I was asked to write 100 words or less on something that I find interesting for the City Paper’s Culture Shock section. I decided to write about The Larry Sanders Show and the new DVD “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show.” As a fan of the show and a writer, I thought I might be able to do it justice and sound hip at the same time. I was wrong. Witness the mayhem:

I have to admit, I was a little late getting on the Larry Sanders train. But once I hopped on board I never got off. They recently released “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show” and am happy to report that it has gotten so much better over time. For me, The Larry Sanders show lifted the rock of Hollywood and revealed the creepy crawling angst beneath it. At the time it was the coolest show to be on and it looks it. One of the reasons it worked so well was that Garry Shandling had hosted a late night talk show. There is a somewhat blurred image of reality that makes the crazy things that happen “off camera” even more entertaining.

I basically lost this battle with the line “hopped on board” but it was a start.

At the time, The Larry Sanders Show was one of those shows that moved through the heavens for a brief period of time eventually disappearing but leaving you feel like you were one of the privileged few who had seen it. Thankfully they have just released “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show” on DVD and it

This was so pretentious I kicked my brain and had to stop mid-sentence.

At the time, The Larry Sanders Show was one of the hippest shows on TV. It predated the Sopranos but was just as influential on the TV landscape.

I sound like David Bianculli without the filling in for Terry Gross gig. What a turd!

How can pretension and vapidity coexist? I think I found a way:

I loved “The Larry Sanders Show.” Its thinly veiled satire of celebrities and the industry was comic perfection. Now that it has finally been released as a Best of DVD called “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show” I can honestly say: I lust it. The genius of the show was the contrast between the onscreen and off-screen personas of real Hollywood elite and the show’s key players including: Jeffrey Tambor as Larry’s arrogant loser sidekick Hank “Hey Now” Kingsley; Rip Torn as his seasoned and protective producer Artie and Larry himself, truthfully played by Garry Shandling, who gets better and more appealing as a performer as time goes on. To list the show’s highlights would take more space than I am afforded (allow me a bit of a teaser: David Duchovny’s crush on Larry, Elvis Costello selling a lemon to Hank and Jon Stewart as Larry’s possible replacement.)

And yes, it’s over 100 words.

I am not even going to include the one where I challenge people who disagree with me to send me an email and I’ll tell them why they’re wrong. It’s the quintessential “good idea in your head, bad idea in the real world scenario” and luckily I learned something from experience.

I finally settled on this…

 The Larry Sanders Show was one of the bets sitcoms, nay, TV shows in the past 30 years. Finally, a best of DVD set has been released, “Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show,” and I have fallen in love with it all over again. The show is genius in the way it both satirizes and venerates the entertainment industry. Headed by the comedic triumvirate of Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor and Rip Torn, it continues to be one of the smartest, hippest and funniest show on TV. “Hey now!”

…before ditching the idea altogether and writing about The Sesame Street DVD I bought for my daughter. That came so much easier which just goes to show that when we try to look cool because we want to look cool, we look like a douchbag.


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