martes, 4 de mayo de 2010

Classic Film References, Homages and Tributes #4: Orson Welles and The Critic



To call Orson Welles a spectacular man would be the understatement of the century (no, I am NOT making fun of his weight gain!). Welles was a visionary man whose stories and movie making techniques would revolutionize filmmaking forever, especially his iconic motion picture "Citizen Kane". Unfortunately like many geniuses before him, he was ahead of the times and thus didn't get the respect he deserved until many decades later. In the meantime, he was mocked and ridiculed for his weight and his endorsements and odd film appearances (he made a cameo appearance at the end of "The Muppet Movie" and did the voice of Unicron in "The Transformers Movie").


Years later, another disrespected, revolutionary fat man invaded TV screens: Jay Sherman. The Critic, created by the folks behind The Simpsons, was an animated series about a New York film critic with strong emphasis on mocking movies. Jay Sherman's trademark line, "It Stinks!", defined his thoughts on contemporary media. He was voiced by the great Jon Lovitz, and the show would pave the way for pop culture gag based comedies like Family Guy. Despite the genius of its talent, The Critic only lasted three seasons, constantly hopping networks (starting on ABC, then dying on Fox) and changing timeslots. Even with this predicament The Critic would gain a loyal fanbase that keeps the spirit of the show alive.


So, what does Orson Welles have to do with The Critic? Along with fellow large actor Marlon Brandon he was the target of many jokes, many of them based around his endorsements and weight. The Orson Welles jokes would become the most beloved running joke in the series and easily the most memorable. Orson Welles was voiced by Maurice Lamarche. Larmarche is known for voicing Brain in Warner Bros' "Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain". Funny enough, Brain was modeled to look and act like Orson Welles. Other famous characters Lamarche has voiced include Toucan Sam for Kellogg's Fruit Loops, Kif in "Futurama" and several characters in the universally hated Cartoon Network series "My Gym Partner's a Monkey".

Here's a clip of Orson Welles's less than flattering animated appearances on The Critic:

Now if you excuse me, I will have me some Mrs. Pell's Fish Sticks…


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