Shandling at the Night of Comedy 9 benefit in Beverly Hills, California on April 30, 2011
|Birth name||Garry Emmanuel Shandling|
November 29, 1949|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||March 24, 2016
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film|
|Alma mater||University of Arizona|
|Genres||Observational comedy, satire, cringe comedy|
|Subject(s)||Self-deprecation, human interaction, everyday life|
|Influences||Woody Allen, Johnny Carson|
|Influenced||Ricky Gervais, Judd Apatow, Jon Stewart, Louis C.K.|
I don't know why men are so fascinated with television and I think it has something to do with – if I may judge from my own father, who used to sit and stare at the TV while my mother was speaking to him – I think that's a man's way of tuning out.
I like to talk on the cell when I do interviews. That way, I double my chances of getting brain cancer: from the cell phone, and from the questions.
But I really like hosting, I think it's a strength of mine. It allows me to improvise, and I love the spontaneity of that, and I think I'm funny behind the desk when interviewing someone.
The only way I would go back to hosting would be if it were something entirely new. It would prevent me from wanting to host a standard-fare kind of talk show.
I started boxing for exercise, and on the very first day, the trainer got in the ring with me and said, 'Whoever controls the breathing in the ring controls the fight.' I immediately passed out.
I guess he wanted to see a little more sexual activity because in real life, in bed I think less is more and let the woman come to me. Frankly, I don't even need a woman there.
First of all, I'm not the kind of guy that likes to rehash the show and so forth and so on.
I don't think I'm severely politically active. I care deeply, and I have my strong personal beliefs. I think America is dancing on thin ice. But I think it's bigger even than a political issue. I wonder about the evolution of the human race and spirit and what our goals and reasons for living are.
I keep my scrapbooks in the car. When I come to a stoplight, I start looking through my past. Sometimes I wish the red lights were longer.
I had no idea who I was when I started. I was frightened to death and had no natural performing skills.
Because I am afraid of commitment. This movie certainly has some bearing and is some reflection of my real feeling about relationships, because I do have commitment issues. My friends tell me I have intimacy problems, but they don't know me, so who cares what they think?
Nice guys finish first. If you don't know that, then you don't know where the finish line is.
Men who betray women also betray other men. Women shouldn't feel so special.
I am pretty tenacious as a perfectionist in terms of getting something right.
It's not the hair on your head that matters. It's the kind of hair you have inside.
Dogs are not people. Be leery of any woman who refers to her dogs as her 'kids,' because you'll only end up paying for their schooling.
It takes me so long to get tired of a man. It's women that are the problem. Don't get me wrong. I think men have their problems just as much as women.
'The Larry Sanders Show,' it's actually about love, which would sound like a paradox at first. But if that love didn't exist, the darker attitudes would not play. You would have a one-dimensional, cynical show, which I don't think the show was.
I've never had anyone put on a puppet show to convince me of anything. And I've done a lot of stuff. I don't know that I would put the puppets on when I was pitching a show. This was the head of the studio putting a puppet show on. And I'll tell you, he wasn't bad.
When I don't have a good time, it's usually because there's a stiffness that stifles creativity.
My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don't really know me.
I've been on a state of high alert since high school. I didn't need 9/11 to remind me that we live on a ball of flame.
To be thrown onto the stand-up stage is an experience that you cannot fathom until you're actually there, because there's no place to go, and everyone is looking at you and you can't even see them because of the lights. And yet you have to manage to start talking and be funny on top of it.
Some people think the world will end in 2012. I think we've got until 2014. I'm an optimist.
My first 'Tonight Show' was just one of those things – I mean this seriously – a cosmic, meant-to-be coming together of circumstance. You walk out there to do your first 'Tonight Show': Is the audience going to be hot? Are you going to be on fire? It's like an athlete: Are you going to have your moves at a peak?
There's a good chance that if you're talking to me when I'm snoring, it means I'm bored.
I actually think I'm more of a turtle than Verne is. Where Verne is up on two legs and moving at full speed and doesn't pull his head into the shell very often, I in reality was five or ten minutes later to every recording session.
