The Critic is an American prime time animated series revolving around the life of New York film critic Jay Sherman, voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. It was created by writing partners Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who had previously worked as writers and showrunners on The Simpsons. The Critic had 23 episodes produced, first broadcast on ABC in 1994, and finishing its original run on Fox in 1995.
Episodes featured movie parodies with notable examples including a musical version of Apocalypse Now, Howard Stern's End, Honey, I Ate the Kids, The Cockroach King, Abe Lincoln: Pet Detective, Scent of a Jackass and Scent of a Wolfman. The show often referenced popular movies such as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and The Godfather, and routinely lampooned actor Marlon Brando and actor/director Orson Welles. They also spoofed Dudley Moore, usually as his character Arthur Bach from the 1981 film Arthur.
Despite the ratings improving, The Critic was cancelled after only two seasons. It continued to air through reruns on Comedy Central and then on Locomotion. From 2000 to 2001, ten web episodes were later produced using Adobe Shockwave, and were broadcast on AtomFilms.com and Shockwave.com. In 2004, the DVD box set was released, which includes all 23 TV episodes and the web episodes.
2000 | 10 Episodes
In early 2000, show creators Al Jean and Mike Reiss wrote a series of ten 3-5 minute long internet webisodes of The Critic, still with Jon Lovitz as the starring role. While still making fun of movies and Hollywood in general, its story focused on Jay lusting after the lovely Jennifer, his new makeup lady (voiced by Valerie Levitt). Alice does not appear in any of the episodes and is not mentioned by name, though Jay does briefly refer to a "second divorce" in the first episode—presumably from her or the Mexican woman he married in order to get to Cuba. Besides Jay, Vlada (voiced by Nick Jameson) is the only other character from the show to make an appearance. Maurice LaMarche and Tress MacNeille are the only other cast members from the show to return alongside Lovitz and Jameson, voicing assorted background characters. MacNeille returned for webisode 10. The episodes were available on AtomFilms.com and Shockwave.com until 2001. All ten of the "webisodes" were included on the complete series DVD (but not iTunes). Parodies include gaffs on The Patriot, Harry Potter, Mission: Impossible 2, X-Men, Pearl Harbor and Cast Away.