Admittedly, I'm used to a certain type of sitcom...
"Taxi", "Cheers", "Malcolm in the Middle", "Everybody Hates Chris", "That's So Raven", "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia", "The Office", "30 Rock", "BoJack Horseman", "Rick and Morty", "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", a whole splew of programming... Unbelievable.
Yet, as varied as all these shows appear, none have ever appeared to me as personal as "The Larry Sanders Show", a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday rise and fall of a late-night talk show host as he has to deal with annoying sidekicks, bothersome studio executives, cankerous guests, delusional staff members, egotistical writers, a furious wife and even more gregarious audience, who often times, holds him against his will to do something he truly despises, in spite of political correctness.
Granted, I initially found myself enfatuated with this classic HBO series to Judd Apatow's book, "Sick In The Head", interview with series creator and star, Garry Shandling. In the interview, he comes off as a man with street smarts about how showbiz works, whether at a comedy club or on live television.
Shandling even guest hosted for Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" numerous times. Taking care of the then-sick Angie Dickinson, take THAT Woody Allen! There's a new guest host in town!
This could very well be his inspiration to pitch "The Larry Sanders Show" as this remarkable piece of comedy spanned that of six seasons as a winner of Emmys and a winner of hearts for comedy nerds, everywhere.
There he deals with the real fears of having a guest host out perform you, having a sidekick with a wider fan base, having to apologise on national television to a woman who was bumped into at the grocery store, all while keeping his wife happy. (All in the first season!) Garry Shandling stars as the titular role and is joined by a terrific ensemble including Jeffrey Tambor as the needy Hey-Now Hank, Rip Torn as the no-nonsense but lack of common sense Artie the Producer, and Megan Gallagher as his on-screen wife. Off-screen, his real wife is Linda Doucett who plays a ditsy receptionist and loyal caretaker to Hank. There's also Wallace Langham and Jeremy Piven, respectively, playing two wiseguy writers who, in spite of their schemes, are some of my favourite characters. That's not to leave out stellar performances by Penny Johnson and Janean Garofalo who both serve as assistants and conciences to Larry as he struggles to keep that smile off-camera.
The show itself, which boosted the careers of both Apatow and Jon Stewart, as well as countless others sure enough, was as David Letterman described it; "This show is like every day of my life."
Garry Shandling has done other stuff, such as a separate family-like sitcom where he lives as a normal man with suburban consequences.
"Just to put you at ease, I bought them the popcorn." Is said before he brings in a pair of children with popcorn to perform in front of a live studio audience, roaring with laughter.
On the 25th Anniversary of "It's Garry Shandling's Show" his stand-up routine was on point! His set was fuml of laughs, plot twists and consistency that now makes him one of my favorite comedians.
Yes, I solely found out who he was because of Judd - Thank you for opening my eyes to the purest genius, Judd - but now that I know him, I darenot forget him as a man who has worked hard to pave the way for all aspiring filmmakers, writers and comedians like me!