epguides.com presents

The Critic

an Episode Guide
by G.W.C. Yorston
and John Lavalie

Last updated:
Thu 25 Oct 2018 21:00

aired from: Jan 1994 to: Jul 1994 23 eps ABC/Fox 30 min stereo closed captioned


  • Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman
  • Nancy Cartwright as Margo Sherman
  • Christine Cavanagh as Marty Sherman
  • Gerrit Graham as Franklin Sherman
  • Doris Grau as Doris
  • Judith Ivey as Eleanor Sherman
  • Nick Jameson as Vlada Veramirovich
  • Charles Napier as Duke Phillips
  • Park Overall as Alice Tompkins [ 2 ]
  • Russi Taylor as Penny Tompkins [ 2 ]
  • Kath Soucie as Various Female Voices

    THE CRITIC is a coproduction of Gracie Films and Columbia Pictures Television. The show is created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss and executive produced by James L. Brooks, Al Jean, and Mike Reiss.

    THE CRITIC is a show about the life of a down-on-his-luck film critic named Jay Sherman who gets no respect at home or at work. For his career, he has to review pathetic movies such as Arthur 3: Revenge of the Liver, Honey, I Ate the Kids and D.T.: The Drunken-Terrestrial. His response to most of these films is "it stinks." Other characters who round out the show are Jay's adopted parents, Eleanor and the slightly peculair Franklin, Jay's sister, Margo, his make-up lady, Doris, Vlada who owns the restaurant Jay attends, his overbearing boss, Duke Phillips, his son, Marty, and his ex-wife, Ardith, who is constantly trying to get over their marriage. The second season introduced two new characters, Jay's fiancée Alice Tompkins and her daughter, Penny. Colorful and funny antics abound. The series debuted on ABC, had a second season on Fox, and now airs in reruns on Comedy Central.

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      1st Season winter 1994 (ABC)

    1. "Pilot"
      gs: Jennifer Lien [ Voice of Valerie ], Gene Shalit [ Voice of Himself ], Brenda Vaccaro [ Voice of Ardeth ]

      When Jay has actress Valerie Fox on his show, they both fall in love with each other and get involved in a caring relationship...a relationship that may be threatened if Jay pans her performance in her new movie.

      b: 26 Jan 94 pc: 101 w: Mike Reiss & Al Jean d: Rich Moore

    2. "Marty's First Date"
      gs: Tress MacNeille [ Voice of Carmen ], Gene Shalit [ Voice of Himself ]

      Marty invites his Jay to career day at his school where Marty develops a crush on a Cuban girl named Carmen. They go on a date but when Carmen decides to fly back to Cuba, Marty follows her and Jay must get his son back.

      b: 2 Feb 94 pc: 103 w: Tom Gammill & Max Pross d: Alan Smart

    3. "Dial 'M' For Mother"
      gs: Dan Castellaneta [ Voice of Homer Simpson ], Geraldo Rivera [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay is considered to be one of the most unpopular men on Earth (ranking even worse than Adolph Hitler) so Duke attempts to spruce up the show to get more people interested. When this doesn't work, Jay decides to soften his image by going on the "Geraldo Show" with his mother but Jay gets an even worse reputation when his mother embarrasses him to the point where he tells her to "shut up". b: 9 Feb 94 pc: 104 w: Mike Reiss & Al Jean d: Bret Haaland

      NOTE: This episode features Homer and Bart Simpson in a cameo appearance.

    4. "Miserable"
      gs: Pamela Reed [ Voice of Projectionist ], Brenda Vaccaro [ Voice of Ardeth ]

      Jay, noticing everyone in New York has a fiancee except him, begins to feel unloved. Things change when he goes to review the movie, Indecent Proposal II, and falls in love with the projectionist screening the movie. They arrange a date at her house where she is revealed to have an obsession with Jay to the point where she kidnaps him and ties him to a bed holding him hostage.

      b: 16 Feb 94 pc: 102 w: Steven Levitan d: Dan Jeup

    5. "A Little Deb Will Do You"
      gs: Tress MacNeille [ Voice of Humphrey the Hippo/Woman ]

      Eleanor is determined to have her daughter, Margo, attend the annual debutantes ball as it is a tradition in her family. When Margo is reluctantly forced into it, Jay decides to accompany her. Meanwhile, Jay competes in his time slot against childrens idol Humphrey the Hippo.

      b: 23 Feb 94 pc: 105 w: Nell Scovell d: L.H. MacMullan

    6. "Eyes on the Prize"
      gs: Adam West [ Voice of Himself ], Tress MacNeille [ Voice of Cher ], Phil Hartman [ Voice of Adolph Hitmaker ], Jimmy Breslin [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay celebrates his 1000th episode but the episode is less than successful. Ratings get worse so Jay seeks image consultant, Adolph Hitmaker, for advice. The advice is unsuccessful and Jay is fired. Jay gets a new job on a show which teaches English for cab drivers but Jay is unhappy so he decides to win himself another Pulitzer Prize.

      b: 2 Mar 94 pc: 106 w: Tom Brady d: Dan Jeup & Brian Sheesley

    7. "Every Doris Has Her Day"

      Jay is given two tickets to a new play based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He tries to find a date but no woman will go with him so he goes with Doris instead. Surprisingly, Jay and Doris have a good time and their relationship eventually blossoms. One day Doris recalls she has a son she put up for adaption. Jay mentions he is adapted and both start to think they are biological mother and son and must find more evidence.

      b: 1 Jun 94 pc: 107 w: Steve Tompkins d: Alan Smart

    8. "Marathon Mensch"
      gs: Bob Costas [ Voice of Himself ]

      When the studio catches fire during Jay's show, he collapses and must be rescued from the fire by Doris. When the news reports Jay's being rescued, he gets a reputation as being a wimp so he tries to prove his manliness by running in the New York marathon which tends to be more tiresome than it seems.

      b: 8 Jun 94 pc: 108 w: Judd Apatow d: Susan Dietter

    9. "L.A. Jay"
      gs: Michael Carrington [ Voice of Various ], Rod Steiger [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay is offered to write the screenplay for a new movie, Ghostchasers III, so he takes a break from his show to go to L.A. to write the new movie and experience Hollywood life but the movie producer isn't satisfied with Jay's script.

      b: 22 Jun 94 pc: 109 w: Steven Levitan d: Bret Haaland

    10. "Dr. Jay"
      gs: Rod McKuen [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay's boss, Duke, has just made a new invention, "Phillips-o-Vision" which alters movies to make them more "likeable". Jay is disgusted with Duke's invention but when Duke is discovered to have a fatal disease, Jay must find a cure for Duke's ailment.

      b: 29 Jun 94 pc: 110 w: Jon Vitti d: Dan Jeup

    11. "A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera"
      gs: Steve Allen [ Voice of Himself ], Brenda Vaccaro [ Voice of Ardeth ], Kareem Abdul-Jabaar [ Voice of Himself ]

      After Marty fails to win an event at his school field day, he is feeling very low so Jay tries to improve his self-confidence by getting him interested in playing guitar and putting him in the school talent show. Meanwhile, Them Magazine names Jay "the wittiest man alive" so Duke offers to pay everyone who doesn't laugh at Jay's show $100 which doesn't go over very well.

      b: 6 Jul 94 pc: 111 w: Ken Keeler d: L.H. MacMullan

    12. "Uneasy Rider"
      gs: Rex Reed [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay is asked by Duke to use his show to promote a new product, "Savvy Indian Chewing Tabacco". Jay doesn't want to promote tabacco so he tears up his contract and quits. He finds a new career in truck driving where he is praised by the other truckers but starts to realize the importance of his other job.

      b: 13 Jul 94 pc: 112 w: Steve Tompkins d: Alan Smart

    13. "A Pig-Boy and His Dog"
      gs: Michael Carrington [ Voice of chauffeur/Malcolm H ]

      Eleanor is bored and feeling depressed with her life so he attempts to become an author and write a book. She writes a children's book called The Fat Little Pig which Jay learns is modelled after him which does not leave him very pleased. Meanwhile, Jay tries to get along with his new pet dog.

      b: 20 Jul 94 pc: 113 w: Patric M. Verrone d: Bret Haaland

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      2nd Season summer 1994 (Fox)

    14. "Sherman, Woman and Child"
      gs: Sam McMurray [ Voice of Alice's boyfriend ], Rhea Perlman [ Voice of Ardeth ]

      Jay's ratings are not doing very well and Duke is about to fire him so Jay is feeling depressed. His feelings become better when he meets a new girlfriend named Alice and her daughter Penny. Alice gives Jay tips on how to improve his show and her advice works. Jay wants to get to know Alice better but discovers she has a boyfriend whom she wants to reject but can't.

      b: 5 Mar 95 pc: 201 w: Mike Reiss & Al Jean d: Bret Haaland

    15. "Siskel & Ebert & Jay & Alice"
      gs: Gene Siskel [ Voice of Himself ], Roger Ebert [ Voice of Himself ], Gene Shalit [ Voice of Himself ], Rex Reed [ Voice of Himself ]

      After Jay attends the Academy Awards ceremony, Siskel and Ebert have a fight on the plane ride home and split up. Jay sees his golden opportunity to be a partner to either Siskel or Ebert but feels they weren't right to be apart so he tries to get them reunited.

