A new documentary about the show’s creator Garry Shandling shows how his humour was motored by darknessby Sameer Rahim / April 25, 2018 / Leave a comment
The 1990s were a golden age for comedy. Over here we had The Day Today, Alan Partridge, but also choice American imports. I don’t mean Friends, a show that has never made me so much as crack a smile, but the shows that nestled bizarrely in the post-Newsnight slot on a Tuesday night. At 11.15pm came Seinfeld. But that was merely a warm-up for the main attraction: The Larry Sanders Show, for my money still the best sitcom ever made.
HBO has just released a two-part documentary by filmmaker Judd Apatow, entitled The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. Apatow got his big break with the creator and star of Larry Sanders and kept in close contact until he died in 2016 aged 66. Part one delves into the comedian’s hard upbringing—his brother died from cystic fibrosis when Garry was 10 years old; his mother never recovered mentally—and his 1980s hit, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, a self-reflexive comedy about a stand-up. Part two is about how he came to create his best work, and what it cost both him and those around him.