As word spreads of the tragic death of comedian Gary Shandling, the outpouring of condolences and tributes to the legendary comedian are sure to continue for some time. To be sure, the 66 year old’s passing of a heart attack has left an irreplaceable void in the lives of many as well as in the world of comedy.
While some fans of sitcoms might not immediately recognise Shandling’s body of work, it’s highly likely they’ll recognise programmes such as Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Office, Veep and even Arrested Development – all of which have been influenced to some degree by Shandling’s previous work.
The deadpan, awkward and absurdist comedic style that thrived at the heart of The Larry Sanders Show during its Sony Pictures Television run from 1992-1998 became something of a defining trait of Shandling’s. Fortunately, for those who missed the series the first time around as well as for fans who could never get enough of it, The Wrap is reporting that Shandling signed an exclusive deal with HBO prior to his death to bring all 89 episodes of the series back to television as well as the network’s streaming services.
For those unfamiliar with the iconic series, it unfolds in a mockumentary style that focuses on Larry Sanders, the jaded host of The Larry Sanders Show – a late night talk show with more than its share of hilarious behind the scenes scandals and problems. Also starring the likes of Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent, Arrested Development) as Shandling’s on air sidekick and a host of supporting cast members ranging from Rip Torn (30 Rock) to Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman (Bob’s Burgers) and Janeane Garofalo (The Jim Gaffigan Show) as well as cameos by some of the biggest names in entertainment and contributing writers like Judd Apatow and Peter Tolan (The Jim Gaffigan Show), The Larry Sanders Show was a veritable treasure trove of comedic talent.
Though Sony’s streaming platform Crackle had previously held the rights for the series earlier this year, their content rights expired two months ago, allowing HBO to move in and gain exclusive control. It’s downright delightful to see the series make a comeback – not just so that new audiences can experience it for the first time, but also as a fitting tribute to the late comedian’s legacy. Depending on its success this time around and given the current amount of television series’ being resurrected, it wouldn’t be surprising to also see this given new life somewhere down the road.
For now however, fans of Shandling’s will undoubtedly be taking this time to mourn the loss of a tremendous talent. There’s no immediate word on exactly when to expect the return of The Larry Sanders Show, but fans can rest assured that it is indeed coming back and for the time being, that’s just the sort of silver lining needed during such a sad time.
The Larry Sanders Show will air exclusively on HBO and its streaming services.
Source: The Wrap