How Garry Shandling used Larry Sanders to tell the story of human beings

By David Canfield
November 11, 2019 at 06:15 PM EST
type
  • TV Show
network
  • HBO
genre

GARRY SHANDLING: There was an episode we did on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show where Garry goes on a morning talk show. And I thought, Man, there’s a story about the people who host this show that I know. And I always had that in the back: There’s another show here about the person who hosts the show.

And at that juncture I was offered two other late-night hosting jobs. Because Letterman had already gone. So those spots at different times came open. The CBS one was interesting to me because I respected Letterman. I had to really consider if I wanted to do a talk show. Again, I had the opportunity. That was a big decision because the CBS offer was an actually big financial offer. And my girlfriend at the time said, “Take the money. Take the money. Take the money. Take the money. . . . Take the money.”

I called Roy London up and I said, “Roy, I have to make a decision here. Is there a way that I can learn about myself and the world and people and what this is all really about and get down into that shit and the essence of people’s lives and how they cover it . . . on a talk show? Or can I do it on a 1992 show about a guy who hosts a talk show?” And then we started to talk about the guy who hosted the talk show and realized that it isn’t about a guy who hosts a talk show. It’s the ability to have that world within which you could tell the story of human beings.

And so it was never about a guy who hosts a talk show. That show really became a lab for a study of human behavior.

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