Nostalgia Fact-Check: How Does The Larry Sanders Show Hold Up?

The Larry Sanders Show Photo: HBO/IGN

The Nostalgia Fact-Check is a recurring Vulture feature in which we revisit a seminal movie, TV show, or album that reflexively evinces an "Oh my God, that was the best ever!" response by a certain demographic, owing to it having been imprinted on them early. Now, years later, we will take a look at these classics in a more objective, unforgiving adult light: Are they really the best ever? How do they hold up now? We've already reconsidered a number of once-beloved entertainments. This week, we revisit HBO's and Garry Shandling's The Larry Sanders Show.

Sanders as a whole plays under a big time stamp that reads, “Made in the Nineties.” The hair! The windbreakers! The sarcasm! But the acting (and improvising) is excellent, the naturalistic structure en vogue, and the writing is edgy even for 2011. So while you probably don't go around reminiscing with old friends about late nights watching The Larry Sanders Show and giddily shouting “No flipping!” in unison, maybe you should be. At the very least, it’s a shame this isn't in syndication: Even though it’s a faux talk show, it’s definitely a better watch than Leno. Hey now!