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Belated Happy Birthday, Roger!

By Rob Christopher in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 19, 2007 2:00PM

We can be scatterbrained sometimes. There's just so much cool stuff going on all the time that it's easy to forget a few things now and then. And that's exactly what happened yesterday when we neglected to give a shout out to Mr. Roger Ebert, who celebrated his birthday.

2007_6ebert.jpg There's a soft spot in our collective heart for Mr. Ebert. Long ago we forgave him for his once-scathing reviews of David Lynch films; for one, he acquitted himself nicely by loving Mulholland Dr. We've wished him well in the past and we continue to do so as he recovers from recent surgeries. He's still got spunk. In fact, not only did he make a public appearance recently but he's also been sharing diet tips with Michael Moore.

The weird juxtaposition of various Chicago celebrities is at the heart of The Factory Theater's new comedy Siskel & Ebert Save Chicago which begins previews this Friday. Turns out Siskel isn't dead at all, but merely in a cryogenic state deep below City Hall. And being a film critic is just his cover; he's actually a secret agent whose new mission is to stop the evil Oprah and her henchman Richard Roeper and Mancow from taking over Chicago. We're not sure where Roger fits into the scenario (that's actor Chas Vrba in the background of the picture giving a big thumbs up), but we wouldn't mind seeing him kick some keister. Each performance will be preceded by a chapter of the new mini-serial “God, Guns, and Gold.” Judging from the synopsis it sounds like an amped-up mixture of Mission: Impossible and those old Mr. Clean/Brawny commercials. Siskel, Ebert, high-powered explosives, badass priests ...

Weird? Naw. Here's weird: Roger Ebert was born on the same day as Paul McCartney.