Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert famously turned down offers to guest star on TV shows and in movies because they felt it would have been a conflict of interest. But this turned out to be the exception and this is the only show in which they guest starred together. The episode was called "Siskel and Ebert and Jay and Alice" and the story is a parody of Sleepless in Seattle (1993) in which Jay and Alice attempt to patch things up between the duo when one of their verbal feuds causes them to split up.
Though it has a cult following, "The Critic" is most famous for flip-flopping networks. It started on ABC, where it stayed for less than a month then it was canceled and Fox picked it up where it stayed for an entire season, then Comedy Central had it for a few months as part of their Sunday night animation block, then UPN was slated to pick it up but dropped it. Then it got a good run as a series of shorts at Atomfilms.com. Even still, it has retained a cult status.
The show was meant as a "love letter to NYC" by the show's creators and producers. Ironically, it received very low ratings in NYC, as well as other major cities in the U.S., but did extremely well in the Midwest.
This is the only TV show ever reviewed on Siskel and Ebert. Due to the fact that it was a television show and not a movie, they decided to fore-go the thumb vote. Both critics generally liked the show but gave the advice that it needed to focus more on the movie parodies and less on sitcom staples.
The voice of the character Vlada appears to be an homage to actor Vladek Sheybal, who appeared in movies such as From Russia with Love. Sheybal also famously wore a van dyke beard for much of his career, as does Vlada.