When the news of comedian Gary Shandling's death spread Thursday, the Internet filled with tributes to the star of The Larry Sanders Show. The sitcom was about a late-night talk show starring Shandling's character, Larry Sanders, on which he frequently interviewed real celebrities as themselves. In the immediate aftermath of Shandling's death at age 66, Larry Sanders Show videos pay tribute to the incredible comedic talent Shandling displayed each and every episode of the show, which ran from 1992 to 1998.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Shandling started his career writing for Sanford & Son and Welcome Back Kotter. He got into standup, and his first sitcom was It’s Garry Shandling’s Show on Showtime. Shandling played himself as a sitcom character who knew he was a sitcom character and talked to the audience about it. The show ran from 1986 to 1990. But it was The Larry Sanders Show that marked Shandling's biggest contribution to comedy, influencing later comedian-driven sitcoms like 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Parks and Recreation, according to EW and The Christian Science Monitor.
Every Shandling fan probably has a favorite Shandling moment from The Larry Sanders Show, but here are a few that demonstrated the full range of his talent and undoubtedly cemented his legacy years before he died.
The First Episode
Where it all started.
When He Interviewed Robin Williams
Now that they're both gone, this clip has become especially poignant — and their incredible gifts are so, so clear.
When David Duchovny Tried To Seduce Him
Is this beautiful, or what?
According to The AV Club, "The Party" is one of The Larry Sanders Show's best-known and most appreciated episodes. It gave viewers a glimpse into all of the show's relationships, including Larry's failing marriage and Art's relationship with alcohol.
"The Spiders Episode"
As The AV Club notes, this episode proved the show wasn't just great writing. It, and Shandling specifically, was masterful at physical comedy.
When it comes to TV comedy, Shandling was the full package: an adept performer and as well as a great writer and creator. He'll be missed, even as his contributions to his field endure.