WHY DID I TAPE THIS? is a peek inside a wood cabinet of poorly labeled VHS tapes taking up space in some parents' basement.  Rewind through these years of broadcast television thanks to various archivists and their Youtube accounts.

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 Before DVDs were a thing (and because his hometown seemed environmentally devoid of laser discs) Tim rarely had the luxury of a deleted scene.  So when word came down during a free cable weekend that John Lithgow was going to unveil his cut scene from L.A. Story ... Tim made sure the VCR heads were clean.  It was an exclusive meant to herald the film's arrival to  Showtime which meant, no only was Tim peering behind the curtain,  he was getting a home version of his favorite film.  The brief sequence found Steve Martin encountering the cartoonish talent agent Harry Zell at a local L.A. eatery.  Tim loved the scene, sensing some sort of la-la-land satire of hollywood excess.  And that ignited a double decade obsession of locating and watching that specialist of special features ... the deleted scene.

Sadly, the actual scene in question has been pulled from Youtube.  In its place, please enjoy this ad copy performance of John Lithgow courtesy of ANALOG INDULGENCE.   

cut scene from L.A. STORY (1991)
starring: Steve Martin and John Lithgow
written by: Steve Martin
directed by: Mick Jackson
originally aired in Spring 1992


  • While Harry Zell's appearance is cut from the film, his presence is still felt in verbal mentions from both Steve Martin and Kevin Pollack's characters.
  • an exchange from the cut scene, featuring Zell's advice on "skipping", was featured prominently in the original theatrical trailer
  • a portion of Lithgow's introduction to the cut scene featured him reading the actual Steve Martin sent him explaining that his scene was cut 
  • Quantum Leaper and (lesser known) Enterprise captain Scott Bakula also wound up on the cutting room floor in a series of scenes as Martin's boxer neighbor