As you may have noticed from the outpouring of emotion following the death of Garry Shandling, the loss of the comedian and television icon has been a major gut punch. Conan O’Brien addressed Shandling’s passing with sincerity and grace on his program, and Late Night host Seth Meyers offered up his own heartfelt tribute to the Larry Sanders Show star during his Thursday night broadcast.
Meyers told the audience that while he didn’t have a personal relationship with Shandling, the 66-year-old multi-talent’s work made a major impact on the way he approached television. (Even if The Larry Sanders Show did make late night TV come across as a frightening proposition.)
“Garry Shandling was a legendary comedian. I never had the chance to get to know him, but I’ve heard he was a great guy. I just want to say a few things about him. He did The Larry Sanders Show, which was completely groundbreaking and changed the way I thought about TV and I think a lot of people thought about TV. And it was a show about a character—a fictional character—who hosted a talk show, a talk show like this. Growing up, watching [Johnny] Carson, [David] Letterman and Conan, those are all people who made me want to host a talk show. Watching The Larry Sanders Show made me think, ‘Oh, I don’t want to host a talk show. I think that looks like a very scary place to work.'”
Meyers also highlighted how The Larry Sanders Show was revered by comedians. The SNL alum noted that in his improv days, VHS tapes of the HBO comedy were a drooled-over commodity. Future NBC co-worker Jason Sudeikis was considered a big deal at the time for having those coveted tapes in his possession.
The tribute, which we have tucked above, is definitely worth a watch. It might also result in the term “not Best of Larry” getting absorbed into your lexicon.