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Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show

3.9 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Undeniably the hippest show to air on cable in the 1990s, The Larry Sanders Show takes you backstage at a fictional late night talk show with real-life guests from movies, music and television. The Larry Sanders Show was ahead of its time, becoming an immediate critical and audience hit for its satirical, tongue-in-cheek look at Hollywood. The series that combined documentary-like camerawork with a clever blend of fact and fiction set the standard of quality for HBO and influenced the development of shows like Sex and the City, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Office.

Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show features more than 8 hours of newly-produced material including Garry Shandling in personal and intimate visits with friends like Alec Baldwin, Tom Petty, Sharon Stone, Jerry Seinfeld, and Jon Stewart and including the compellingly entertaining, feature-length documentary, "The Making of The Larry Sanders Show."

Garry Shandling wraps up the run of his groundbreaking HBO comedy series in definitive yet nostalgic fashion in this boxed set, wryly titled Not Just the Best of The Larry Sanders Show. Now there's truth in advertising. Along with 23 of what Shandling felt were the best episodes of the show's run (89 episodes from 1992-98) comes eight hours of newly produced material, including a feature-length "making of" documentary, cast and star interviews, deleted scenes, commentaries, and footage of Shandling on personal visits with stars like Alec Baldwin, Jon Stewart, and Jerry Seinfeld. The personal visits are some of the most interesting moments (a breakfast with Sharon Stone is so strained and forced it's hard not to laugh) and the new features bring so much of Garry's personal thoughts and feelings into play that maybe this set would have been better named Being Garry Shandling. But it seems only fair to get such a subjective and in-depth personal view on the series from the man who made awkward self-consciousness a comedic art form.

The Larry Sanders Show was at the forefront of changing the genre of TV comedy, and influenced the development of many shows to follow, like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and both versions of The Office. The source of that inspiration is on full display here, as talk-show host Larry Sanders (Shandling) along with his producer Artie (Rip Torn) and his "poor deluded bastard" sidekick Hank (Jeffrey Tambor), struggles to keep his late-night talk show on the air despite dropping ratings, absurd notes from the network, and a hilarious tendency to self-sabotage his personal life. His guest stars, including some of the biggest names in show business, seem to enjoy lampooning their images and provide some of the sharpest comic moments. It's great stuff, and it's too bad all six seasons are not scheduled to be released on DVD. Shandling reportedly went this route with the release, rather than continuing with complete seasons, because of a desire to wrap it all up at once after a long legal battle with producer Brad Grey. While many fans might bemoan the fact that there will be no complete-season sets of The Larry Sanders Show released after this, there are episodes from all six seasons here to enjoy, including the first and the double-part finale. With a gem like this, it's better to savor what's available than to lament what might have been. --Daniel Vancini

Special Features

  • Documentary: The Making of The Larry Sanders Show
  • Featurette: Trio
  • Exclusive Interviews: Personal, Intimate, Indulgent Meetings With My Friends That Are Meant Only for Me to See
  • Featurette: Interview with Penny Johnson
  • Featurette: Interview with Wallace Langham
  • Featurette: Interview with Scott Thompson
  • Featurette: Interview with Janeane Garofalo
  • Featurette: Interview with Mary Lynn Rajskub
  • Featurette: Interview with Sarah Silverman
  • Featurette: Interview with Jeremy Piven
  • Featurette: Interview with Bob Odenkirk
  • Featurette: Interview with Linda Doucett
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Alternate Takes
  • Audio Commentary and Documentary Introduction on What Have You Done for Me Lately with Garry Shandling and Peter Tolan
  • Audio Commentary and Documentary Introduction on Hank’s Night in the Sun with Garry Shandling and Todd Holland
  • Audio Commentary and Documentary Introduction on Putting the ‘Gay’ Back in Litigation with Garry Shandling and Judd Apatow
  • Audio Commentary on Flip with Garry Shandling and Peter Tolan
  • Digitally Remastered Audio and Video

Product Details

  • Actors: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, Wallace Langham, Mary Lynn Rajskub
  • Directors: Todd Holland, John Riggi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 577 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (130 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MTFDB0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,197 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Not Just the Best of the Larry Sanders Show" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By calvinnme HALL OF FAME on April 18, 2007
Format: DVD
Larry Sanders is classic comedy that is no longer shown on HBO due to the years since the series ended (1998 was its final year), and when it was on Bravo the episodes were never shown uncut due to censorship and time constraint issues. With the likelihood that so much time passes that it is finally decided that, due to its format, this show is so "nineties-centric" with all of its guest stars that it is too dated to be a success on DVD, I shall break down and buy this set and hope that, with my luck, seasons two through six promptly follow.

