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January 20, 2011 7:18 AM   Subscribe

Roger Ebert gets a new chin An inspirational story; and he is due back on TV real soon.
posted by Jaymzifer (47 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think he looks good with the beard.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:22 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn, good for him. He's a wonderful reviewer, writer, and human.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:22 AM on January 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


My first post; go easy on me. I just had to post it knowing he is a bit of a hero around here.
posted by Jaymzifer at 7:24 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neat, sort of like Tycho Brahe and his gold nose.
posted by electroboy at 7:24 AM on January 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I wonder if there are too many SLRE posts, but damned if I don't enjoy every one. Glad to see him moving on with his life and not wasting time feeling sorry for himself.
posted by TedW at 7:28 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Even if it weren't Roger Ebert, we can always be reminded that people have the capacity to move on from horribly difficult circumstances.
posted by xingcat at 7:33 AM on January 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


At first I thought, "What? I thought he had long since accepted his appearance. That's one of the things everybody loves about him, the whole 'I ain't a pretty boy no more' and 'we spend too much time hiding illness' and all those other great posts he made on the subject." But I kind of get the feeling that maybe this prosthesis is less for his own benefit and more for others'; like, to ease the shock of people seeing him in person and yes, on TV (even though, as he says, everybody knows what he looks like now). A lot of us still have a lot of knee-jerk discomfort on seeing disfigurement, no matter how much we repeatedly tell ourselves that it's what's on the inside that counts.
posted by Gator at 7:33 AM on January 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


He looks great. The beard looks like Santa but that works for me because he's got those same circa 1983 glasses that Ralphie wore in Christmas Story so anachronistically, so it kind of ties it all together.

No problem here with rogerfilter, thanks for the link.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:37 AM on January 20, 2011


Finally, an excuse to have my bust sculpted in bronze. Huzzah!
posted by 1adam12 at 7:38 AM on January 20, 2011


At first I thought, "What? I thought he had long since accepted his appearance. That's one of the things everybody loves about him, the whole 'I ain't a pretty boy no more' and 'we spend too much time hiding illness' and all those other great posts he made on the subject." But I kind of get the feeling that maybe this prosthesis is less for his own benefit and more for others'...

Even if it does go against other things he's said in the past ... so what?

I can't criticize someone who's dealing with such an ordeal. Whatever he can do to make either himself or others feel better, he should do it.

OK, so it's not natural. People do many things that aren't natural to treat or cope with illness. I don't see it as fundamentally different than getting a hip replacement. This is just more visible, so it's going to attract more commentary.
posted by John Cohen at 7:45 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


He looks great. The beard looks like Santa but that works for me because he's got those same circa 1983 glasses that Ralphie wore in Christmas Story so anachronistically, so it kind of ties it all together.

That was a photoshop.
posted by EmGeeJay at 7:45 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Step 1: Prosthetic chin
Step 2: Bionic chin
Step 3: World Domination
posted by blue_beetle at 7:46 AM on January 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


like, to ease the shock of people seeing him in person

I think it was in a recent profile where Ebert mentioned that sometimes people treat him like he's on his death bed - the loss of his voice and his physical disfigurement are sort of "false signals" of current poor health.
posted by muddgirl at 7:47 AM on January 20, 2011


Over the past few years, I've come to realize Roger Ebert is a stronger person than me.
posted by davebush at 7:48 AM on January 20, 2011 [18 favorites]


The new show debuts tomorrow night @ 8:30 central, on WTTW in Chicago.
posted by timsteil at 7:51 AM on January 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a thoroughly lovely human being.
posted by kalimac at 7:53 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chin up!
posted by chavenet at 7:57 AM on January 20, 2011


Roger Ebert's Twitter feed is reason enough to sign up for a Twitter account. Dude is mega-prolific on there, and his stuff is always worth reading.
posted by jbickers at 7:59 AM on January 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


davebush: "Over the past few years, I've come to realize Roger Ebert is a stronger person than me."

kalimac: "What a thoroughly lovely human being."

New personal goal:

To be the type of person who can be described accurately within 5 minutes as both "strong" and "lovely"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:02 AM on January 20, 2011 [23 favorites]


If I were him, I would have a metal chin with iron rivets and dripping rust stains. I would reserve it for reviewing the worst movies. Also, there would be a matching spiked thumb.

Go Roger! I can't wait to see the new show!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:17 AM on January 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


Nicely done, Jaymzifer. Great story, and great news that Ebert will be back--his viewpoint is invaluable, he was always my go-to guy for reviews and still is. He's also my definition of a Guy With True Class.

Looking forward to the new show... thanks for this.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:20 AM on January 20, 2011


When the show was on I always liked Siskel better, he seemed more like my kind of guy. But have to give Ebert his due.

Welcome to the exciting new world of television.
He set a record, he worked through the whole fucking menu.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:17 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


But he still can't talk, right? How does he do live TV?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:22 AM on January 20, 2011


I kind of wish he'd gone even more in this direction with his "Phantom" style photo.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2011


He's got a voice synthesizer I think - with a voice conjured from old recordings IIRC.
posted by Dr Dracator at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2011


But he still can't talk, right? How does he do live TV?

Previously.
posted by dgaicun at 10:01 AM on January 20, 2011


Is the show going to be live?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2011


I hear he's also getting a thumb augmentation, one which will both increase the apparent authority of his movie ratings and and render him capable of appreciating the many virtues of Street Fighter II.

