From Near ‘Simpsons’ Spinoff To A Check Against Hollywood Ridiculousness: Why ‘The Critic’ Still Matters

Senior Writer
11.29.16 25 Comments
When Jon Lovitz was asked during a radio interview in September 2015 if he would ever consider bringing The Critic back, fans everywhere rejoiced when he replied, “I would do it in a second.” Jay Sherman would likely thrive in this era of the internet critic. He’d be a king among mere mortals, freed from his television shackles and shouting, “It stinks!” across the digital universe. Just thinking of all the new movies The Critic could parody is enough to bring a smile, but there are a few problems that have kept this triumphant return from happening.

For starters, sadly, some of the show’s core cast members — Christine Cavanaugh (Marty Sherman), Doris Grau (Doris Grossman), and Charles Napier (the one and only Duke Phillips) — have passed away. Additionally, co-creator Al Jean is preoccupied with his obligations to The Simpsons, so he would be unable to join Lovitz in Jay’s Maron-like resurrection. But the biggest advantage, and the reason fans should get their hopes up, is that there’s simply more opportunity today for an animated series like The Critic than there was in 1995, when all it took to torpedo the series was a network president who didn’t get the joke.

To find out why we have yet to see a Sherman revival, we spoke with The Critic creators Al Jean and Mike Reiss, who were also more than happy to tell us how Lovitz came to be such a darling denigrator and why ABC and Fox just never gave The Critic the chance it deserved.