Jay Sherman is the main protagonist of the series The Critic, and is voiced by actor Jon Lovitz. He appears in every episode.
Jay was adopted by Franklin and Eleanor Sherman as a baby, the two of them originally mistaking him for a monkey. After this confusion was cleared up, he continued to live with them throughout childhood, and went to the New York School for the Performing Arts for primary education. According to a book Eleanor wrote about Jay in A Pig Boy and His Dog, Jay had supposedly dropped out of law school to pursue film criticism. He graduated with a PhD in film from the New York Film School.
His first marriage came about after getting into a terrible accident. Jay was rushed to the hospital and put in a full body cast, where his nurse, Ardeth, immediately fell in love with him. They were quickly married, however Ardeth was disgusted by his appearance once his cast was removed. Their marriage grew increasingly sour, and shortly after having a child together, they got a divorce.
In both seasons of the show, Jay runs a TV show called Coming Attractions. Although a lot of merchandise is made for it, as seen in a few episodes, and the fact that it's is dubbed into seven different languages, the show doesn't seem to be all that popular and has been mentioned to be even be less popular in its time slot than shows on "The Dryer Channel."
Jay is supposedly of Jewish ethnicity, but this is only heavily hinted at/joked about. It is most likely true due to his design bearing semblance to his voice actor, Jon Lovitz, who is Jewish.
Jay Sherman is a short, overweight man. He often wears a green dress shirt with sleeves rolled up halfway, a brown sweater-vest with argyle print, dark brown pants, and brown loafers. Jay is also rapidly balding, and on occasion will attempt to wear a toupee or use spray-on hair to compensate for it.
In Uneasy Rider, we are shown Jay's driver's license, which reveals that he is 5'6" and was born on January 26, 1958 (which corresponds with the release date of the Pilot). This makes Jay around 36 years of age in the first season.
Jay is highly critical of many movies, and is considered to be cynical. Because of this, he is looked down upon by others. This has also caused him to have a limited pool of friends.
In other countries, his show hosts disclaimers, such as "Jay Sherman is an escape patient from a mental hospital" as a result of his often manic rants about films.
Jeremy Hawk is the only friend of Jay's that appears consistently throughout the series, and possibly his only friend. They befriended each other after Jay was the only critic to give his first film, Keg Party at Hanging Rock, a positive review. While the two support each other, there are a few times where they can be shown to tease or belittle each other in fairly hurtful ways (as seen in Marathon Mensch).
Jay took interest in Alice Tompkins at the beginning of Season 2. After hearing of her unemployment, he hired her as his assistant so she could become financially stable. They officially confessed their feelings to each other by the end of Lady Hawke and started dating. It is implied that they had gotten a divorce by the time of the first webisode, but this statement could also be referring to the woman Jay married to get to Cuba in Marty's First Date.
Jay is a return customer to Vlada's resturaunt. However, Vlada actually quite dislikes him (going so far as to taint his meals or sit him in undesirable locations on purpose), and only lets him in due to the profit he makes off of him. Jay supports their restaurant to the point of Vlada upholding his son's college funds and even his mother's ventilator on his restaurant bills.
Despite the nearly 20-year age gap between the two, Jay and Margo seem to have a very close bond. They often discuss their problems with each other as well as general status of their family. Jay acts as a sort of secondary father figure to Margo when it comes to advice, most likely due to their father's ineptitude.
Jay and his adoptive mother tend to get along decently, but there is a lot of tension between them in certain moments. Jay even outright screams at her on national television in Dial M For Mother after she embarrasses him during the program. For the rest of this episode, however, he attempts to rekindle their relationship in many different ways, so it can be said that he truly does love her as a mother.
As for his Franklin Sherman, the two don't seem to have any sort of outstanding bond other than the usual reactions most people have to Franklin's shenanigans. It is unknown as to what kind of role he played during his childhood, exactly.