Garry Shandling dies at 66

Thanks for the amazing memories, Garry!

The inventive TV comedian Garry Shandling passed away at the age of 66.

Garry Shandling was the star of groundbreaking TV shows and was revered by other comics and the comedian and actor died Thursday of an apparent heart attack as his publicist said.

The comedian Garry Shandling whose TV shows ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ and ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ parodied talk shows and sitcoms with reflexive has died and he was 66.

Alan Nierob who is Shandling’s publicist said that Shandling died of an apparent heart attack. Rosario Herrera who is a Los Angeles Police Department Officer Herrera confirmed his death Thursday afternoon and paramedics responded to a medical emergency and took Shandling to a hospital where he died according to Officer Aaeron Jefferson.

The comedian became a hero to a generation of comedians for his self-aware comedy and groundbreaking shows.

Ricky Gervais tweeted ‘RIP the great Garry Shandling. Surely, one of the most influential comedians of a generation’ in his twitter as well as Steve Martin who tweeted ‘Garry Shandling was a very special comedian with a beautifully unpredictable mind and he even voluntarily offered jokes and ideas for Oscars’

Judd Apatow who is a director and who credits Shandling with his break in show business was heartbroken by Shandling’s death. He said he just don’t know how to sum up someone he loved so much who taught him everything he know and was always so kind to him. He is so sad beyond words.

The former advertising man got his start in entertainment as a writer for ‘Sanford and Son’ and he was a successful standup comedian and a regular on late-night talk shows by the early ’80s. His persona which is full of angst and uncertainty like a sorrowful puppy dog played up his lack of success with women and embarrassment at his foibles.

The former Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel and Garry Shandling launched sitcom on the Showtime network titled ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ in 1985. Shandling played Garry Shandling in it who is a comedian living in Sherman Oaks, California much like the real-life Shandling.

The Shandling’s Show” made no bones about being a fictional construct at a time when sitcoms were fairly straightforward three-camera affairs about families and workplaces.

Shandling also did a ‘25th Anniversary Special’ parodying late-night talk shows particularly Johnny Carson’s ‘Tonight Show’ which dominated late night of the era.

‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ ran for four seasons and two seasons were picked up by the then-fledgling Fox network.

Shandling followed that sitcom with a show hailed as one of the great comedies in TV history ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ in which Shandling played the titular host and the program which aired on HBO used the late-night wars of Jay Leno and David Letterman as a starting point, but went much deeper as it satirized sycophantic sidekicks in Jeffrey Tambor’s ‘Hey Now’ Hank Kingsley overbearing producers in Rip Torn’s Artie not to mention backbiting writers and two-faced celebrity guests.