Larry Sanders Revisited

Garry/Larry finally confirms “Artie” was based on Freddy de Cordova.

We’ve had a DVD of the first season of the Larry Sanders Show sitting around the house for a few months. Though Netflix is usually a good deal, this is a $20 rental now, right?

Helaine and I just watched the first four episodes. They still stand up.

There’s a special feature, an interview of Garry Shandling conducted by Tom Shales, on the disk. Garry/Larry finally confirms “Artie” was based on Freddy de Cordova. I hold a special affinity for Artie and wrote about him a few years ago.

Indulge me. Reread it.

Jon Stewart On The Oscars

My friend Farrell has already written me four or five times on this subject. The last time, attaching an article, he wrote the single word, “Ouch!”

Jon Stewart was a major disappointment at the Oscars.

I guess the good news is, he was a disappointment because he’s normally so good. The bad news is, for many people, this is their introduction – and possibly their final impression.

Tom Shales was brutal in today’s Washington Post – but Shales specializes in being brutal&#185.

It’s hard to believe that professional entertainers could have put together a show less entertaining than this year’s Oscars, hosted with a smug humorlessness by comic Jon Stewart, a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by.

I wonder what’s going through Stewart’s mind today? Is he having second thoughts about he approached the broadcast? Has he just tossed it off and moved back to his ‘real’ life?

&#185 – After I put this online, Farrell called and questioned my characterization of Shales.

Shales does not specialize in being brutal. He writes better than anyone on the subject of television period. He’s honest, frank. Likes TV and when he sees something good, he praises it. When he sees something bad, he’ll write and say so. And you can quote me, WeatherBoy&#153!

Continue reading “Jon Stewart On The Oscars”

Live From New York, It’s Saturday Night

Steffie and I usually watch SNL together. It’s good to have her there because there are always some social references she needs to explain to me. To a lesser extent, I do the same, like with Bud Collins last night.

I saw SNL live March 11, 1978. The host was Art Garfunkel. It was less than memorable. I do remember having really bad sight lines and being disappointed.

Last night was the best show, so far, of this season. The host, Andy Roddick, was adequate. He seemed less than adept at sketch comedy, but very game – that counts for a lot.

There was a very funny Mary Poppins bit with Rachel Dratch early in the show and Horatio Sanz as straight/butch Rosie O’Donnell during weekend update, but the best bit of the show came near the end. The premise was a small time television station with huge, overpowering music that wouldn’t quit and major technical problems on-the-air. Somehow, I felt I had lived that nightmare more than once.

Horatio Sanz is the breakout star of the current cast. He was good last year, but it’s obvious that the writers have learned to tool bits toward his more physical comedy. I am surprised that he continues to giggle during sketches, as I was under the impression that Lorne didn’t like or put up with that.

I read the excellent Tom Shales SNL book this past summer. It was a fast read. More importantly, the book was really a well edited compilation of interviews which explained everything I never understood or even questioned about the show.