I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show

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"I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show"
The Critic episode
Episode no. Season 2
Series 210
Episode 10
Directed by D.R.L. MacMoortler
Written by Tom Brady, Richard Doctorow, Al Jean, Ken Keeler, Mike Reiss, Joshua Sternin, Steve Tompkins, Jeffrey Ventimilia, Patric Verrone, Jon Vitti[1]
Produced by Rich Moore & Richard Raynis
Featured music Alf Clausen (Theme by Hans Zimmer)
Original air date May 21, 1995 (1995-05-21)[2]
Running time 22 minutes
Guest actors

Milton Berle (Himself)
Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (Himself)

Episode chronology
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"Dukerella"
Next →
List of The Critic episodes

I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show is the 10th episode and series finale to the second season of the US animated sitcom The Critic. While the show did have a third season in webisode form 5 years later, this episode is also widely considered the series finale.

Background[edit]

The AV Club explains: "The animated sitcom The Critic survived its first cancellation by ABC when Fox picked it up for a second season, but the show wasn’t so lucky the second time around. Though there were rumors of a third pick-up—by UPN this time—the original adventures of film critic Jay Sherman did come to an end on Fox".[3]

On April 21, 1995, The New York Daily News reported on an incident revolving around the episode's airing: "In response to Wednesday's terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City, Fox has pulled the episode of "The Critic" that had been scheduled to air this Sunday night...Fox and the show's production company, Columbia Tri-Star Television, decided that it would be insensitive to try to get laughs from such an image right now, notwithstanding its comedic context. Instead, an episode titled "All the Duke's Men," which is heavy on political satire, will run at 8:30 Sunday night".[4]

Plot[edit]

ShareTV describes its plot thus: " Jay hosts his tenth anniversary show live from Carnegie Hall, where he shows movie clips from past episodes like "Rabbi P.I.", and many others. Jay's anniversary show at the Carnegie Hall gets held hostage by terrorists, who threaten to blow up the place with a bomb tied to Jay's waist."[5]

Characters[edit]

  • Jon Lovitz - Jay Sherman (voice)
  • Nancy Cartwright - Margo Sherman (voice)
  • Christine Cavanaugh - Marty Sherman (voice)
  • Gerrit Graham - Franklin Sherman (voice)
  • Doris Grau - Doris Grossman (voice)
  • Judith Ivey - Eleanor Sherman (voice)
  • Nick Jameson - Vlada Veramirovich (voice)
  • Maurice LaMarche - Jeremy Hawke (voice)
  • Charles Napier - Duke Phillips (voice)
  • Park Overall - Alice Tompkins (voice)

Cultural references[edit]

The episode consists of an unusually high number of parodies of popular culture.

  • Pinocchio (1940) - Jay shows a clip from a remake starring Robin Williams
  • Spartacus (1960) - Jay shows a clip from "Smokey and the Spartacus"
  • Star Trek (1966) (TV Series) - as the Beige Fairy, Robin Williams imitates Kirk and Spock
  • Family Affair (1966) (TV Series) - Jay shows a clip from "Family Affair: The Motion Picture" starring Marlon Brando
  • Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - Jay shows a clip from "Smokey and the Spartacus"
  • Every Which Way But Loose (1978) - Every Which Way But Lucid is a parody
  • Magnum, P.I. (1980) (TV Series) - Rabbi, P.I. is a parody
  • Arthur (1981) - Jay shows a clip from "Arthur 3: Revenge of the Liver"
  • Gandhi (1982) - Jay shows a clip from "Crocodile Gandhi"
  • Ghostbusters (1984) - Jay shows a clip from "Ghostbusters 3" featuring a giant Ed Koch
  • Crocodile Dundee (1986) - Jay shows a clip from "Crocodile Gandhi"
  • RoboCop (1987) - Jay shows a clip from "RoboClapper"
  • Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990) - Jay shows a clip from "Rocky 6, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4"
  • Home Alone (1990) - Jay shows a clip from "Home Alone 5" where Kevin is home alone at age 23
  • Rocky V (1990) - Jay shows a clip from "Rocky 6, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4"
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Jay shows a clip from "Edward Plungerhands"
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Jay shows a clip of the sequel, "Honey, I Ate the Kids"
  • JFK (1991) - Jay shows a clip from the eight-hour director's cut of the film
  • Howards End (1992) - Jay shows a clip from "Howard Stern's End"
  • Aladdin (1992) - Robin Williams recycles his Genie character from the film as the Beige Fairy in "Pinocchio"
  • Scent of a Woman (1992) - Jay shows a clip from "Scent of a Jackass"
  • The Piano (1993) - Jay shows a clip of Holly Hunter in "The Slide Whistle"
  • Jurassic Park (1993) - Jurassic Park 2 is a parody sequel
  • What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) - "What's Truth Got to Do With It" tells the story from Ike Turner's point of view
  • Philadelphia (1993) - Jay shows Jerry Lewis taking on a dramatic role in "Schnectady"
  • Wolf (1994) - Jay shows a clip from a sequel in which Jack Nicholson turns into a chicken

Critical reception[edit]

AnimatedViwes said, "Unfortunately, this turned out to be the final show, but remains a fitting tribute, and closes on one of the best public digs between a series producer and a network that I’ve ever come across – classic!"[6]

TheDigitalFix said this "final episode (sadly the worst of them all) [is] utterly pointless and sadly a bad end to the series".[7]

SlantMagazine said, "Fox cancelled The Critic, forcing it to end on the intentionally shoddy 23rd installment "I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show." Here The Critic achieves a postmodern sophistication alien to most series television. While hosting his 10th Anniversary special (we fans can only wish) at Carnegie Hall, Jay and his family are taken hostage by a deranged group of terrorists. Jean and Reiss call attention to the show's very mechanisms, leaving in obvious mistakes like mismatched lip movements and repetitive animations. As the terrorists' bomb counts down, clips from the entire series play as both counterpoint and summation, all leading up to an explosive finale instigated by the legendary Milton Berle, clad in ninja garb. A climactic, sincere spoof of West Side Story leaves us with a full-on view of all the characters we've grown to love over two networks and too short a time. And upon the final fade-out it is near impossible to hold back a protest at the unfairness of it all. So we answer back to the darkness with our own bitter and ironic reading of Jay Sherman's signature catchphrase: "It stinks!".[8]

The AV Club said: "There’s barely any plot to “I Can’t Believe It’s A Clip Show.” The episode is more a clearinghouse for every movie parody idea that The Critic’s writers had been unable to squeeze into the previous 22 episodes. As such, it’s a fitting send-off for the series, leaving nothing on the shelf."[3]

References[edit]