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Take My Idea ... Please!

27 Jun, 2006 By: Brendan Howard

Garry Shandling cribbed from “The David Steinberg Show” for his successful “The Larry Sanders Show.”

That's OK, Steinberg said. He cribbed, too.

“I had a notion to do a show that was a combination of Jack Benny and Burns and Allen,” he said. “There's no comedian who doesn't start out being a comedian he emulates. A critic said I was a cross between Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. That just meant I hadn't established my own voice yet.”

Steinberg starred as himself both in front of an audience and behind the scenes — “The Larry Sanders Show,” anyone?

For those who want a taste of the Canadian show that boasted a cast of comic greats — John Candy, Dave Thomas, Martin Short, Joe Flaherty and Andrea Martin — Koch Vision July 11 is releasing The Best of The David Steinberg Show, with six episodes from the 1976 show on DVD ($14.98).

Whittled down from the 21-episode The David Steinberg Show set ($39.98), the best-of also boasts talented guests: Jon Voight, Adrienne Barbeau, Ethel Merman, Ruth Buzzi, Robert Vaughn and Michele Lee.

Steinberg is thrilled to see the show on DVD, especially now that TV has gotten some respect.

“At that time, they were still referring to TV as the idiot box,” he said.

Now, the world is Steinberg's oyster. Since the 1970s, he's moved to directing, working on such hits as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Newhart” and even “Seinfeld.” All the years working with top-notch talent are paying off with Steinberg's newest show, “Sit Down Comedy With David Steinberg.”

“I just interviewed Jerry Seinfeld last week,” he said. “I'm getting a lot of payback in a wonderful way.”

“Sit Down Comedy” airs on cable's TV Land and has Steinberg interviewing such comics as Larry David, Mike Myers and Bob Newhart.

“Our ratings on TV Land are pretty good, but we really generated a lot of press when the show was No. 2 as an iPod download,” he said.

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