been reading about
Garry Shandling – class act.
I first heard of Garry Shandling
and started following what he
was about when I saw his TV
show (it was called ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s
Show’). It turns out he had been a comedian for
about a decade ahead of getting
the TV show happening.
(Same thing would be the case with
Jerry Seinfeld a few years later and
I’d discover him in a similar way – late
night TV, up late because I couldn’t
sleep; my parents trusting me to look
after myself – to not watch if it was
I consider Garry Shandling a comedy hero
and I loved that TV show so much – including
its brilliant theme tuner.
Years later he’d have another TV show – called
The Larry Sanders Show. I have no
idea how I found that show – but I loved it
too. Different show – this time Garry wasn’t
playing himself – he was playing a version
of David Letterman and Johnny Carson and
the talk show hosts he’d observed as
a young working comic.
There were movies too – some, but not
that many – and not that many worth
actually seeing (but I still saw most
It’s Garry Shandling’s Show was something
I felt like only I knew – I’d mention it
to kids at school, they didn’t
know it at all.
I’d try to replicate it’s brilliant
theme tune (“this is the theme to Garry’s show/Garry
called me up and asked if I would write it…”)
The guy singing the theme tune would tell you
he was half way through, that he was nearly up
to the part where he’d whistle – then he’d whistle
then it’d be the end of the theme tune.
I thought that was as funny and clever as anything
in the show – but then the show would have
Garry talking to the camera, as if he was reaching
through the screen to talk to whoever was watching
I honestly thought that it was maybe only me watching
We never have that feeling now. We never stumble on
to anything – it’s always recommendation this, algorithm that.
Maybe a review or two helps sway your way but it’s never by
fluke because there is no channel-surfing and, well, a host
of other reasons too…
So Garrry’s show (and career) found me as much as I
And reading the book has me emotional and is reminding
me of when I read the Beastie Boys Book – a memoir by
the rap group. That had me thinking back to high school
and intermediate. And to the times I had – nothing outrageous
but good times. Some very good times…
Garry was brilliant.
That’s obvious I think – but the book certainly helps
make it clear.
He was loved by many and he loved many people too.
He was a philosopher, his comedy was about explaining
his search for happiness; which is most comedy – really.
Or probably should be.
He had Tom Petty as a regular on his show. He worked
with Robin Williams. They both died – either side of him.
They both spoke highly of him. (When they could).
And many comics and entertainers, and critics –
and comedy fans continue to speak highly
I thought he was a genius. I still do.
But I remember first thinking that when
I was about 12 – watching him break
that fourth wall.
And listening to his routines and
his phrasing and the way he
integrated his neuroses.
Garry Shandling was one of my
heroes. Is one of my heroes.
The book has reminded me of
that – it’s a good book. And it’s
pretty obvious that – for the most
part – he was a good man. Certainly
a good comedian. A great comic
You go back and see that he
wrote some of the TV shows
you grew up on. And not just the
ones that had his name or his alter-ego’s
name anywhere near them. He was
putting out jokes and doing the work,
hacking it out. And that’s why he’s
He got on with it.
Garry Shandling was brilliant.