If there’s one thing Hollywood has more of than self-love, it’s self-loathe. Premiering right around the King-Lear-like bloodsport over the future of Johnny Carson’s throne, Garry Shandling’s comedy cast a gimlet eye on insecure, petty late-night host Sanders, and found no shortage of takers in showbiz to send themselves up: Ellen DeGeneres, Carol Burnett, Roseanne and David Duchovny, evincing the most unsettling man-crush TV has ever seen. But the needy heart of Sanders was its supporting characters, including Jeffrey Tambor as self-promoting, self-hating sidekick Hank “Hey Now!” Kingsley, and Rip Torn as Artie, the most terrifyingly unctuous producer ever to stalk a green room. Shandling revealed Hollywood’s blemishes like the world’s funniest jar of makeup remover.
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