Home Television Comedy Larry Sanders Show, The

Larry Sanders Show, The

1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 8 (USA)
89 x 30 minute episodes

After the success of the innovative It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Shandling became a popular replacement host of Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and was once in the running to take the place of David Letterman.

The experience gave the comedian the idea for a sitcom based on the late-night chat show concept, in which he was cast as the host of such a show.

larrysanders2Created by Shandling and Dennis Klein, the show featured Jeffrey Tambor as Sanders’ sidekick, Hank Kingsley (whose catchphrase “Hey, now!” caught on big in the US); Rip Torn as devious producer-cum-protective manager Artie; Megan Gallagher as Sanders’ wife, Jeannie; Janeane Garofalo as Paula, the show’s talent booker; Penny Johnson as Larry’s personal assistant, Beverly; Jeremy Piven and Wallace Langham as writers Jerry and Phil; Kathryn Harrold as Larry’s ex-wife, Francine; Bob Odenkirk as Larry’s agent Stevie Grant; and Linda Doucett as Hank’s personal assistant Darlene (who was later replaced by Scott Thompson as Hank’s new gay assistant, Brian).

The show was split between on- and off- air action. On the air, the programme (shot on videotape and filmed in front of a live studio audience) played like a real-life chat show, featuring genuine celebrity guests such as Roseanne Barr, Sharon Stone, Peter Falk and Elvis Costello.


The behind-the-scenes segments of the show (shot on film) revealed the backroom bickering and cynicism behind making such a show and became well known for the use of salty language.

Sanders himself was a perfectionist and smarmily self-absorbed. His confident, generous on-screen persona contrasted with his insecure, demanding real personality.

Larry Sanders
Garry Shandling
Hank Kingsley 

Jeffrey Tambor 

Rip Torn 
Beverly Barnes 

Penny Johnson 

Janeane Garofalo
Jeremy Piven
Wallace Langham
Jeannie Sanders
Megan Gallagher
Darlene Chapinni 

Linda Doucett
Kathryn Harrold
Scott Thompson
Stevie Grant
Bob Odenkirk