Roger Ebert reminisces about Gene Siskel, following the announcement that Ebert & Roeper were leaving the show.
The first time they appeared on the Johnny Carson show:
We were scared out of our minds. We’d been briefed on likely questions by one of the show’s writers, but moments before airtime he popped his head into the dressing room and said, “Johnny may ask you for some of your favorite movies this year.”
Gene and I stared at each other in horror. “What was one of your favorite movies this year?” he asked me. “Gone With the Wind,” I said. The Doc Severinsen orchestra had started playing the famous “Tonight Show” theme. Neither one of us could think of a single movie. Gene called our office in Chicago. “Tell me some movies we liked this year,” he said. This is a true story.
I liked their — unlike everybody else, who would just criticize, they’d bother to tell you if they liked the movie, even if it wasn’t great cinema.