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The Critic

The Critic is an American animated television series that was originally broadcast on the ABC network in 1994 (and later on the Fox Network in 1995). The show was created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who were two writers and producers on the Simpsons. The series revolves around the life of movie critic Jay Sherman. Each episodes usually featured at least one or two short movie parodies (based on current releases at the time or movies that were at least two or three years old) in the form of the movie Jay reviewed that week on his show Coming Attractions. Some of the parodies were Howard Stern's End (Howard's End), Honey, I Ate the Children (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), The Cockroach King (The Lion King), and Scent of a Jackass (Scent of a Woman).

The show had its fans, but it was controversial. An episode with S&M content, in which Jay was tied up and to be killed by an obsessive, psychotic woman (a spoof of the novel Misery by Stephen King, and the popular movie based upon the book), was especially notorious. After two years, it was cancelled. Following its cancellation, a half-dozen brief "internet only" episodes were produced. Those were later included as a bonus to a DVD box set that included the entire TV-run of the series.



  • Jon Lovitz - Voice of Jay Sherman
  • Nancy Cartwright - Voice of Margo Sherman
  • Christine Cavanaugh - Voice of Marty Sherman
  • Gerrit Graham - Voice of Franklin Sherman
  • Doris Grau - Voice of Doris
  • Judith Ivey - Voice of Eleanor Sherman
  • Nick Jameson - Voice of Vlada Veramirovich
  • Valerie Levitt - Voice of Jennifer (make-up girl)
  • Charles Napier - Voice of Duke Phillips
  • Park Overall - Voice of Alice Tompkins
  • Russi Taylor - Voice of Penny Tompkins
  • Kath Soucie - Various Female Voices

Jay Sherman

The voice of Jay Sherman was done by Jon Lovitz. Jay Sherman's career is that of a movie critic, which provides the basis for the series' title. His catchphrase line was "it stinks!" and was known for his surly and sarcastic putdowns of the majority of films he reviewed.

Jay Sherman is the adopted son of wealthy couple Franklin and Eleanor Sherman. He has a teenage sister named Margo.

Jay appeared in a guest role on one episode of The Simpsons, in which he presided over a local film festival, much to Homer's envy. Simpsons creator Matt Groening for his part detested the episode and refused to allow his name to be shown in the credits.

Since then, he appeared briefly on The Simpsons a few more times. In one episode, he was in an insane asylum apparently unable to say anthing more than his catchphrase. In another episode, we find him at Moe's Tavern with all the other characters on the show that Jon Lovitz voices.

Franklin Sherman

Jay's adoptive father, Franklin always carries a drink in his hand, and is quite insane. He is a former governor of New York, as well as a former ambassador. He also led a trucker's union for a time ("That reminds me, there's a lot of money and some dead bodies buried in the backyard.")

Duke Phillips

Duke is Jay's boss. He somewhat resembles Ted Turner. He runs the network that shows Jay's show Coming Attractions, as well as an amusement park, dubbed "The Happiest Place In Jersey". For a time, he tried to run for president.

Alice Tompkins

Introduced in season 2, Alice somewhat becomes Jay's girlfriend. She moved to New York from Tennessee, to show her daughter Penny that a woman can make it in this world. She was once married to a country singer, Cyrus Tompkins. Originally an artist, she quickly found work as Jay's assistant.


Doris is Jay's make-up artist. She is a chain smoker. She also tries to be attractive to Duke, by purring and sending him nude photos of herself.

Vlada Veramirovich

Vlada runs a restaurant called L'ane Riche (French for "The Rich Ass"), which Jay frequents. Best known for his greeting to Jay, "Meeester Sherman".

Jeremy Hawke

Jeremy is an Australian actor, and is one of Jay's best friends. He has starred in action movies, and also played former president James Monroe. He has a sister, Olivia, who tries to win Jay's affection.

Episode guide


Episode 1x01 - Airdate: January 26, 1994

Marty's First Date

Episode 1x02 - Airdate: February 02, 1994.
Jay's son Marty falls for a classmate: Fidel Castro's daughter. Jay smuggles himself into Cuba to rescue his son, and upon being captured, Castro, feeling benevolent, orders the firing squad, "shoot to wound." As the episode ends, Jay is freed by telling the guards he gave thumbs up to "The Mambo Kings."

Dial 'M' For Mother

Episode 1x03 - Airdate: February 16, 1994


Episode 1x04 - Airdate: February 16, 1994

A Little Deb Will Do You

Episode 1x05 - Airdate: February 23, 1994
Jay's mother, Eleanor, forces Margo to attend a debutante ball. Meanwhile, Jay takes to bashing children's entertainer Humphrey the Hippo (a Barney the Dinosaur parody), only to end up sleeping with the woman inside the hippo suit.

Eyes on the Prize

Episode 1x06 - Airdate: March 02, 1994

Every Doris Has Her Day

Episode 1x07 - Airdate: June 01, 1994

Marathon Mensch

Episode 1x08 - Airdate: June 08, 1994

L.A. Jay

Episode 1x09 - Airdate: June 22, 1994

Dr. Jay

Episode 1x10 - Airdate: June 29, 1994

A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera

Episode 1x11 - Airdate: July 06, 1994

Uneasy Rider

Episode 1x12 - Airdate: July 13, 1994

Jay quits his film critic job when he is forced to advertise chewing tobacco. As a new job, he becomes a trucker, and has some crazy adventures. In the end, however, his fellow truckers encourage him to go back to his old job.

A Pig-Boy and His Dog

Episode 1x13 - Airdate: July 20, 1994

This was the last episode aired on ABC.

Sherman, Woman and Child

Episode 2x01 - Airdate: March 05, 1995

Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice

Episode 2x02 - Airdate: March 12, 1995

Lady Hawke

Episode 2x03 - Airdate: March 19, 1995

A Song for Margo

Episode 2x04 - Airdate: March 26, 1995

From Chunk to Hunk

Episode 2x05 - Airdate: April 02, 1995

All the Duke's Men

Episode 2x06 - Airdate: April 23, 1995

After Jay gets his son Marty electd class president, his boss Duke decides to run for president. He is off to a good start, with Jay as his speechwriter. Things go downhill, however, when Jay's adoptive father Franklin is chosen as Duke's running mate, and makes his ratings plummet after a vice-presidential debate. To kill the ticket, Duke tells the world he'll run on a platform that includes "dumping oil in the ocean" and "selling our best assets to the Japanese".

Sherman of Arabia

Episode 2x07 - Airdate: April 30, 1995

In this episode Jay reminisces about being held captive in Iraq. Jay sees the International House of Cous-Cous. Its name is a play on the International House of Pancakes, an American restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast food.

Frankie and Ellie Get Lost

Episode 2x08 - Airdate: May 07, 1995


Episode 2x09 - Airdate: May 14, 1995

I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show

Episode 2x10 - Airdate: May 21, 1995

Last updated: 08-04-2005 19:41:26
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