In his SNL prime, Jon Lovitz seemed destined to slip into the type of character actor persona that Phil Hartman so ably filled when he left the show, but it never seemed to click for him. But if there was a role that Jon Lovitz was destined to play, that role was Jay Sherman, the rotund New York film critic with a revulsion for every contemporary Hollywood movie and a love of anything edible. It was the perfect vehicle for a pre-High School High Lovitz. He was the perfect comic foil: goofy but serious, sarcastic but earnest and harsh but sensitive.
The beauty of the show was that it basically held nothing sacred. Every horribly made, fictional film sequel that got an emphatic "It stinks!" from Jay Sherman was an indictment of the current pabulum that Hollywood churned out. Jay's boss was a corporate megalomaniac (ala the Trumpster), who turned his house of chicken and waffles into a major broadcasting network.
In an effort to keep the show afloat and a genuine stroke of genius, James L. Brooks (executive producer of both the Critic and the Simpsons), engineered a crossover for the two shows. This resulted in the classic "A Star is Burns" Simpsons episode, when Springfield hosts a film festival and Jay Sherman is the guest judge.
It didn't help. The show was canceled after a mere 23 episodes, despite critical acclaim and a loyal (but modest) fanbase. UR: -32