At the time, Joel was writing pieces for the LA TIMES Sunday magazine and doing commentaries on alternative rock station KMET. Somehow from that he got an on air job at WCBS in New York reviewing movies and theater. The job actually came through while we were in army summer camp together at Ft. Carson, Colorado. I remember saying when he announced it, “How???” and he replied, “I don’t know. Looks?”
But it was clear how – talent. In great abundance. Joel had a gift for writing, an infectious enthusiasm, and a wonderful presence on camera. You just liked and believed him.
And he was just being himself.
I would sometimes get together with Joel when I was in New York. And give him shit for hosting red carpet shows. For years I eagerly awaited his goofy Christmas cards. An example would be a picture of Joel and George Foreman with the caption “From our family to yours”.
Joel was the only movie reviewer infinitely more talented than the artists he reviewed. And if I had to sum up the life of Joel Siegel I would say “Masterpiece. Four stars. The perfect blend of humor and insight. I wanted it to go on forever.”