The annual New York Emmy awards were handed out in April, and the winner for “On Camera Talent: Commentator/Editorialist” was film critic and entertainment reporter Jackson Murphy. Never heard of him? You will. He still has 60 years of work ahead of him.
Jackson Murphy is 11.The youngest winner in New York Emmy history, this Rensselaer County sixth-grader goes by the moniker Lights-Camera-Jackson on his weekly stint as Kid Critic for Time Warner Cable’s YNN news network, Radio Disney, and the Troy Record. He also posts celebrity interviews on his Web site, www.lights-camera-jackson.com.This preternaturally mature child has been on air since he was… well, a kid. He joined Radio Disney at age six and YNN at nine. His baby face belies an adult delivery and hammy showmanship that make him seem the loopy love-child of Roger Ebert and Regis Philbin — who just happen to be his two idols. “I love Regis, he does everything on TV,” Jackson says. “He’s fun, entertaining, and always makes you laugh. I met him two years ago. It was a big thrill.”The fact that he isn’t old enough to see most movies doesn’t prevent him from making Oscar predictions (“I follow the buzz”) or interviewing stars old enough to be his grandparents. A typical example is his Goldie Hawn tête–à–tête on his Web site. She starts off condescendingly amused — calling him “sweetheart” — but he engages her in a thoughtful discussion of her charity work. “When I interview celebrities, they are very surprised at how much I know and how I ask questions,” he says.Don’t be surprised if Jackson is the next Regis. “I’d love to be a talk-show or game-show host like him,” he says. “When I met him, he took me into his office and let me try on his suit and tie. They were a bit big for me.”For now.