The Critic (1994–2001)
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The Pilot 

A beautiful actress falls in love with Jay, but he worries that she just wants a good review for her latest film.


Rich Moore


Al Jean (created by), Mike Reiss (created by) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview:
Jon Lovitz ... Jay Sherman / Woody Allen (voice)
Nancy Cartwright ... Margo / Additional Voices (voice)
Christine Cavanaugh ... Marty Sherman / Additional Voices (voice)
Gerrit Graham ... Franklin Sherman (voice)
Doris Grau Doris Grau ... Doris Grossman (voice)
Judith Ivey ... Eleanor Sherman (voice)
Nick Jameson ... Vlada Veramirovich / Additional Voices (voice)
Maurice LaMarche ... Jeremy Hawke / Additional Voices (voice) (as Maurice La Marche)
Charles Napier ... Duke Phillips (voice)
Kath Soucie ... Various Characters (voice)
Jennifer Lien ... Valerie Fox (voice)
Gene Shalit ... Himself (voice)
Brenda Vaccaro ... Ardeth (voice)
Margaret Cho ... (voice)


A beautiful actress falls in love with Jay, but he worries that she just wants a good review for her latest film.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

26 January 1994 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Movie Villain: [a scene from "Rabbi P.I."] All right, if you're really a Rabbi, circumcise this child.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: [throws the scalpel at the father, hitting him square in the heart and killing him] Hava nagila, baby!
See more »


Spoofs Crocodile Dundee (1986) See more »


I Have a Little Dreidel
Music by Samuel E. Goldfarb
Lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman
[Heard in the "Rabbi P.I." clip]
See more »

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User Reviews

Great introduction, some very funny scenes
23 June 2007 | by whyareallnamestakenSee all my reviews

The pilot episode for The Critic contains plenty fun moments, odd characters and awkward moments, and thus serves as a good introduction to the rest of the series.

The plot revolves around Jay Sherman, film critic and host of his own TV show. Jay is chubby, balding and disturbingly short, and so is perplexed when he meets the beautiful actress Valerie Fox, who appears to genuinely like him. His puzzlement continues as she prefers him over his handsome Australian friend, meets with his parents and even puts up with his personality. However, the plot thickens as it is revealed that Valerie could just be seeing him for a good review for her upcoming film.

The episode works quite well and features some of the signature gags of later episodes. We're introduced to all of the regular cast members, all of them expertly voiced - this series was blessed by a brilliant cast, with Jon Lovitz leading the cast as the sarcastic yet curiously optimistic Jay.

Although it includes many great gags, the pilot does fall short of the later episodes in the series. The writers hadn't established the boundaries and borders of the humour yet, which is clearly shown in the "Beauty and the Beast"-spoof. It simply tries too hard, relies on references and spoofs to succeed, rather than spawning jokes on its own. All in all though, the pilot episode is entertaining enough to pass by, and it introduces the viewer to all of the cast. A wonderful introduction to the series, even though the later episodes did a better job.

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