Air Dates: August 15, 1992–May 31, 1998
Stars: Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Rip Torn, Penny Johnson, Janeane Garofalo, Jeremy Piven, Wallace Langham
You can trace a clear line from Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm to the brilliant HBO sitcom The Larry Sanders Show, which starred Garry Shandling as the eponymous late-night host. For six seasons, real Hollywood denizens appeared on the show, playing slightly left-of-center versions of themselves.
Characterized by the same neurotic Jewish comedy and selfishness viewers associate with LD, Shandling's Sanders carried the show alongside greats Jeffrey Tambor (his pal) and Rip Torn (the show's producer). Over the course of 6 seasons totalling 86 episodes, The Larry Sanders Show was nominated for a whopping 56 Emmys. The meta nastiness that's commonplace on television today starts here. —RS