I started watching Siskel and Ebert back in the late 70's, when the show was still called Sneak Previews and was still on PBS. I was already more than a little movie-obsessed, but that was what really sealed the deal; I still remember 'Spot the Wonder Dog' leaping into the balcony to herald the 'Dogs of the Week' (one week it was C.H.U.D.S.!).
And like any good snob I preferred Gene and his vaguely supercilious air of high-brow condescension to Roger's uncouth rabelasian zeal. Plus it was nakedly obvious that Ebert was a total horndog; on the 'Guilty Pleasures' episode one of his picks was Emmanuel in Paris.
My fondness for them did not survive the jump to commercial tv; I would still watch it from time to time, but the half-hour format didn't work as well with all the commercial interruptions, and I bitterly missed Spot.
The parade of replacements for the old PBS show were all dogs of a different color (including, if memory serves, the lamentable Leonard Maltin as well as professional culture scold Michael Medved); I didn't even notice when they finally gave up and cancelled it.
Ironically, the same thing happened when Siskel died; Ebert gamely soldiered on for a while, but I don't think anyone really appreciated what a rare thing Gene and Roger had until after death broke up the team. They were perhaps the last public intellectuals to make an impression on mainstream American culture, and almost certainly the last 'critics' as opposed to 'reviewers' to have that kind of media exposure.
[...and...fade to black].