(I find I read his reviews partly to find out about what's playing, but mostly just to hear the most humane voice you'll find in a newspaper)
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:20 AM on January 20, 2011


That looks great! You know, one of the best things about the internet is that it allows people to have a voice regardless of how able they are, or what they look or sound like. Maybe in the past Ebert could have stayed active in newspapers, but I think he'd have 'faded away' much more were it not for the internet. Cool stuff.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:43 AM on January 20, 2011


Cat Pie Hurts: If I were him, I would have a metal chin with iron rivets and dripping rust stains.

Yeah, he could go full Baron Underbheit!
posted by mgrichmond at 10:56 AM on January 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


sometimes people treat him like he's on his death bed - the loss of his voice and his physical disfigurement are sort of "false signals" of current poor health.

This sounds exactly right to me, based on my experiences with my grandfather after his jaw was removed. (When I see photos of Ebert that reveal the effects of his surgery, I see my late grandfather: the same gleaming eyes, the open, excited face, the same soft smile with the same unexpectedly soft folds around the chin).

Grampy adjusted well to such a striking alteration --- and, like Ebert, public speaking had been a key part of his persona, so the surgery deeply and permanently altered not only his daily routine, but his very self-perception. (Also like Ebert, the surgery altered his relationship with food, which had been a great source of pleasure and even an affirmation of the value of daily life.)

But other people didn't adjust to Grampy's new face as well as he did. His interactions with passing acquaintances and with strangers were inevitably colored by their curiosity or their anxiety or even their horror of his disfigurement. I suspect he would have jumped at the chance to occasionally don a prosthetic chin, just to soften the effect on strangers --- and especially children.
posted by Elsa at 11:15 AM on January 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I were him, I would have a metal chin with iron rivets and dripping rust stains. I would reserve it for reviewing the worst movies. Also, there would be a matching spiked thumb.

Previously.
posted by Evilspork at 11:22 AM on January 20, 2011


Awesome! Another place where I can express my love for Roger Ebert!
posted by malaprohibita at 11:58 AM on January 20, 2011


This is excellent!
(& what jbickers said)
posted by zenwerewolf at 1:19 PM on January 20, 2011


I'm sure I can't be the only one who honestly is not one bit horrified by his real appearance. I think he looks lovely, in fact. I truly do, and not in a "your inner beauty comes shining through" kind of way. I just think it's a very pleasant face.
posted by HotToddy at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2011


i just read the wikipedia entry on ebert. i knew he'd battled cancer, but i had no idea he'd been through endless painful and often unsuccessful surgeries. (he had so many skin and bone grafts taken from his legs -- in failed attempts to reconstruct his jaw -- that he's permanently weak, so much so he fell and broke his hip...requiring more surgery.)

he says he doesn't want any more procedures, and if the cancer comes back, he wouldn't necessarily fight it. so reading about his new prosthesis, and his determination to return to the airwaves, provides more proof that this guy is one of the bravest, strongest, smartest people around.

also, in addition to his previously mentioned twitter feed, his facebook page is replete with literary and cinematic goodness, plus photos of actors and directors he's snapped at film festivals over the years.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:15 PM on January 20, 2011


The new show debuts tomorrow night @ 8:30 central, on WTTW in Chicago.

And at various times on PBS stations in 100+ other markets, too. I'm really, really looking forward to it.
posted by keever at 4:32 PM on January 20, 2011


I like him with a beard; makes him look like Gallic aristocracy.

All he needs is a top hat.
posted by bwg at 4:44 PM on January 20, 2011


I would pay to see him with that beard and a top hat doing a dramatic live reading of his Human Centipede review.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:28 PM on January 20, 2011


I'm so confused. What happened to him? It would've been nice to give some context to rubes like me who haven't kept up with Ebert in recent years. Did he have some kind of cancer or was he in an accident? I guess I'm off to google it; I'm just a little surprised I never heard anything about him having an illness or injury that permanently "disfigured" his face.

At least he seems to have good humour about it.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:27 PM on January 20, 2011


OMG he hasn't spoken in FOUR YEARS? How did I not know this? Wow. Just wow. What a horrific thing to go through.
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:28 PM on January 20, 2011


1000monkeys - he had a particularly nasty case of thyroid cancer.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:52 AM on January 21, 2011


And a run of horrendous luck with his surgeries.
posted by Trochanter at 9:31 AM on January 21, 2011


Truly inspiring. My sister-in-law lost a nose due to cancer and it's been four years of plastic surgeries and reconstructions and this is on top of radiation and chemo and all kinds of other horrible things that cancer patients have to go through. It always amazes me when people are upbeat about such ordeals; really puts a lot of things in perspective.
posted by SylviaAspevig at 10:04 AM on January 21, 2011


I was never a fan of his but my heart goes out to the man. And to SylviaAspevig's sister in law too. And you're so right, Sylvia, it really puts your own problems into perspective.

I was absolutely amazed to learn that a couple well-written Ebert pieces on food were done after he lost the ability to eat and use him mouth. Talk about perseverance.
posted by 1000monkeys at 1:00 PM on January 21, 2011


How does he do live TV?

There was a brief shot of Ebert tapping away in his office, then Werner Herzog's voice started reading his review of My Dog Tulip. It's pretty clear that Ebert's not content with being robo-Andy Rooney.
posted by Iridic at 8:14 AM on January 22, 2011


How does he do live TV?

He'll pre-write pieces and then have Gilbert Gottfried read them on set while Roger nods sagely.
posted by Trochanter at 9:06 AM on January 22, 2011


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