I know we’ve been pretty heavy on Roger Ebert content this week. That’s not entirely my fault; I’m operating under orders from the bosses to keep the Ebert stuff coming. Then again, it’s not entirely not my fault, either; I didn’t complain when I received said orders. I was happy to oblige.
Those orders remain relatively easy to follow because of the continuing stream of terrific remembrances from Ebert’s friends, colleagues, and admirers. The latest piece that I read and loved came from Laura Emerick, Ebert’s editor at the Chicago Sun-Times since 1994. Amongst the fascinating tidbits she reveals:
-Despite a fifty year journalism career, Ebert never became a touch typist.
-Under a tight deadline, he could turn around a review in 30 minutes (or less).
She also shares one of their inside jokes, which started one harried night during the Academy Awards:
“On Oscar nights, he could get a little rattled. One year, when the ceremony was really droning on and he was way behind, he shouted into the phone, so loud everyone back at 401 N. Wabash could hear over the din of a thousand other journalists backstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, racing to file: ‘Your deadlines mean NOTHING to me!'”
After that, “Your deadlines mean nothing to me!” became a tension-relieving mantra around their corner of the newsroom. Also: 30 minutes or less?!? Damn.
Also also: if you’re not sick of the Ebert tributes yet either, take note: tonight’s show from the Chicago Theatre in Roger’s honor — which is scheduled to include appearances from actors John Cusack and Chris Tucker — will stream live at THIS LINK, starting at 8:00 PM eastern, 7:00 PM central.
Read more of “Roger Ebert, A Man of the People.”