      b: 12 Mar 95 pc: 207 w: Jon Vitti d: L.H. MacMullan

    16. "Lady Hawke"
      gs: Morwenna Banks [ Voice of Olivia ], Ricki Lake [ Voice of Herself ], Queen Latifah [ Voice of Herself ]

      When Jeremy Hawke's sister, Olivia Newton Hawke, visits New York, Jay meets her and is smitten with her which puts his relationship with Alice on the line when she begins to feel left out. So Jay then must decide who he really loves.

      b: 19 Mar 95 pc: 205 w: Tom Brady d: Rich Moore

    17. "A Song for Margo"
      gs: Todd Louiso [ Voice of Johnny ], Jimmy Breslin [ Voice of Himself ]

      Margo gets a new neighbor, Johnny Wrath, who is the lead singer in the rock group, "Nuns in a Blender". Margo falls in love with him but doesn't feel the relationship is right when she finds him with another girl. Meanwhile Alice tries to find a suitable preschool for Penny.

      b: 26 Mar 95 pc: 203 w: Joshua Sternin & Jeffrey Ventimilia d: Tom Mazzocco

    18. "From Chunk to Hunk"
      gs: Tress MacNeille [ Voice of Julie ], Rhea Perlman [ Voice of Ardeth ]

      Jay and Marty begin to feel a little big so they enroll in a weight loss camp. Marty loses a remarkable amount of weight which makes him feel more self- confident but when he is placed as the star in a school play, he doesn't feel his skinny self is right for him. Meanwhile, Jay receives a death threat from Belgian actor Jean Paul Le Pope whose movie he panned.

      b: 2 Apr 95 pc: 204 w: Steve Tompkins d: Steven Dean Moore

    19. "All the Duke's Men"
      gs: June Lockhart [ Voice of Herself ]

      When Marty is running for school president, Jay writes his campaign speech and Marty is a hit... so much of a hit that Duke decides to run for president and elects Jay as his speech writer. Duke is successful but when Duke elects Franklin as his vice president, Franklin starts to lose Duke the election so Duke wants Jay to write a speech where he impeaches Franklin putting Jay in an odd position.

      b: 23 Apr 95 pc: 208 w: Patric M. Verrone d: Chuck Sheetz

    20. "Sherman of Arabia"
      gs: Tress MacNeille [ Voice of Boy at Marty's Party ]

      At Marty's slumber party, Jay is asked to tell his story in which he got caught up in the Gulf War. Jay tells how he was attending an Iraqi film festival and eventually was thrown in jail where he escaped and lead a troop of men across the desert.

      b: 30 Apr 95 pc: 202 w: Richard Doctorow d: Brian Sheesley

    21. "Frankie and Ellie Get Lost"

      Franklin and Eleanor celebrate their 40th anniversary by going on vacation but the plane crashes and Franklin and Eleanor find themselves marooned on an island. Back in New York, Margo and Jay find out about their disappearance and discover they have willed Jay their entire fortune which Jay decides to put to use by cleaning up New York.

      b: 7 May 95 pc: 206 w: Richard Doctorow s: Judd Apatow d: David Cutler

    22. "Dukerella"

      Alice's sister, Miranda, comes to visit them which Alice is not comfortable with. Miranda must find work in New York so she joins "Mattress in an Hour" delivering mattresses. When everybody attends a party held by Duke, Miranda falls in love with Duke but is shy because of a wrinkle. She runs out on Duke at midnight and Duke must find the woman who fits her slipper. When it turns out to be Doris, Jay must get Duke and Miranda reunited.

      b: 14 May 95 pc: 209 w: Ken Keeler d: Bret Haaland

    23. "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show"
      gs: Kareem Abdul-Jabaar [ Voice of Himself ], Milton Berle [ Voice of Himself ]

      Jay is hosting his 10th anniversary show held at Carnegie Hall where he showcases a number of movie clips from old episodes such as Jurassic Park 2, Every Which Way but Lucid, and Rabbi P.I. The show is later held hostage by a number of terrorists who threaten to blow the place up with a bomb tied to Jay's waist. Fortunately, everybody is eventually rescued by Milton Berle.

      b: 21 May 95 pc: 210 w: Tom Brady, Richard Doctorow, Al Jean, Ken Keeler, Mike Reiss, Joshua Sternin, Steve Tompkins, Jeffrey Ventimilia, Patric Verrone, Jon Vitti d: D.R.L. MacMoortler

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      Disclaimer: We have no connection with the show. We are just providing information, which we hope other fans will find useful. Any corrections, updates or other comments about this guide may be sent to G.W.C. Yorston and John Lavalie fuddle@epguides.com, georgey@atcon.com.
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