I just listened to a great episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast where he interviews Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development and Larry Sanders fame. It was an interesting conversation and Jeff brought up one of my favorite episodes of the Larry Sanders Show, Hank’s Night in the Sun.
If you don’t know what the Larry Sanders Show is, basically it was a television show on HBO in the 90’s starring Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, and Rip Torn. Garry Shandling plays Larry Sanders a cynical late-night talk show host with Jeff playing Hank Kingsley the pathetic talk-show sidekick and Rip playing Artie the aggressive and wise producer. The history surrounding the show is interesting because Garry actually turned down an offer to replace Letterman on his old late-night show on NBC to star in The Larry Sanders Show, a late-night talk show satire.
Anyways, it was a groundbreaking show and is still absolutely brilliant and spot-on in its humor and satire. I watched most of the episodes on Netflix streaming, now that the DVD’s of the show have finally been released after a long legal battle. If you like The Office or Arrested Development, you’ll definitely find The Larry Sanders Show enjoyable.
Marc Maron also has a great interview with Garry Shandling where they discuss the show in more detail.
But I digress, Hank’s Night in the Sun is one of my favorite episodes from the show and it showcases Hank’s pathos to perfection. Hank has always played second fiddle to Larry and when Larry comes down with a serious illness he gets the opportunity that he’s been waiting for. But after he fills in as host for a night, his ego balloons and he tries to secure a few more nights as host, until the whole thing comes crashing down. Jeffrey Tambor plays this role so well, it is uncanny.
Here are some great excerpts from the episode:
Hank gets the opportunity of a lifetime:
Hank’s success goes to his head:
Hank hosts a second time:
Here is a great little comedy/humor break for all of you readers out there. I’ve been watching a lot of Craig Ferguson’s stuff lately and I ran across a very funny series of YouTube clips with guest-sidekick Thomas Lennon. Tom creates the bizarre character of Khloe Banderas, a gay Spaniard who is the least famous brother of Antonio Banderas. It’s even funnier considering that Tom is just creating the voice and basic hand movements of Craig’s robot skeleton sidekick.
It is absolutely amazing the humor they come up with purely through a few basic early thematic choices and then constant improvisation thereafter. Enjoy!
Tom Lennon’s first appearance on the show:
Three follow-up appearances at the end of the month:
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few months you’ve surely heard that an Arrested Development movie is coming out next year along with a series of shows on Netflix. For those who have never seen Arrested Development, it is quite possibly the funniest TV show of all time. Clever, original, witty, silly, charming and endlessly self-referencing. I did not discover it until about four years ago when a friend at work recommended the show to me. I could not believe that I missed it during its original series run, which says a lot about Fox’s horrible marketing of the show. No matter, it’s on DVD and Netflix now so enjoy!
Some great moments from the show:
Here is a great video clip from Bill Maher’s HBO Show “Real Time” where Bill performs an “unbaptism” for Mitt Romney’s dead father-in-law. Romney’s father-in-law was a dyed in the wool atheist and scientist who was posthumously baptized into the Mormon church. The Mormon’s believe that when an unbeliever dies they cannot participate in the kingdom of God. However, the dead can be posthumously baptized which gives their immortal soul the choice to participate in this eternal “kingdom”.
From the Mormon perspective, this is a loving and important service for dead souls. If you’re in the Mormon bubble it’s an act of love. If you’re outside the bubble it’s crazy and just a little bit creepy. Oh, and it’s also deeply disrespectful of the memory of the person who in no way endorsed the beliefs of your religion. Luckily Bill Maher comes to the rescue to help out one of the victims: Read the rest of this entry