The Garden Weasel

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"The Garden Weasel"
The Larry Sanders Show episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Written by Peter Tolan
Original air date August 15, 1992 (1992-08-15)
Guest appearance(s)

Robert Hays as Himself
James Karen as Sheldon Davidoff
Deborah May as Melanie Parrish
Kathy Kinney as Dog Trainer

Episode chronology
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"The Promise"

"The Garden Weasel" is the first episode of the television show The Larry Sanders Show. In DVD releases the episode is titled "What Have You Done For Me Lately?"


The first episode introduces talk show host Larry Sanders, the staff of his late night show, taped at 6pm, and his second wife, Jeannie. The network is insisting that Larry do commercials on the air within the show, something unheard of since the early days of live television. Larry looks to Artie to get him out of doing it but they are forced to bow to the Network's will. At home, Larry shows his wife a tape of a commercial he made many years earlier for an airline to show why he dislikes doing commercials. Hank on the other hand, is dying to do the Garden Weasel spots, but the network feels he is overexposed after playing the Jolly Green Giant. Robert Hays appears on the show the night of the first ad, which Larry proceeds to turn into a comedy bit, mocking the product. Network executive Melanie Parrish is furious at his attitude and demands he sticks to the provided copy. At home, Larry and Jeannie discuss their dog with a trainer, who soon discovers that he is in fact a well trained performing dog, and refuses to do anything with him out of respect to the legendary original trainer. After the second spot goes like the first Melanie again confronts Larry who finally snaps at her, saying that he would hit her if she was a man, however Melanie hits Larry, who gets a huge black eye. The third time, Hank steps in and does the spot with Larry, and finally the network is happy, and all is well. Until next week.

Arc significance[edit]

  • Introduction of Melanie Parrish (Deborah May), Larry's network nemesis for several seasons.
  • The dog introduced here later becomes a running joke in the Larry/Jeannie Divorce Arc.

Guest celebrities[edit]


  • The opening titles of the show within the show shows a clip of Larry hosting that looks like it's from the 70's, however later in the series it is remarked that "The Larry Sanders Show" has only been on the air for 6 years, which would put its debut in 1986. This clip was only seen in first season episodes, replaced by one of Carol Burnett jumping on Larry from "The Spider Episode".

External links[edit]