DID HE EVER KNOW THAT HE'S OUR HERO: Almost four years after its run ended, The Larry Sanders Show remains one of the best things HBO has done and one of best comedies to hit TV.
The Emmy-nominated show about a narcissistic talk show host (the Larry Sanders of the title, with a dead-on portrayal by Garry Shandling), was a sharp, bitingly funny, well-acted satire of Hollywood and the talk show world. It even made Janeane Garofalo palatable as an actor (she played the Larry Sanders Show talent booker). And the show's finale, which was about The Larry Sanders Show's finale, had one of the best scenes in TV comedy: Tom Petty and Clint Black, both booked to sing on Larry's last show, getting into a fistfight over who gets to be Larry's " Bette Midler," a reference to Midler singing to Johnny Carson on Carson's next-to-last show.
The non-HBO world will be exposed to Larry Sanders in the next TV season, when Bravo begins airing 90 of the half-hour episodes. Longtime fans may wonder how what could be called adult language and sometimes adult situations will be translated to a network you don't have to pay for.
"We'll allow adult dialogue and mature situations because kids don't watch Bravo," network VP Ed Carroll tells Variety. "We'll edit the show to South Park standards."
GET BACK, CATTY HONKY: Elton John was quite amused by Liza Minnelli's overblown nuptials Saturday. And he had a good time telling an audience just how amused he was.
While Minnelli and David Gest were getting married in Manhattan, John was in another part of the borough, at Sony Music Studios, shooting Elton John's Greatest Hits for British TV. During a commercial break, John began playing Here Comes the Bride, the New York Post reported, and then told the audience, "I'm so glad I'm here so I don't have to be at that wedding!"
When the show's host asked Elton what he would give Liza as a wedding present, he replied, "A heterosexual husband."
The audience "went ballistic," the Post said.
Gest's sexuality has been a prime subject of speculation, public and private, since the couple said they were getting married late last year. The Gest camp has never wavered from the response that he is not gay, and his rep, Warren Cowan, repeated that to the Post.
Cowan also told the newspaper he did not believe John would say such things about Gest, primarily because "Elton John has never met David Gest."
No one in the John camp is denying he said them. However, "It was just Elton fooling around," one of his reps said.
BILL, I BELIEVE THIS IS KILLING ME: No one is saying whether John was just fooling around at the end of a duet with Billy Joel during what turned out to be their last concert before postponing the rest of their tour because Joel is sick.
Last Friday the two were at Madison Square Garden. The audience was told Joel had a cold, but a New York Times critic said he rambled and slurred to the point he "seemed to have ingested something quite a bit stronger than cough syrup."
Joel produced such a "cacophonous soundscape" during Bennie and the Jets that when it ended, John mouthed "Thank God!"
Joel's illness was the reason given for postponement of their second Ice Palace show this month. Still no word on a new date.