This tape takes us to Bravo, that plucky little channel that never seemed to know quite what it was supposed to be doing, and occasionally, almost accidentally, showed some great shows.
Here’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Shandling’s sitcom that came before the better received The Larry Sanders Show.
If you’ve never seen this show, it’s basically the show that Sean Hughes ripped off for Sean’s Show. Which won’t be much help for you if you’ve never seen that either.
The first episode here is Fate where a psychic predicts a number of things will happen, including something rather nasty to his friend Nancy. There’s a lovely non-sequitur appearance from Apollo astronaut Pete Conrad.
In Pete Has an Affair, Garry’s friend Pete is wracked with guilt after an affair at work.
In the next episode, The Morning After, Garry can’t understand why everyone hates him after a party to celebrate Pete’s parents’ 50th anniversary. Garry’s flashback booth is no good.
There’s a trailer for a Corman season, presented by Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman before the next episode, followed by a trailer for Five Golden Dragons.
Then, Laffie, in which Garry finds a stray dog. Guest starring June Lockhart.
The next episode, Dial L For Laundry, features a guest appearance by Rob Reiner.
And one from a pre-Babylon 5 Claudia Christian.
The next episode is the first episode in the second season, Who’s Poppa. The Schumakers are expecting a baby, and Pete is convinced it isn’t his. There’s some brilliant miniature work in this episode.
Before the next episode, there’s a trail for the Discovery Channel, and for Bravo’s teletext service. There’s also trailers for It Conquered The World and SOS Titanic.
Then, the episode No baby, No Show, in which Jackie goes into labour, but the baby takes its time coming, and Tom Petty fills the time with a musical number.
And despite Garry’s worries, the baby does make an appearance by the end of the show.
Before the next episode, trailers for thirtysomething and The Rat Patrol.
In The Fugitive, Nancy’s new boyfriend is called Richard Kimble, and in an amazing coincidence, he is also being pursued by Lieutenant Gerard for the murder of his wife, while hunting for the real killer – a man with one arm.
They have a clip from the original show – I had no idea that Barry Morse played Gerard in the original show. I only really knew him from Space 1999 and Whoops Apocalypse.
There’s also a textbook breaking of the fourth wall. Garry, Nancy and Richard a trapped in his apartment by Gerard and his men and Garry says “He thinks he’s so smart, he’s waiting at the door, there’s not even a wall on this whole side of the apartment.”
Garry Falls Down a Hole has a brilliantly meta opening. There’s huge audience applause as it starts, the camera is zoomed in on the bedroom door, but nobody appears. Gradually the applause dies down, there’s a wide shot of the living room set, held for just a little bit longer than is comfortable. Then they play the theme.
More applause after the theme. Then another very long pause, before Nancy appears at the door looking for Garry, but doesn’t find him. She leaves, and there’s yet another long pause.
Then they play the theme again.
Nancy reappears with Leonard. “I’m getting worried. They played the theme twice.”
Garry also visits heaven.
Next on this tape is Mr Smith Goes to Nam which features a guest appearance by Gilda Radner, her last appearance on TV before she died of cancer.
Leonard has a flashback to Vietnam.
These last two episodes were the last episodes of Season Two, so I’m not sure why the whole of the rest of the season isn’t there. No clue about airdates, either.
And that’s the last episode on this tape. It ends with trailers for The Green Hornet, The Cosmic Man and Frogs, and some adverts.
- BiSoDol Heartburn
- Sounds Direct
- Craftmatic Adjustable Bed