Suffice it to say, Garry Shandling and his Larry Sanders alter ego have had a profound influence on today's late night talk show hosts. Conan O'Brien has been in the game the longest of them all at this point, and, because his show films on the West Coast, he had a few extra hours to take in the news of Shandling's death before his show taped.
He made good use of them. O'Brien's tribute to Shandling took the place of his usual monologue, and he told us a story about how he took a trip to Hawaii with his family right after his Tonight Show run came to its ignominious end. As it happened, he was staying at the same hotel as Shandling. O'Brien's phone rang.
“Conan, it's Garry. I'm staying three doors down, we're on an island, there's no avoiding me.”