Ten years after the death of his sparring partner, Roger Ebert pays tribute to Gene Siskel in the Chicago Sun-Times. "He is in my mind almost every day," writes Ebert. Yes, they had a sometimes volatile relationship, but the friendship endured. “No one else could possibly understand how meaningless was the hate, how deep was the love." They were an accidental pair, brought together by TV: "We both thought of ourselves as full-service, one-stop film critics. We didn't see why the other one was quite necessary."
But their friendship, and pitch-perfect onscreen patter, made them more than the sum of their parts, “linked in a Faustian television format that brought us success at the price of autonomy.” Not that they didn’t deserve it: “We didn't look great on TV,” Ebert writes, “but we sounded as if we might know what we were talking about.” Ebert says he has nothing but fond memories of his pal. “‘You may be an asshole,’ Gene would say, ‘but you're my asshole.’”