From cinemablend, It’s been a tough year for America’s film critics. Roger Ebert continues to battle the debilitating mouth cancer which has kept him off the television and in the past month, we’ve lost two prominent online voices in film at tragically young ages . Now Joel Siegel is gone. ABC reports he died Friday at the too young age of 63 after a battle with colon cancer. Apparently this is something he's been battling for some time, and in the process had become an outspoken advocate for the disease. Still, for many (and for me) his passing comes as something of a shock. If Ebert is America’s most recognized film critic, then Joel Siegel was almost certainly number two. The mustachioed film critic has been a staple for decades, and made his home as the critic of record on “Good Morning America” for many years, in addition to his other work in various forms of print and television syndication. Joel was a throwback to a different time in film criticism, the kind of critic who you could always rely on to go right for the witty pun. Siegel loved to be funny, and seemed to tackle giving out bad reviews with real excitement and enthusiasm.
I don’t mean that as an indictment as a man, it was simply his trademark and he was damned good at it. More recently he became semi-infamous to the geek crowd after an incident in which he walked out of Kevin Smith’s Clerks sequel. The back and forth bickering between them seems somehow much less important now when looked at as a mere moment in Joel Siegel’s long and successful career. Whatever you think of Joel and whatever he was as a film critic, the guy was a fixture in American film criticism and it’s hard to imagine people sitting around talking movies without Joel Siegel there to interject some sort of wacky witticism. Our thoughts go out to his family and his friends, Joel will be missed.