This is an entirely self-indulgent post, but I grew up in the New York Metropolitan areas in the 1970s and 80s and one of the most well-known local media personalities was a guy named Joel Siegel who reviewed movies for the local ABC affiliate. He was acerbic and sometimes mean, but when you’re a kid, it was often quite funny. He went on to do the same gig on Good Morning America for many years.
Today, I found out that he passed away:
NEW YORK — Joel Siegel, a longtime movie critic for “Good Morning America” who was famous for his weekly, often humorous reviews, died Friday, ABC officials said. He was 63.
Siegel, who got his start at the network by working for New York affiliate WABC-TV, had battled colon cancer, the station said.
“Joel was an important part of ABC News and we will miss him,” ABC News President David Westin said in a statement. “He was a brilliant reviewer and a great reporter. But much more, he was our dear friend and colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joel’s family.”
Siegel was known for his sense of humor, movie acumen and sharp judgment. He never let an actor off the hook if the performance was lackluster.
“The appeal of Matthew McConaughey has long evaded me both as a pinup and as an actor,” Siegel said in his review of 2006’s “We Are Marshall.” “His constant ticks, bad hair and strained syntax as a coach fumble what should have been the tragic and inspirational story of the rebuilding of Marshall University’s football team after a devastating plane crash.”
And that’s what he was like in a good mood.
Seriously, Siegel was part of a generation of movie critics that is quickly passing and I don’t think we’ll see their kind again. And, well, he made me laugh every now and then, so it’s sad that he’s gone.