Garry Shandling to Canada: 'We're Going to Take You All Down With Us'

The veteran comic tells the Just For Laughs festival the current debt ceiling debate in Congress is a harbinger of hard times.

MONTREAL – Garry Shandling on Friday said he was thrilled to received a lifetime achievement award from the Just For Laughs comedy festival, but neither shocked nor surprised.

Rupert Murdoch called me eight months ago and said ‘you and Ken Jeong are winning an award,” the veteran comic and actor said with his trademark sardonic grimace as he was honored at the Just Comedy conference.

That was about all that made Shandling happy Friday in Montreal.

“I don’t remember what I’ve done. I remember some of it. Some of it I don’t want to remember. Some of it I’m shy to take credit for,” he told a crowded room before selected scenes from The Larry Sanders Show and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show were shown on a giant screen

“People like me don’t see their lives unfold. They just see clip packages,” he remarked.

Shandling recalled that he hadn’t been in Canada since the Vietnam War. “I love the French. I love the French language and the separation of two languages in Canada, like we do in America: dumb and a little dumber,” he insisted.

“And we’re going to take you all down with us,” Shandling added.

“That’s the plan. I thought the budget issue was a little exaggerated, until I opened a fortune cookie and it said ‘we own you.’ I think we’re headed towards some tough times,” he said.

Then Shandling took a more serious tack when talking about what it took to steward two major comedy series during his career.

“Young people come up and ask me what’s the short cut? There’s just no short cut. It takes really hard work. It takes commitment and discipline and something far beyond the ordinary. And yet, we all end up on Netflix. That’s the spiritual lesson for the day,” Shandling said before taking a final standing ovation at the Just For Laughs comedy festival.