Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shandling's Debut

It’s Garry Shandling’s Show! The Complete Series
(Shout! Factory)

In 1986, when Garry Shandling‘s first “sitcom“ appeared on a network called Showtime, there was nothing like it on TV--and, nearly a quarter-century later, it‘s still a unique series. Although I prefer The Larry Sanders Show to this--the later HBO series was more polished, more consistently funny, and had better supporting actors and guest stars--there‘s no denying the originality of Shandling and Alan Zweibel‘s conceit of a show about a comedian living the single life: Shandling constantly looks into the camera and talks to the studio audience (and us) and there are hilarious cameos from then-current celebs like Vanna White, Martin Mull, Rob Reiner, and Gilda Radner (whose last TV appearance this was).

The 72 episodes from the series’ four-year run are included in this 16-disc boxed set, beautifully packaged with a 36-page book that includes appreciations by Larry Gelbart and Judd Apatow; the image and sound quality are quite good. The bonus features that are scattered among the discs feature several audio commentaries by Shandling, Zweibel and other writers, six new featurettes about the series, and outtakes from selected episodes.

originally posted on

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