The selection of episodes is pretty good, although they tend to be more Larry-centric and more focused on telling the story of the show than just the best possible selection of individual episodes. There are three episodes from season one in this set, so along with Season One which is being reissued, these two sets give us 33 of the 89 total episodes on DVD. There are a couple of episodes I consider essential that I was disappointed to see were omitted from the set. The first of these is "The Grand Opening" from season two, where Hank decides to open his "Hank's Look Around Cafe". The tables in the restaurant moved around so you had a different view every few minutes. Everyone knew it was a bad idea, but Hank wanted this so much that there was no dissuading him. When Larry is eating there, the tables creak and wobble, glasses fall over, and rolls fall off the table. It's absolutely hilarious classic Hank. To quote Artie, "That's great television, my friend." The other episode I wished had been included was "Artie and Angie and Hank and Hercules" from Season 5. Besides the other subplots going on in this episode, Hank auditions to be the voice of Hercules in an animated feature.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Please -- listen -- This is an amazing set. Most of these reviews were written before any of the reviewers had had a chance to see the actual product. I have just gotten the set and have looked at about half of it. If you are a fan you have to have this. I may add to this review later but I feel that it is important to post this now.

If you love the Larry Sanders Show, this set will be a revelation to you. There are something like eight hours of outtakes, interviews, commentary, and a totally interesting documentary about the making of the series. There is fascinating stuff here about how the episodes were conceived, filmed, cast -- original audition footage, interviews with the cast members -- not throwaway stuff but really, really interesting stuff about how the show was assembled. Anyone who really knows why this show was, and is, so special will be bowled over by this.

I, too, am disappointed at not being able to get a complete run of the show. EVEN IF THEY MAKE A COMPLETE RUN AVAILABLE LATER, YOU WILL WANT TO OWN THIS. I am not a flak-in-disguise or a covert operative for Sony. I think Garry Shandling put a lot of creative effort into what he saw as a creative revisioning of the arc of the whole series we all love so much. This is definitely not a cynical best-of set with a few extras thrown in to bilk the unwary. It is a creative efort in its own right. Seriously. Plus you get all these great episodes in quality that, previous post notwithstanding, is as good as you will ever see.

Truly, truly -- I think Garry Shandling was involved on every level here, down to the packaging, and it is NOT A CYNICAL ATTEMPT TO MILK $$ OUT OF FANS. You need to know this. This is totally different from anything else I have seen.
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Will this serve as the definitive Larry Sanders DVD set? It will probably depend on the sales. Much of what is here is wonderful. The show itself is as fascinating and enjoyable as ever. Hank Kingsley is one of the greatest creations ever, and one has to wonder how much someone like Ed McMahon, say, resembled him behind the scenes. But even greater to me is the amazing Rip Torn as Artie, Larry's producer, mentor, protector, and father figure. What a remarkable character! I can count on Artie alone to make me bust out laughing five or six times an episode, and that beats even Homer Simpson! I wish there was more commentary on the episodes in this set -- I find these discussions the most worthwhile. Unfortunately there are also a number of conversations taped recently between Garry Shandling and a number of the shows' guest stars, and these are far less interesting. Shandling himself calls them self-indulgent and not intended for public consumption, and he is right. Still, there are some memorable moments. Like Alex Baldwin demonstrating his anger and bulk in a boxing ring -- one prays for unfortunates who may have been intimately acquainted with either. There is a tremendously tedious sequence with Tom Petty -- apparently both men enjoyed some herbal refreshment before the interlude, and they make our eyes droop as well. Then there is the spectacle of Jerry Seinfeld having a cow because he can't find his favorite leather jacket. Yes, citizens, even gazillionaires can get upset over such mundane matters, except that THEY have assistants they can interrogate to resolve these difficulties over their cell phones. On the up side, Carol Burnett proves herself as sly and adept in her interview as she always was in physical comedy. What a talent!Read more ›
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