Shandling died Thursday at 66
On Friday, Jim Carrey shared his thoughts in a statement to PEOPLE: “When you get the light in a comedy club you know your time is up. Life doesn’t always give you a signal. Garry Shandling performed at the highest level on and offstage. He was an excellent man and he was more than ready for the Big Show. Bravo Garry! Yours was a life well lived.”
Key & Peele‘s Keegan-Michael Key shared his favorite Shandling joke with Entertainment Weekly: The greatest joke that I ever heard Garry tell was from his standup one time. It might have been 1986. It s one that I love: He talks about how he took a date to see E.T., and that when the boys all flew up into the air, his date said under her breath, Yeah, right. And then he goes: ‘What? It s not like this thing was a documentary up to this point!’ He was really, really good at observational comedy and not making it sound pedestrian, and I think that joke was a great example of that.” Kathy Griffin, who spent time with Shandling and Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk on Sunday, shared a photo of the three comedians together.
“Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh. I loved him. I’ll miss our talks the most,” Griffin wrote on Twitter Thursday. Odenkirk added: “I can’t believe this. Very sad to say goodbye so abruptly.”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Griffin shared more about the late comedian.
“I’m crushed. That man, made me laugh. Spoke to me as a peer. Even though I’ve known him since the 90s, it’s in the last few years that we have had meaningful and memorable one-on-one talks. I had no idea our last one would be four days ago,” said Griffin.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Odenkirk further remembered his friend.
“Garry was a guiding voice of comedy. He set the standard and we’re all still trying to meet it,” said Odenkirk. “He gave us all opportunities to learn how to do the best work of our lives. But, more importantly, as I knew him these last few years, he was a person who never stopped trying to be a better person. That’s yet another way he inspired me and I’m sure many others who knew him. ”
Jeffrey Tambor, who worked on Larry Sanders with Odenkirk, told PEOPLE in a statement: “I am so sad. Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher. Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of Geniuses. I will miss him so much.”
Tambor’s costar Rip Torn, added: “How sadly early to lose such a fine artist. Working with him was one of the great privileges of my career. He was a comic talent of immense originality who enthusiastically encouraged and responded to the originality of others. ”
Shandling’s Larry Sanders costar Wallace Langham, who played Phil on the show, said the late comedian was “a deeper thinker than anyone gave him credit for.”
“As the series went on – and I think he practiced deep meditation – he seemed to relax as a person. It was really fascinating to watch him grow that way and watch him settle into himself,” Langham told PEOPLE. “It didn t seem to dampen any of Larry Sanders’ neuroses at all. It was a real juxtaposition – to watch Garry and then watch him become Larry. He worked really hard at it. he had amazing teachers around him like Roy London. And he too the acting really seriously.”
Richard Lewis shared his thoughts during an interview with PEOPLE, noting that the star struck gold twice with his TV shows – It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, which ran from 1986 to 1990 on Showtime, and The Larry Sanders Show, which was on from 1992 to 1998 on HBO.
“I was reflecting on his first show, which was magnificent, but his second show was one for the ages,” said Lewis. “And in every comedy generation, there are always a handful that will last as long as this planet doesn’t blow up and that show is, and will always be remarkable and every generation will be able to watch it. It was just priceless.”
Read on for more tributes from the late comedian. This post will be updated as they come in.