13 January 2008 | TOMNEL
Hilarious talk show satire.
Larry Sanders has a broad range of humor. When on camera, the humor comes from how unfunny these characters actually are in front of the camera and how funny the audience finds it. Anyone who watches late night talk shows can relate to the "mock show" portion of each show. The behind the scenes, which makes up most of each episode relies on the situations as well as the dialogue which is usually very funny and well written, like something that would actually be said.
The characters were all very different and well written. Larry Sanders, played subtly and brilliantly by Gary Shandling. Larry is always smiling, whether he's happy or not. He's self centered, but not too much of a jerk. His manager Artie (Rip Torn) is more over the top rude and loud, but he's not an unbelievable character. Then there's Hank (Jeffrey Tambor) who plays second banana to Larry and the talk show, but on this show, often steals the episodes, taking many of the main plot lines, and he is hilarious as the alternate universe Ed MacMahon. Along with these three, there are many other less important characters, all very funny.
Overall, Larry Sanders was usually hysterical, but when not, it was still one of the most brilliant shows on television.