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: