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January 8, 2012 10:04 AM   Subscribe

The Comedian's Comedian's Comedian: Garry Shandling on boxing, basketball, buddhism and being.
posted by timshel (38 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
And here's an annotated version of the article. (?)
posted by timshel at 10:14 AM on January 8, 2012 [9 favorites]


I liked the time when he made Ricky Gervais look like an enormous douchebag.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow, Ima gonna read this, but GQ has a Comedy Issue?? Did I already say, wow?
posted by Skygazer at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2012


Ricky Gervais is an enormous douchebag on Louis C.K's show Louie, as well. I think he relishes the part, and does it enormously well. We should all be so lucky to be such enormously hilarious Douches as Ricky Gervais. Lord, knows I try....
posted by Skygazer at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a superb article, and

a) hurrah for intelligent comedy coming back;
b) when this new thing is ready people may SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
posted by jaduncan at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2012


The Garry abides, man.
posted by hal9k at 10:53 AM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Who is the comedian? Shouldn't this be "The Comedians' Comedian's Comedian"?
posted by grumblebee at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2012


Great article. Shandling's appearance on WTF last year is also really good.
posted by mintcake! at 11:21 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


here's an annotated version of the article.

Holy shit this tumbler is the best one.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:32 AM on January 8, 2012


Wow, it sure is. That's some amazing inside baseball stuff in there. Wonderful.
posted by mintcake! at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2012


I never got Garry Shandling. It appears I still don't. I strongly suspect this is one of those insurmountable US/UK cultural divide things. And I say that as someone who has spent many years in the US.
posted by Decani at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2012


I wish every single article I might ever read would come annotated like that. Thank you so much for the additional link, timshel. It took an already outstanding interview to a whole new level.
posted by briank at 12:04 PM on January 8, 2012


I liked this part:

the main lesson Shandling taught him on Sanders was that the curtain that separated backstage from onstage was just a metaphor for how we all hide our true selves. “He always talked about how it’s incredibly rare for people to say what they mean. People are lying a great deal of the time.”
posted by bukvich at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2012


I never got Garry Shandling. It appears I still don't.

I recommend you watch The Larry Sanders Show. Very droll and very very funny.
posted by zardoz at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


I never got Garry Shandling. It appears I still don't. I strongly suspect this is one of those insurmountable US/UK cultural divide things. And I say that as someone who has spent many years in the US.

The problem is that you have two Garry Shandlings. One starred in the absolutely sublime, outstanding The Larry Sanders Show on HBO, while being responsible as well as the star of the utterly forgettable, pedantic, unfunny It's Garry Shandling's show. Yeah, I know it's the same guy.

The last time I was in the UK, a friend and I watched a couple of episodes upon my request, and he pointed out how much it really resembled a proto-The Office. Then his wife got home, and we watched all of the episodes I had on me at the time.
posted by Sphinx at 2:53 PM on January 8, 2012


I recommend you watch The Larry Sanders Show. Very droll and very very funny.

I agree. Or you could watch Shandling's perhaps lesser known earlier show, called It's Garry Shandling's Show; there are many episodes on YouTube.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:04 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Jinxed by sphinx
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:05 PM on January 8, 2012


I rather liked the Garry Shandling show, in large part because the comedy of the show was about its sitcom-edness, and its awareness of the fact that it was a sitcom. In one episode, after Garry left a scene, the audience took over and threw a party.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:16 PM on January 8, 2012


The hour-long interview Ricky Gervais Meets…Garry Shandling, mentioned in the article as "an instant sensation among connoisseurs of comedy", is online
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:32 PM on January 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


The problem is that you have two Garry Shandlings. One starred in the absolutely sublime, outstanding The Larry Sanders Show on HBO, while being responsible as well as the star of the utterly forgettable, pedantic, unfunny It's Garry Shandling's show. Yeah, I know it's the same guy.

No series with an episode like "Garry Falls Down a Hole" can be considered forgettable.
posted by EmGeeJay at 3:48 PM on January 8, 2012


Didn't he also have a show on the FOX network in the late eighties?
posted by Renoroc at 5:07 PM on January 8, 2012


Renoroc - that was his Showtime show rebroadcast on Fox
posted by The Gooch at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2012


I call bullshit on Shandling's explanation for how hostile he was to Gervais during that famous interview.
posted by anothermug at 5:59 PM on January 8, 2012


His explanation might be bullshit, but he wasn't really being hostile. That's just how he rolls. It was two comedians whose routines are putting people into uncomfortable situations. That's going to look hostile. I thought it was hilarious.
posted by gjc at 6:33 PM on January 8, 2012


I don't know if I'd term Shandling's behavior "hostile" in that interview. It was certainly provocative. It had the air of people I've met who have had some success in their buddhism training but really weren't anything close to being able to wear the mantle of a teacher. So, it's this kind of belabored "I'm going to make you have a moment" kind of thing that comes off as a bit too contrived and personal to really do anything other that make the other person feel vaguely attacked.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:44 PM on January 8, 2012


The last time I was in the UK, a friend and I watched a couple of episodes upon my request, and he pointed out how much it really resembled a proto-The Office. Then his wife got home, and we watched all of the episodes I had on me at the time.

Gervais mentions this in the video, noting that he might have unconsciously stolen some of David Brent's character from Hank "Hey Now" Kingsley.
posted by gjc at 4:44 AM on January 9, 2012


.... a metaphor for how we all hide our true selves. “He always talked about how it’s incredibly rare for people to say what they mean. People are lying a great deal of the time.” This is exactly what I don't like about Larry-David brand humor. Most people, or at least many people, are not that nasty and grasping and the people who are that nasty and grasping, it's not like the average Mope actually buys their BS. (Cite: Any Ask where DTMFA has a 90-percent response rate.) It's like reality TV before there was Reality TV.

To be fair to Larry and Garry, though, their industry does have a larger-than-normal percentage of nasty and grasping people.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:00 AM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It still doesn't explain What Happened To His Face.
posted by bigskyguy at 11:54 AM on January 9, 2012


OK I looked up the speakers on the internet. Apparently the only dealer within 200 miles of my zip code is in Austin and you have to have an appointment to listen to the merchandise. Shandling's model supposedly retails for 158 000 $ a pair.

I think most people I know would act like a jerk as their default attitude if they could afford to spend 150K on a pair of speakers. I hope I would not but doubt that I could (not).
posted by bukvich at 4:30 PM on January 9, 2012


Lesser shrew: and grasping people.

That's sort of an older term isn't it? What does it mean really and how is it used? Does it simply mean "desperate"?
posted by Skygazer at 12:36 PM on January 10, 2012


Shandling's model supposedly retails for 158 000 $ a pair.

My mind boggles a bit at how speakers could be that expensive and just how amazing they must be. For that price I would need to be hearing not only the sound of God, but other "aural" sensations at the flick of a switch.
posted by Skygazer at 12:42 PM on January 10, 2012


I think it's more that if you're already worth a hundred million or so then an expensive purchase like that often feels about the same as buying an iPad would to a middle class peon.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:46 PM on January 10, 2012


From M-W Dictionary online: Definition of GRASPING

: desiring material possessions urgently and excessively and often to the point of ruthlessness.



It's like a portmanteau twixt greedy and gasping, methinks.
posted by Skygazer at 12:46 PM on January 10, 2012


I think it's more that if you're already worth a hundred million or so then an expensive purchase like that often feels about the same as buying an iPad would to a middle class peon.

HEY NOW!!

Is Shandling truly that wealthy? I know the real money is having the production rights to shows and I guess his production company has been making dinero since The (excellent "Hey Now!") Larry Sanders Show.
posted by Skygazer at 12:50 PM on January 10, 2012


Hmm, well maybe a bit less. So, perhaps those speakers probably are more a status symbol thing than any true musical enjoyment thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on January 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are status symbols and then there is flat pimping it.
posted by bukvich at 6:22 AM on January 11, 2012


Yeah, but with Shandling there's also the chance that it's a big hyperbolic goof. I mean if I owned those speakers, I'd pretend everything I heard through them, even if it was just a recording of the ocean, I'd pretend it sounded better than the real ocean.

Anyhow, good interview, still not done as I'm sort of savoring it, but it makes me want to read a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Bhuddist.

Thing is between The Larry Sanders Show and this interview, I never know whether to think of Shandling as a wealthy California / Hollywood New Age-y schmuck, or as a genius.

I do know, either way, that he evokes affection in me.
posted by Skygazer at 12:29 PM on January 11, 2012


> I never know whether to think of Shandling as a wealthy California / Hollywood New Age-y schmuck, or as a genius.

A little from column A and a little from column B. I also find him and other serious entertainers interesting because their aim is to grow inwardly while still undertaking a profession that is intrinsically an ego trip. I find seeing my own judgments about him interesting as well as his own remarks, so overall there's a net gain I think.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:35 PM on January 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


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