9:37pm PT by Trilby Beresford
Jimmy Fallon Recruits Tina Fey, Ben Stiller for 'Larry Sanders'-Inspired Show
In a special episode inspired by The Larry Sanders Show and its star, the late comedian Garry Shandling, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon invited viewers to experience some behind-the-scenes antics on Monday night.
The episode was especially significant for Fallon as it signals five years on the air (the show began Feb. 17, 2014). In a tweet teasing the show and his guests Tina Fey, Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro and Steve Irwin's son Robert Irwin, Fallon is made fun of by those visiting the NBC stage. "Is that a cockroach?" asks De Niro during a camera setup. "I'm done," he declares.
Sporting a "hashtag" panda bear outfit, Stiller sees Fallon in the hallway. "Well, I was going to surprise you for your big anniversary show, but I guess now I can just go f--- myself." Later, he yells out, "This building is infested with Fallonitis!"
One by one, all the guests remark to Fallon, "You're lucky I'm even here!"
On a more serious note, Fallon asked Fey about her upcoming Netflix film Wine Country. She revealed that it was inspired by the "insanity" of taking a trip to wine country with Amy Poehler [the film's director], Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch. Fey called Poehler "awesome" as a director.
Fey also expressed praise for Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" music video, which draws inspiration from Mean Girls. Fey said she was alerted to the video via a text from her teenage daughter, who instructed her that the video was "dropping in three minutes."
Later on, while chatting with Irwin, who stars on Crikey! It's the Irwins on Animal Planet, Fallon was encouraged to stroke a reptile named Joseph. "Steer clear of the head," Irwin warned, noting that they have very sharp teeth.
Throwing back to The Larry Sanders Show, the interviews were intercut with behind-the-scenes bits of the guests, which usually ended in them expressing disappointment, jokingly, in host Fallon.
Following Shandling's death on March 24, 2016, Fallon shared his love for the comedian during The Tonight Show's episode the next night. "One of the greatest comedians to ever live. He's just brilliant and his delivery and his timing and his subtle jokes, he was just the best. We just love him. I mean, he's one of the greatest stand-up comedians ever," Fallon shared with his audience.
He continued, "If you're thinking of getting into stand-up comedy, or just like watching it, you can't go through without seeing Garry Shandling and studying this guy." Shandling was a frequent guest host on The Tonight Show in the late 1980s when it was hosted by Johnny Carson.
The Larry Sanders Show ran for six seasons from 1992-98 and influenced numerous comedians, including fellow late-night hosts Conan O'Brien and Seth Meyers, with its satirical and observational comedy.