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Comedy's Elite Praise 'Larry Sanders Show' Star Garry Shandling, Dead At 66 Following Hospitalization

by Jesse L. / Mar 24, 2016 06:36 PM EDT
Groundbreaking creator and star of "The Larry Sanders Show," Garry Shandling died Thursday at age 66 following a hospitalization.

When Garry Shandling died Thursday at age 66 following a hospitalization, according to TMZ, it didn't take long for the giants of comedy to line up to praise the groundbreaking creator and star of "The Larry Sanders Show."

"Sad about Garry Shandling," John Cleese of the legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python tweeted in reaction to the news.

"'Larry Sanders was WONDERFUL and at my daughter Cynthia's wedding he made the funniest bad taste speech ever given."

For Hollywood comedy mogul Judd Apatow, Shandling's unexpected death was an impossible pill to swallow. Shandling gave him one of his first showbiz jobs after being fired from "The Ben Stiller Show," hiring him as a writer on "Larry Sanders" in 1993.

"Garry would see the ridiculousness of me being asked to sum up his life five minutes after being told of his passing," Apatow told the Associated Press.

"It is a perfect, ridiculous 'Larry Sanders' moment. I can imagine how Hank would handle it but I just don't know how to sum up someone I loved so much who taught me everything I know and was always so kind to me. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better."

Star of "Better Call Saul," Bob Odenkirk, a cast member of "The Larry Sanders Show,"  was equally stunned.

"Garry was a guiding voice of comedy," Odenkirk said.

"He set the standard and we're all still trying to meet it. He gave us all opportunities to learn how to do the best work of our lives. But, more importantly, as I knew him these last few years, he was a person who never stopped trying to be a better person. That's yet another way he inspired me and I'm sure many others who knew him."

Stand-up comedian Amy Schumer also praised Shandling's warmth.

"Goodbye Gary Shandling, thank you for your kindness and your generosity and for making me laugh so damn much," Schumer said.

Kevin McDonald of the sketch comedy group Kids In The Hall added to the chorus of voices mourning a giant of comedy.

"I cannot believe that Gary Shandling is dead," he said. "He was a genius who changed comedy and TV comedy for the better."

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