He started out in the writers’ room, coming up with funny lines for Fred Sanford and Vinnie Barbarino. Then, after branching out in to stand-up comedy, Garry Shandling spent three years perfecting a solid set before making his 1981 Tonight Show debut, and leaving Johnny Carson in stitches. Specials, guest-host stints, and groundbreaking sitcoms followed, before he came up with the idea of the ultimate late-night narcissist Larry Sanders — and even if Shandling hadn’t been a first-rate comic, his legacy as a small-screen genius would have been secured.
Here are 10 TV moments that show Garry Shandling doing what he did best: cracking sly, self-deprecating jokes, deconstructing small-screen genres and proving why he’s a genuine comedic icon. As Bill Lynch might sing: This is the list of Garry’s best television work, now watch all of them and laugh.