you the key to holding on to a woman: you must build from a foundation of trust and understanding. If that doesn't work, tell her you have a tumor. Either way, they key word is "growth."

    • Jay: Did you ever love a woman so much that--
      Taxi Driver: Look at sign!
      Sign: "Driver Only Speaks Three Words Of English"

    • Jay: My shrink was right, God does hate me.

    • Jay: My father had a stroke a few years ago.
      Eleanor: He didn't really. We just say that to explain his personality.
      Franklin: The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut... (long pause)
      Margo: (to Valerie) So, I hear you are an actress.
      Franklin: Oh wait, it's a nut.

    • Jeremy: Jay, we have a saying in Australia. Well, it's not really a saying, it's a drinking song. It's about a bottle of beer and the men who loved her. And it... doesn't really apply here, but my advice to you is slow down.

    • Eleanor: I'm sure Valerie loves you. We just ask because we care about you. That's why we decided not to give you back to the orphanage.
      Jay: You were thinking of giving me back?!
      Franklin: Oh, son. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times... who are all you people?

    • Duke: Why the hell do you have to be so critical?
      Jay: I'm a critic.
      Duke: No, your job's to rate movies on a scale of good to excellent.
      Jay: What if I don't like them?
      Duke: That's what good's for.

  • Notes

    • "Hotchie motchie!" (Jay's catch phrase) came from a troupe of performing midgets who would end their act with that phrase.

    • The Critic was a success in the Midwestern United States and with children and older adults, but was a failure in New York City (where the show was set) and with the 20 - 30 year olds.

    • Jay and Valerie are hustled into the "Critics Section" of L'Ane Riche to make room for Conan O'Brien. At the time of this episode, Conan was a relatively unknown writer for Saturday Night Live. With his subsequent success as a talk show host, later viewers tend to miss the joke that an unknown minor celebrity commands more respect than Jay.

    • After the airing of the pilot, the creators of The Critic received a great deal of hate mail because Jay sleeps with Valerie. ABC was also upset with the sex and language, not only in this episode, but in subsequent ones as well and was constantly asking them to tone it down.

    • Franklin and Eleanor Sherman (Jay's parents) were intentionally named after Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

    • Doris Grau (the voice of Doris) was the script supervisor for both The Critic and The Simpsons. She was the most liked character by the network executives at both ABC and Fox and received a number of acting jobs because of her turn on The Critic.

    • Opening & Closing Gags
      Phone Call: "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."
      Movie Parody: An alien head with another alien head inside it's mouth comes out to frighten a women. The alien head kisses the woman and she smiles. (Aliens 3)
      Response to Usher: "Get away, Zitface!"

    • The show was initally intended to be live action with Jon Lovitz starring, but when they switched to a cartoon version (for budget reasons), Jay Sherman was constructed to look close to Lovitz himself. However, Jay Sherman also appears to be something a cross between Roger Ebert (girth and clothing) and Gene Siskel (balding head with black hair, with no glasses.)

  • Allusions

    • Johnnie Stagger
      The liquor that Jay and Jeremy are drinking is called Johnnie Stagger, which is a parody of the famous whiskey brand, Johnnie Walker. But the "JS" logo on the billboard for the liquor behind them is a parody of the Jim Bean bourbon logo.

    • Movies Criticized on Coming Attractions:
      - Home Alone 5 (parody of the Home Alone movies)
      - Rabbi, P.I. (a spoof of the 1980-88 TV show, Magnum, P.I.)
      - Family Affair - The Motion Picture (reference to the family sitcom, Family Affair)

    • The Color Purple
      Jay wears a robe referencing the 1985 film, The Color Purple, starring

    • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
      Jay has a Close Encounters of the Third Kind poster in his bedroom. This movie debuted in 1977 and was directed/written by Steven Spielberg.

    • Mel Gibson
      Jeremy Hawke's reference to "a tasteful shot of me bum for the ladies" refers to the practice of adding a brief "rear shot" to many of Mel Gibson's movies.

    • Seinfield
      Back at the apartment, Jay and Marty are watching Seinfield.

    • Basic Instinct
      During Valerie's interview with Jay, she opens her legs seductively in a parody of the 1992 movie Basic Instinct where Sharon Stone opens her legs during an interrogation and isn't wearing any panties.

    • Crocodile Dundee
      Jeremy Hawke refers to his performance as "The Mahatma" in Crocodile Ghandi. This is an allusion to the Crocodile Dundee films with Paul Hogan and "Ghandi" with Ben Kingsley.

    • The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
      The dopey voice Jeremy puts on sounds like the the voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose.

    • My Own Private Idaho
      Jay wears a My Own Private Idaho t-shirt. This is a a reference to the 1991 film in which River Phoenix plays a narcoleptic, and Keanu Reeves plays a male prostitute.

    • Beauty and the Beast
      The "Beauty and King Dork" song is an obvious reference to the classic 1991 Disney movie Beauty and the Beast.