Comedian Garry Shandling died suddenly Thursday (March 24) in what was, as Conan O’Brien puts it, a “devastating shock” to the comedy community. Shandling, renowned stand-up comic and star of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” was only 66 years old.
On late night, several hosts wanted to honor the late comedian. O’Brien gave a heartfelt speech about how Shandling helped him through a dark time in his life, when O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” went off the air just nine months after it premiered.
“I’m thinking about Garry Shandling the person … he was extremely sensitive, he was complicated and he had a ton of empathy for other people,” says O’Brien. “That is something in this business, in comedy, that is very rare. He really did care about other people. During a particularly difficult time in my life, as fate would have it, Garry just magically appeared and he helped me a lot. That is what I’ve been thinking about these last couple of hours.”
Meanwhile, on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” the former “SNL” cast member talked about how influential “The Larry Sanders Show” was on him as a comedian — to the point where when Meyers was coming up in the improv community, Jason Sudeikis was known to have “The Larry Sanders Show” on VHS and that was who everyone wanted to be friends with, because none of them could afford HBO.
“I recommend everybody go back and watch that show. If there’s any good to come out of it, it would be to rediscover what is truly a classic,” says Meyers.
On “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah dedicated the Moment of Zen to Shandling, airing a clip of Shandling’s first “Tonight Show” stand-up appearance.