The comedian opened up about a recent break-in at his home during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

By Ally Mauch
June 09, 2021 03:15 PM

Kevin Nealon got his home broken into and lost one sentimental - albeit unusual - memento.

The comedian, 67, appeared on Wednesday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and told the host that when he was away recently, his house was burgled and the perpetrator took a necklace containing the ashes of his good friend Garry Shandling, who died in 2016.

"It was more of a smash-and-grab - they were in and out pretty quick, they didn't take too much stuff," Nealon said. "He took a necklace that meant a lot to me because it was an urn with Garry Shandling's ashes in it - I got some of his ashes after [he died]."

But in the spirit of the late comic, Nealon was still able to make light of the situation.

Never miss a story - sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Kevin Nealon
Credit: ellentube

"The weird thing is he gave me the ashes before he died," he joked. "That's kind of strange. 'Cause, you know, he's very prepared."

"What I've learned is when your house is broken into, you should check the pawn shops, like if you've lost a watch - or if you've lost Garry," he continued. "So I've been calling pawn shops, I'm saying, 'You have not seen Garry, have you?'"

Shandling died at the age of 66 from pulmonary thrombosis, a blood clot that traveled from his leg into his lungs, according to an autopsy report obtained by PEOPLE following his death in March 2016.

Kevin Nealon and Garry Shandling
Kevin Nealon and Garry Shandling
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

A year later, Nealon paid tribute to his late friend in an article published in Variety, writing that the news of his death was "a kick in the gut."

"He was brilliant in so many ways and unbelievably inspiring. Having his approval meant the world to me, and, of course, his friendship meant even more," Nealon wrote. "I loved Garry for everything he was, and don't know how I will ever stop missing him." 

"I don't want to stop missing him," he continued. "I read somewhere that grief is not a sign of weakness.  Grief is simply the price you pay to love someone and I can tell you that Garry had turned out to be very, very, expensive. That was Garry."