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HomeWeb SeriesWhy is The Larry Sanders Show the most influential sitcom ever?

Why is The Larry Sanders Show the most influential sitcom ever?

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Although jerry seinfeldNetflix-series made from the web of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Always intended to be a low-stakes, conversational affair, there’s something unavoidable about the Season 7 episode featuring gary shandling, The first, because it was the last major onscreen appearance, Shandling passed away less than a year later, which makes Shandling’s self-indulgent meditation on his career and the mortality of his fellow comedians all the more poignant. But also because the episode shows how Shandling and Seinfeld’s careers were intertwined: They both started doing comedy in L.A. around the same time, started making late-night appearances at the same time, and here He even starred in his own groundbreaking TV shows. At the same time, which were being shot on the same studio lot. but while Seinfeld One of the most popular and beloved sitcoms of the 90s, The Larry Sanders Show It remains as much of a cult show as it was when it aired, and yet has had as massive an impact on modern TV comedy as any show since it was 30 years ago. was aired for the first time.

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immense impact larry sanders The show, with more name recognition than its ’90s contemporaries, is certainly not to be taken lightly. The ’90s was actually one of the great decades for TV comedy, as it should come as no surprise that the shows that defined that decade, such as Friend, simpson, frasieretc., remained a binge-watching touchstone long after they ceased airing, while the decade also saw its share of cutting-edge cult shows (such as Mr Show, children in the hall, freaks and Geeks) however, none of those shows can really match the way in which The Larry Sanders Show Baddi TV comedy and how many shows can bring back their lineage in this show.

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That said, the show wasn’t a huge source of ratings when it aired, and wasn’t really needed, as the network actually began with its original programming a few years later, before it aired on HBO. of sex in town And the Sopranos, It has also been hard to watch since its 1998 run, as its reruns had only a short stint in syndication in Bravo’s early ’00s, and the music rights to the show made it a DVD box set. larry sanders It didn’t come until 2010, when the “TV on DVD” boom had almost run its course. Meanwhile, it wasn’t available on streaming until Shandling struck a deal with HBO shortly before his death in 2016.

That said, Gary Shandling’s status as the producer-star of the ever-less but groundbreaking show was always kind of by design. After several well received performances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson During the ’80s, Shandling became a recurring guest host for the show and was even offered his own late-night talk show, which would later be jay leno‘s tonight show, However, Shandling decided to do something more unusual. After making and starring in this is gary shandling’s show, a show built on the very meta premise of being Shandling’s star in a sitcom, knowing that he was constantly breaking the fourth wall in a sitcom, he wanted to continue this trend of dissecting TV and show business. The way they decided to do it was by making a sitcom about what goes on behind the scenes of a late-night talk show, when people break from the pre-rehearsed jokes that we see on TV. But let’s see and start talking to each other a lot more honestly.


This resulted in the show-within-a-show being shot on tape in front of a studio audience, while the behind-the-scenes portion of the show was shot single-camera and without a laugh track. It’s easy to understand how rare this was at the time, as it’s more common now to watch TV comedy without the laughs, but the fact remains that Larry Sanders was one of the shows that helped normalize the show. The thing that made the show so essential to the history of television. These characters don’t have to hit the laugh lines every minute or two, it allows them to feel more grounded, while the funny moments stem from a lot more human discomfort than the set-up and punchline. Huh. It also explains why the show hasn’t always had to make its characters likable (Jeffrey Tamborsidekick Hank Kingsley in particular can be pathetic and repulsive), which the show can really only get away from on HBO, where its brand of cutting-edge comedy can flourish, free of constant notes from network executives when ratings are really on. matters in.

It’s also hard to know where to start in terms of the most impressive parts The Larry Sanders ShowBut let’s just start with the premise of the show. since The Larry Sanders Show Aired, backstage showbiz comedy has almost become a genre in itself. You can see the format larry sanders installed in everything from 30 Rock To circle To Bojack Horseman To hacksWhere you have this somewhat cynical approach to dealing with the various needy personalities who carry show business forward while laughing and milking uncomfortable truths in the process.

larry sanders Writer (and comedy kingpin) Judd Apatow Gary Shandling’s mantra for the show is that it is “about people who love each other, but show business gets in the way”. How deeply human this show can be, and yet in many ways it was also this hip little refuge where the biggest stars of the ’90s could show up and put their personalities in any way that fit — Larry Sanders. Another innovation that now feels almost overdue. The number of famous guest stars is too long to list, as they differ from those who were very famous at the time. Sharon Stone To David Letterman To howard stern) For those who will break after a few years (Bob Odenkirkkoa former-daily show john stewart) this speaks to the fact that while larry sanders Not widely watched by the country, it was clearly a place famous people wanted to be because there was no other show like it.


Another relationship in which you can see the influence on countless later TV series is the way larry sanders was shot. This Refraining from using a laugh track may not have been a half-hour comedy at first, but the way it’s built its visual language is particularly important. Scenes that take place behind the stage or in the office of the show have this very fly-on-the-wall aesthetic that borders on fake. this would explain why Ricky Gervais is quoted The Larry Sanders Show as a major influence on the UK version of The Officewhich will certainly give birth to America The Office as well as choice parks and Recreation And modern Family (whose producer Steven Levitan was actually a writer The Larry Sanders Show) In larry sanders‘ visual style, you can also see the show’s other innovations, as it established the “walk and talk” – a scene in which two characters are talking and walking as the camera follows them from the front, one technology became popular later west wing, According to Apatow, they would achieve this effect by having their cameramen wear roller blades, as they did not have the budget for the Steadicam.

but perhaps The Larry Sanders ShowThe most enduring legacy of Us is that it was a comedy that was not known for easy laughs. It was certainly a comedy first and foremost, but the show’s tone and format freed its writers and actors to really explore the scenes and characters as deeply as they were in a traditional sitcom. You can see this in now TV comedy, to the extent that it has almost become a parody that so many half-hour shows often feel more like dramas than comedies. Also, the fact that larry sanders The character wasn’t so distant from Gary Shandling that the persona would make the show a precursor to semi-autobiographical shows like curb Your Enthusiasm, girlsAnd vulnerable, Then if its impact on TV comedy wasn’t enough, you can also see the show’s mix of punchlines and pathos in the films of Judd Apatow, who saw Shandling as a mentor so much that he created the HBO mini-series Gary Shandling’s Zen Diaries In the wake of the comedian’s death in 2018.

Despite the great influence of The Larry Sanders ShowOf course, another possible reason why its status as a great TV comedy has remained somewhat muted is that Gary Shandling kept a fairly low profile after the show ended. His film career failed to take off after acting in a poorly earned What Planet Are You From?, Although he still makes occasional appearances, such as co-starring in the DreamWorks animated film on the fence or showing in iron man 2 And Captain America: The Winter Soldier, However, the love that Shandling received from all corners of the comedy world after his death in 2016 showed the impact he had on his colleagues, and it’s still not fully realized that he’s gone, because There’s a good chance you’ll see his influence whenever you put in any modern comedy series.

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