Rip Torn on "The Larry Sanders Show"

This is actually a two-part question:

  1. I’m a huge fan of “The Larry Sanders Show” and especially the gifted character actor, Rip Torn, in the role of Larry’s no-bullshit producer Artie. I’m wondering if they’ve ever mentioned Arthur’s last name and what it is? I’ve checked the IMDB and the character is only listed as “Arthur”.

  2. While checking Torn’s bio on the IMDB they mention that he won a $475,000 defamation suit against actor Dennis Hopper for remarks Hopper made on the Tonight Show in '97. I know that Torn originally had the role of the dropout lawyer in Easy Rider, quit after production started and was subsequently replaced with Jack Nicholson. Hopper was co-writer/co-producer and co-star of Easy Rider, so I’m assuming whatever he said on the Tonight Show had something to do with this fact. Any Dopers know what he said to cause Torn to sue (and win)?

Artie last name? Got me.

The lawsuit alledged that Torn threatened Hooper with a knife. Torn claims that it was the other way around.

They never said what Arthur’s last name was. I think they did it on purpose, because they occasionally mentioned the last names of some of the minor characters. Of course they only characters whose last names were used often enough to remember were Larry Sanders and Hank Kingsley.

Ah the late great Larry Sanders Show. I heard that Bravo will soon be airing reruns of this classic…

Also wanted to add that the show did a great job at spoofing real life characters. And while Larry & Hank were very loosely based parodies of Hollywood “types”…Rip Torn’s Arthur literally was Fred DeCorva…the hard-assed producer of Johnny Carson’s Tonite Show. A dead-on portrayal…

Actually, Hank’s real last name was Lepstein.

But, but, but, then, what about all of the great Artie cursing? Egad, a basic cable Artie would be pathetic. Everybody else’s language could be bleeped without major harm, but Artie???

Rip Torn trivia: His son Tony Torn appeared in what Kevin Smith film?