My second or third year in the engineering department, I got very frustrated, and I sat down with myself and had a soul-searching conversation with myself and said, 'What I'd really like to do is see if I can write comedy.' … I moved to L.A. stone cold. Didn't know anybody; didn't know how to go about it. Really started from scratch.
Humor is a wonderful way to deal with our suffering because if we can laugh at our troubles, we can feel better. Thich Nhat Hanh is a special man who has helped millions with their suffering with incredible technique. But he doesn't know real suffering, because he has not dated as much as I have.
Everyone at a party is uncomfortable. Knowing that makes me more comfortable.
Dr. Phil is hiding something. Otherwise, why wouldn't he use his last name?
I think it's one of the main negative emotional ingredients that fuels show business, because there's so much at stake and the fear of failure looms large.
I think sometimes I should do more carousing, because I don't do much and maybe it would be fun occasionally. It's hard for me to have fun and I'm a serious thinker and a searcher and funny from the front.
I once made love for an hour and fifteen minutes, but it was the night the clocks are set ahead.
Carol Burnett was particularly funny. She swore for the first time on television on Larry Sanders.
I'm proud of Larry Sanders and proud of every single person who went on that journey. It's a very special show to me, and I've learned a lot of lessons from it. I need to find something where I can learn some more lessons, and then I'll do that project.
When I give notes on a script, I say, 'Guys, I may drift, but it's part of the process.' So I'm aware that I'm drifting, but I'm grabbing a lot of stuff.
I'm too shy to express my sexual needs except over the phone to people I don't know.
I think I look great in green, and I'm going to start wearing more green.
Women need to know that not all guys are going to hurt them the way that the guy did before they started dating me. I know guys I wouldn't go out with.
I enjoy 'The Apprentice' and the one that's called 'Take My Life' and the other one called 'Stop Hitting Me.'
I play basketball on Sundays and I'm a very spiritual guy; I read a lot of Eastern philosophy and I meditate.
Which is, I'm an optimist that two people can be together to work out their conflicts. And that commitment, I think, might be what love is, because they both grow from their relationship.
The art of boxing is seeing spaces and being able to take shots. The hitting and being hit have to become one. Your reactions have to be so in the moment. There's no time to think.
I may discuss love, and I don't mind if two men fall in love, fine. Two women, fine. But I flinch when I think of two Jewish women getting together and having a child because the idea of having two Jewish mothers makes my head explode. I have one; I couldn't handle two.
I once saw an elaborate landscape in a gallery, drawn in pencil, that took my breath away. Then I realized the artist probably didn't have enough confidence to use a pen.
I feel that everything I do in my life I can do in a shorter time than most men can. It's the quality, not the quantity.
Here's the thing – I'm single, I haven't been married, I don't have kids yet. If I do have kids I would be interested to see them in my life, so here's a movie for kids and I'm in there and I'm supposed to be kind of funny for kids.
I have this very abstract idea in my head. I wouldn't even want to call it stand-up, because stand-up conjures in one's mind a comedian with a microphone standing onstage under a spotlight telling jokes to an audience. The direction I'm going in is eventually, you won't know if it's a joke or not.
I have spent a lot of time studying the issue of relationships, how I grew up, my parents' influence on me. I've talked to a therapist,; I've looked inward spiritually at myself, and what it seems to come down to is that I'm a Sagittarius. Please don't make me reveal more than that. It's tough enough as it is.
I watch the news, which is its own reality show. I love 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' I love it because it's funny and because I realize that I'm happier than Larry David.
You know it's funny that none of the regular late-night shows now use guest hosts the way Johnny did. No one talks about it much, but it's curious that they don't do it. They would each have to be asked the reason why they don't.
That's what we were exploring on 'Larry Sanders' – the human qualities that have brought us to where we are now in the world: the addiction to needing more and wanting more and talking more. We were examining the labels put on success – is it successful to be on TV every day, to be famous, to have a paycheck?