Tribute: Garry Shandling

Posted on March 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

We mourn the loss of actor/writer/comedian Garry Shandling, who died today at age 66. He created two of the most innovative and influential television shows of all time, both smart self-aware, : Showtime’s It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (1986–1990) and HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show (1992–1998). Both had a meta overlay with him mocking himself and us and show business all at the same time. And both used show business as a metaphor to illuminate all of our illusions, fears, and our most superficial dreams of validation and success.

Matt Zoller Seitz wrote insightfully about him for New York Magazine’s Vulture blog:

His comic persona, honed over 30 years onstage and in TV and film, fused Jack Benny’s unctuous neediness, Charles Grodin’s dour certitude, Albert Brooks’s self-lacerating intellectual discomfort, and Warren Beatty’s dashing Hollywood satyr act, and added shadings from Shandling’s own personality, plus a great playwright’s keen understanding of the lies that we tell ourselves about ourselves, and how these self-deceptions become plain whenever we try to manipulate others to attain what we think of as happiness.

And Nell Scovell’s tribute in Vanity Fair is very touching. He was one of the first to support her work.

Looking back, I think I connected to Garry’s stand-up because, in a way, he was a female comic. When Joan Rivers was tossing out insults, Garry was talking about his feelings. He fretted about his hair and getting fat. He talked about his shrink and his feeble love life. So much of Garry’s comedy came from being vulnerable and insecure and uncomfortable.

May his memory be a blessing.


Related Tags:


Actors Tribute
THE MOVIE MOM® is a registered trademark of Nell Minow. Use of the mark without express consent from Nell Minow constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition in violation of federal and state laws. All material © Nell Minow 1995-2024, all rights reserved, and no use or republication is permitted without explicit permission. This site hosts Nell Minow’s Movie Mom® archive, with material that originally appeared on Yahoo! Movies, Beliefnet, and other sources. Much of her new material can be found at, Huffington Post, and WheretoWatch. Her books include The Movie Mom’s Guide to Family Movies and 101 Must-See Movie Moments, and she can be heard each week on radio stations across the country.

Website Designed by Max LaZebnik