We have gathered the thoughts and tributes from friends and fellow comedians below, via public statements, social media, and comments shared with us at Funny Or Die.
— Alex Richanbach, Funny Or Die Writer/Director/Producer
The greatest gift Funny Or Die ever gave me was an introduction to my hero, Garry Shandling. A few years ago I mentioned that I had heard Garry Shandling had a secret Sunday afternoon basketball game. I quickly found out that some of our founders played in that game. Which was incredible to me, because I couldn’t believe that people actually got to be friends with Garry Shandling. I had idolized him since I was a kid and the mere idea of meeting Garry Shandling, let alone being his friend, was something I couldn’t fathom.
Before I knew it, Chris Henchy introduced me to Garry and I was invited to go up to Garry’s house to spend an afternoon with him. I’ll never forget walking through his house to his kitchen. I was walking behind him and he kept turning around and telling me to relax. I kept assuring him that I was fine, and he just kept nodding and telling me to relax. Then at one point he stopped and said, “You’re welcome here.” Garry had a way of putting people at ease and letting them know that he was on their side. His heart and his home were always open and his friends were always welcome.
In the years that followed Garry became one of my closest friends and like so many of his friends I thought of him as my family. Garry was a teacher, he kept multiple copies of his favorite books in his house, partially because he often misplaced things, but mostly because he always wanted to be able to share the things he loved with the people he loved. For so many of us, Garry was our first call. If things were good or if things were bad, you knew you could call Garry and he would drop everything to be there for you. He always knew what to say, and always had the funniest jokes in the saddest moments.
Garry’s mentor Roy London taught him that everything is about love. All the motivation in acting and writing and living, it’s all about love. If you asked Garry what The Larry Sanders Show was about he would say that people call it a dark comedy, but for him it was a show about love.
No one understood love like Garry. He gave his whole heart to everyone he knew and that’s why we are all so sad today. We miss that love that Garry gave so completely to everything he did and everyone he knew. Today I feel as lucky to have had him as a friend as I am heartbroken that he’s not here right now.
(Note to self: email Garry for a joke to end this with.)
— Bob Odenkirk
He set the standard and we’re all still trying to meet it. 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.
— Judd Apatow
Garry would see the ridiculousness of me being asked to sum up his life five minutes after being told of his passing. It is a perfect, ridiculous Larry Sanders moment. I can imagine how Hank would handle it, but I just don’t know how to sum up someone I loved so much who taught me everything I know and was always so kind to me. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better.
— Richard Lewis
Every comedy generation has a few artists who make a mark forever. Garry was surely one. His standup and Tonight Show hostings were effortlessly hilarious. His neurosis made me feel human. His first series was sensational, but the second is one for the ages. We worked together on our projects, but for me our mutual respect and laughs for our low-self esteem was magical.
— Ricky Gervais
Without Garry Shandling there would be no The Office or Extras. He was a huge influence on my work and a comedy hero.
— Howard Stern
I loved Garry very much. Garry was very important to me, not only as a comedy genius, someone I admired greatly for his comedy but he was very good to me personally.
Gary Shandling was often funny when he was serious. And when he was actually going for it - unparalleled. Bless his soul.— james l. brooks (@canyonjim) March 24, 2016
Dammit. He was the best. So sad. RIP Garry Shandling— marc maron (@marcmaron) March 24, 2016
Oh my ..GOD will laugh now as he never has Before REST IN PEACE .. Wayyyy to soon https://t.co/c5T4O6kBHg— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) March 24, 2016
Goodbye Gary Shandling thank you for your kindness and your generosity and for making me laugh so damn much— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was as kind and generous as he was funny and that is saying a lot.— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) March 24, 2016
Shocked and saddened to hear about Garry Shandling's sudden death. I was honored to get to work with him. He will be missed.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was one of the most brilliant people I have ever known. A shocking huge loss.— Billy Crystal (@BillyCrystal) March 24, 2016
Saddened over Garry Shandling. He was a comedy idol of mine. He leaves behind the greatest single-camera comedy of all time. #LarrySanders— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) March 24, 2016
Sad about Garry Shandling. Larry Sanders was WONDERFUL,and at my daughter Cynthia's wedding he made the funniest bad taste speech ever given— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) March 24, 2016
Completely unacceptable. Bring Garry Shandling back NOW. This is bullshit.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 24, 2016
35 goddamned days ago. I don't get it. pic.twitter.com/Et1LTETowT— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 24, 2016
Oh no, not Garry Shandling. I adored him. Such a funny sweet eccentric man. What is this year doing to us? I'll miss him so damn much.— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) March 24, 2016
Absolutely can't process the loss of Garry Shandling. Such a genius, such a wonderful man, such an inspiration. I was so honored to know him— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) March 24, 2016
The great Garry Shandling's work is such a touchstone for me that I was actually discussing him moments before I heard the sad news. RIP— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was, pure and simple, a genius— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) March 24, 2016
R.I.P. Garry Shandling. I am so saddened to hear this. Brilliantly funny and such a great guy. He will be so missed.— Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was a very special comedian with a beautifully unpredictable mind. He even voluntarily offered jokes and ideas for Oscars.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) March 24, 2016
Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh. I loved him. I'll miss our talks the most. pic.twitter.com/Ud8AQXNBXN— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was one of my comedic heroes. His support of my writing was a huge boost. I will always be grateful for it. Shocked and sad— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) March 24, 2016
Garry, You were so kind, so funny, so smart. You were my mentor. You were family. This is all… https://t.co/IXeqSCZxjg— Kevin Nealon (@kevin_nealon) March 24, 2016
Man. Garry Shandling. R.I.P.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 24, 2016
Larry Sanders is one of the best TV shows ever made. Everybody involved in that show is now an influential voice in comedy. Watch it.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) March 24, 2016
One of my favorite moments as a dad was hearing a 4 year old Malcolm say he "Watch Larry Sanders show." Thank you. RIP Garry Shandling.— Ronald Funches (@RonFunches) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling, you came to an early promotional screening of CYRUS and hung w/me & @jayduplass afterwards at PF Changs. Thank you.— Mark Duplass (@MarkDuplass) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling is one of the great teachers in my life. He taught me about subtext, honesty, compassion, the best kind of comedy. Much love— Mary Lynn Rajskub (@MaryLynnRajskub) March 24, 2016
Larry Sanders is my favorite TV Show and I am so sad about Garry Shandling.— Julie Klausner (@julieklausner) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling was one of my absolute favourites and ahead of his time. So sad.— Jemaine Clement (@AJemaineClement) March 24, 2016
We were just talking about how funny Garry Shandling was. Very sad. RIP— James Adomian (@JAdomian) March 24, 2016
Garry Shandling has died. I am very sad. He had the magic 'it' quality. He used it well and now he goes to live in the comedy Valhalla— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) March 24, 2016
Heartbreaking news about Garry Shandling. Just heartbreaking.— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) March 24, 2016