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When you look at the greatest comedies of the last 10 years: The Office
(UK), Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm they are all direct
descendants of the Larry Sanders' Show and really couldn't have
happened without it. When the show first aired it was groundbreaking,
offensive, hilarious and unlike anything TV had seen. It was one of the
shows that propelled HBO into the whole "it's not TV" era of Sopranos,
The Wire etc.
Today when you look around at shows on TV like The Office (US), Parks & Rec, Community and Modern Family - the influence of Garry Shandling's show is everywhere.
The Performance Artist is one of the more biting and political episodes that satirizes David Letterman's decision to cut Bill Hicks' act from his show 15 years ago. A great episode and a great show.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The previous review stated that The Performance Artist satirized Bill
Hicks' set being cut from an episode of The Late Show with David
Letterman. Untrue. In a weirdly prescient coincidence, this episode of
The Larry Sanders Show first aired over a month BEFORE Bill's final
Letterman performance. (The Performance Artist - 25 August 1993, Bill
Hicks on Letterman - 1 October 1993).
It is notable mainly for that reason & Roseanne calling Larry out for censoring the performance artist (Tim Miller) - would that Bill have had the same kind of support back in the day.
The Performance Artist is a great measure of this program's reading the pulse & pressure of the late night TV talk show environment and is as valid (and funny) today as it was back in the early 1990s.
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