In retrospect, the personal style of the Late Night Wars era, when David Letterman, Jay Leno and Arsenio Hall battled for top ratings in the post-Johnny Carson scene, has aged unnaturally. It’s not uncommon to see period snaps on Instagram: Letterman and Hall in the larger suits we’ve seen back in recent years, or Jay in his stealthy form. Canadian Tuxedo. But the most stylish presenter in Late Night Wars is a fictional person.
When it was released in August 1992, Performance by Larry Sanders imagine itself in the middle of an entire late-night battle. It was a popular TV hit: star Garry Shandling, who played the host of the same name, actually hosted the show as a guest. Tonight’s show sometimes Johnny Carson needed a night off and was asked to take over Letterman’s 12:30 Midnight when Dave inherited Carson’s chair. Shandling decided on another idea: a fictional show about a talk show host — someone who often talks about what real-life hosts Dave, Jay, and Arsenio are doing. And to do that, he needs vision. Larry’s suit for the show feels indebted to Dave, while the set feels a bit more Jay (which makes sense, since Larry’s show, like Jay’s, was filmed in LA, while Dave’s was. doing his show in New York), with a nod to Johnny’s old set with the vegetation behind the desk and seating for guests. However, the show really comes to life, as it focuses on everything that happened in the 23 hours Larry was on the air — and everything about his vibe that, 30 years later, has aged dramatically. nice.
Start at home: if it were real, Larry’s house might have been remodeled a decade or two ago, but what we see of it screams Best of the Best, Circa 1990. From the outside , he’s in one of those perfect old houses. Spanish colonial renaissance houses from the 1920s or 30s. The mood inside is cold, silent and natural.
Like his home, Larry – and Garry – maintain a very specific, surprisingly refined homely look. Shandling grew up west, Arizona, before moving to Los Angeles, and he dressed up as someone who had never spent his formative years to protect him from the cold. In this respect, he’s basically a West Coast version of Jerry Seinfeld, except better. Seinfeld is often considered a pioneer of the “standard” style of work from scratch, which is just a way of saying that he seems satisfied with his style choices. Jeans, sneakers, and oxfords aren’t really apparel — it’s just what he wears. (That Jerry is still vain about his costume stamped joke.) Larry Sanders and looking at old pictures of Shandling, I can’t help but think that, on the contrary, he actually took his clothes serious. Shandling is also a fan of jeans and white sneakers, but also plays around with more tailoring. Sometimes it’s a felt coat that looks so good, you’d think he made it especially to go with a pair of jeans. And whenever it dips below 75 in LA, he tries to have a nice long coat ready.
I mention the casual because, although the term has been around for about a decade now, we still haven’t completely moved away from the influence of the casual style. New Balance is as big as ever and every business is realizing that a new way to generate revenue is to make dad hats. Normcore is no longer a quirky subgenre of style — instead, its influence is completely ingrained in the way we dress. It’s not weird or out there to wear something like you’re a dad on a 1992 network sitcom—it’s just the way things are these days. It’s also why Shandling (and Shandling-as-Sanders) is the perfect antidote. His whole thing is normal…but no also normal. Fun, but not childish. Put together, but not serious. It fits with a broader re-evaluation of comedians’ style choices from the 1990s. You’ve probably noticed that the likes of Chris Rock and Bob Odenkirk. always know what they’re taking out from their closetand Adam Sandler now a style icon.