Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Garry Shandling

I'm dating a homeless woman.  It's easier to talk her into staying over.

Garry Shandling, who was born on this date in 1949, got his start in show biz when he sold a script for the sitcom Sanford and Son to NBC in 1975.  He also wrote scripts for Welcome Back, Kotter and Three's Company.

After Shandling became a stand-up comedian, he was a frequent guest-host on The Tonight Show.  At one time, he was considered a candidate to replace Johnny Carson.

In 1992, Shandling launched The Larry Sanders Show on HBO.  Shandling played the title character, who was the host of a fictional late-night talk show.  It was a case of life imitating art, and it was brilliant -- the best television sitcom ever.

The guests on the show -- who always played themselves being guests on the show within the show -- included Carol Burnett, Robin Williams, William Shatner, Doc Severinsen, David Letterman, Suzanne Somers, Hugh Hefner, Sugar Ray Leonard, Adam Sandler, Alex Trebek, Howard Stern, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Seinfeld, Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox, Gloria Steinem, Bob Costas, Vince Vaughn, Sean Penn, Warren Beatty and many, many more.

I think my favorite moment on the show came when the deaf actress Marlee Matlin and Brooke Shield got into a dispute over dressing rooms.  Matlin used sign language to call Shield a very, very bad name.  It was as if Mother Teresa had dropped the f-bomb.  

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