Ben Schwartz Recalls Three of Garry Shandling's Best Traits

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Garry Shandling

The 'Parks and Rec' actor pays tribute to the late actor-comedian, whom he met seven years ago, recalling how uniquely supportive he was of fellow entertainers.

The three things I always think about when I think about Garry are how brilliant he was and how funny he was and how generous he was with his time.

The culture right now is very competitive among entertainers and writers and comedians, but he was someone who was incredibly supportive.

All you have to do is look at his Twitter account and you will see him talking about his friends, like retweeting something about Adam McKay for The Big Short or one of Judd Apatow's movies or Sacha Baron Cohen's movies. After writing a hilarious joke, he will talk about all of the projects his friends are doing. 

To us he was it, man. He encompassed all of these things that we just looked up to. To make Garry laugh was something that just made you feel incredible. So for him to support and put so much effort into letting people know about other people's work is, I think, something we can all learn from.

I remember when I watched The Larry Sanders Show for the first time, it felt like a show that was being made just for me. It felt like a secret. It changed the way I looked at television. 

I do these shows at UCB [Upright Citizens Brigade theater] and ever since after Garry passed away, I tell the audience, who tends to skew younger, to check out the show and look at his stand-up. Because if people see [The Larry Sanders Show] they get to see that that's the reason all these other shows even exist-- like the U.K. version of The Office, which lead to the American Office, which led to Parks and Rec.  

These audiences are so smart, but for the few who may not have heard of his shows, it brought me great pleasure to just tell them to make sure they watch and learn about this human being who changed the face of comedy for forever.

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