Harold Ramis was filling Roger Ebert's still-vacant chair yesterday night on TV's Ebert and Roeper. Ramis is a seasoned film director and writer, and apparently a very nice guy. But he had to make a disclaimer before reviewing For Your Consideration that the cast were good friends of his. Well, they're more than friends; they were co-workers back in the memorable days of SCTV. There, Ramis was working with For Your Consideration's co-writer Eugene Levy, and Ramis also co-starred with For Your Consideration's lead Catherine O'Hara. In Dave Thomas's published history of the show, Ramis also mentions having had O'Hara and Levy as housemates in Los Angeles in 1977.

As befits a writer and actor on one of the best satire shows in the history of television, Ramis was a good critic; he had the taste to give the thumbs-down to A Good Year, which is more than Roeper did. And no matter how well connected he is with the co-writer and stars of For Your Consideration, it remains an extremely funny movie. Still: Am I overreacting, or is it a conflict of interest to have a person reviewing the movies of old friends and colleagues as a guest critic on the most important film review show on American television? If there's a fault here, it has to be laid at the feet of Roeper and his producers: They ought to have known better. Do you think Ramis should be ineligible to guest in the Ebert and Roeper chairs?
categories Cinematical