Garry Shandling began his career writing for sitcoms including Sanford and Son and Welcome Back, Kotter. He also had an impactful stand-up appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson which led to him becoming a frequent guest-host on the show. This also was the precursor for his three comedy specials that occurred later on in his career. Shandling then went on to create It’s Garry Shandling’s Show in 1986, for Showtime. It was nominated for four Emmy Awards (including one for Shandling) and lasted until 1990.
Shandling however is best known for his follow up, The Larry Sanders Show, which began airing on HBO in 1992. It was even more successful than his first. Shandling was nominated for 18 Emmy Awards and won in 1998, along with Peter Tolan, for writing the series finale. The awards and nominations didn’t stop there. He’s been nominated for 19 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards among others.
As far as his stand-up comedy career, it begin at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. His on stage persona was that of an anxiety-ridden, grimacing, guarded, confused man on the verge of losing control. Shandling landed his first stand-up special, Garry Shandling: Alone in Vegas for Showtime in 1984. He followed it up in 1986 with The Garry Shandling Show: 25th Anniversary Special also for Showtime. For his third special, he headed over to HBO with Garry Shandling: Stand-Up in 1991 prepping the network for what was to come with The Larry Sanders Show the following year.
Garry Shandling was no stranger to film boasting credits and cameos in such films as Mixed Nuts, Dr. Dolittle, What Planet Are You From?, Zoolander, Run Ronnie Run, Iron Man 2, The Dictator, and his last, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As far as his additional television credits beyond his own shows and specials, Shandling appeared in episodes of The Ben Stiller Show, Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Caroline in the City, The X-Files, and Tom Goes to the Mayor. He hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards seven times as well as Saturday Night Live once back in 1987.
He performed stand-up all the until his unfortunate passing. He will be missed and was quite the influence in the comedy universe. Here are some reactions from comics across twitter:
RIP the great Garry Shandling. Surely, one of the most influential comedians of a generation.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was as kind and generous as he was funny and that is saying a lot.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) March 24, 2016
Completely unacceptable. Bring Garry Shandling back NOW. This is bullshit.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 24, 2016
R.I.P. Garry Shandling. I am so saddened to hear this. Brilliantly funny and such a great guy. He will be so missed.
— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) March 24, 2016
Absolutely can't process the loss of Garry Shandling. Such a genius, such a wonderful man, such an inspiration. I was so honored to know him
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 24, 2016
Goodbye Gary Shandling thank you for your kindness and your generosity and for making me laugh so damn much
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) March 24, 2016