Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Shalit Just Hit The Fan (er, the door, leaving The TODAY Show)

My eyebrows ascended upon reading that longtime TODAY Show film critic Gene Shalit is leaving the program later this week to continue film reviews online.

I'll never forget meeting Shalit in New York. During the fall of 1996, I had a brief apartment-sitting gig on the way-upper West Side (north of the George Washington Bridge), and a great friend of mine was working at Au Bon Pain beneath Radio City Music Hall.

I had just slipped in to the restaurant to surprise my pal Meg, who was working the counter, and undetected by yours truly, Mr. Shalit stepped in line behind me during the surprise, so my friend reacted both to Shalit and my appearance simultaneously.

Its fair to say Shalit was as surprised as Meg and I were with the gleeful exchange that ensued (Shalit was a regular at this location, if memory serves me, and Meg and I had not seen each other in months, so the retail reunion was boisterous). Shalit was a nice guy and really cheerful for our brief exchange, and as Meg and I later finally got to chat, Shalit waved goodbye and wished us well. Nice guy.

Shalit did a memorable review of an Olympic film when I was in grade school, stating "'Chariots of Fire' will lift you with exultation and hold you there." Agreed!
During the Vancouver Olympics, Shalit even took to the slopes of the Eastern U.S. for a ski-clad review of "Shutter Island." Well done!

Here's hoping Shalit's great work continues for years to come. Long live the puns!

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1 comment:

olmofamily said...

Thanks for reminding mf of this awesome memory of US (and of my New York days:)- hope you doing well- Love you, Meg

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