Garry Shandling always made me laugh. From his early stand-up days through It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, The Larry Sanders Show, and a recent appearance on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, there was never a time when he seemed dated or out of touch. Fellow comics had mad respect for him.
Shandling was offered The Tonight Show and chose instead to continue with his own show, Larry Sanders, which was a take-off on The Tonight Show and other late-night programs. It was a brilliant send-up of the goings-on behind the scenes, the scheming and back-stabbing, and the machinations of putting on a program featuring a man with a huge ego and his dim-witted but lovable sidekick.
Shandling’s comedy is smart and self-deprecating. If you missed out on his brilliance before he died late last week at the age of 66, check out this nearly decade-old piece he wrote for Esquire magazine. It’s a collection of random thoughts, a list really, and it’s a wonderful overview of the way his mind worked. He was an original.