Garry Shandling Dead at 66: Full Report and Video Tribute
Shandling called 911 himself from his LA home on Thursday but passed out during the call. Paramedics responded, broke his door down, and found him unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica later that day.. Sources close to the situation say that Shandling died from a massive heart attack. He was not suffering from any other illness.
He was also an actor, writer and producer known best for, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,”
He built an industry around his neurotic observational humor, zeroing in on romantic relationships,
Shandling was born in Chicago but enjoyed the heat of growing up in Tucson, Arizona.
After moving to L.A. He found his groove writing for sitcoms like ,“Sanford and Son” and “Welcome Back, Kotter.” Shandling became the “permanent guest host” of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” before he was even that famous.
“It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” ran on Showtime and Fox from 1986 to 1990. It was known for breaking the fourth wall, with Shandling speaking directly to the audience, something he had seen George Burns do as a kid.. In the series he mastered the channeling of all his neuroses as a stand-up act.
Shandling’s other big hit was “Larry Sanders Show” a talk show parody on HBO. It ran for six seasons from 1992 to 1998. Shandling’s character was vain, difficult and incredibly entertaining. It was shot documentary style with hand-held cameras, like we now see on “The Office” and “Modern Family.” It was also a blast to be a guest on series since real celebrities got a chance to play crazy versions of themselves. Like David Dechovny playing his gay alter ego.
He was offered David Lettermans spot to take over “Late Night” when Letterman moved to CBS in 1993 but declined their $5 million dollar offer. Then he declined “The Late Late Show” do create “Larry Sanders Show.”
Shandling was brilliant at cherry picking those celebrity eccentricities and anxieties, and making them work on TV.
Shandling hosted the Grammy’s, in 1990, 1993 and 1994, and the Emmys in 2000 and 2004. He was never married
One of Shandling’s classic stand-up jokes was about him having sex with a woman and asking, “Was that good for you too?” Her response: “I don’t think this was good for anybody.” – by John Beaudin