THE ZEN DIARIES OF GARRY SHANDLING
8.30PM, SATURDAY, FOX SHOWCASE
TO a certain generation, Garry Shandling was as influential a comic as Jerry Seinfeld or Mel Brooks. He was a sharp writer on The Tonight Show and a stand-up comic of repute before starring in his own TV series. His sudden death at 66 three years ago has deeply affected those who saw him as a hero and mentor, including Judd Apatow, who created this documentary tribute, interviewing his many A-list fans, as well as drawing on Shandling’s own diaries as he attempted to find meaning in his life. Jim Carrey recalls reconnecting with Shandling in the weeks before his passing from a pulmonary embolism, in awe of his talent but moved by the kind man he was inside. “He could, on the spot, in the moment, have a thought and by the time it went from his brain to his mouth it was a fully-formed joke like nobody else could do.” While this special is a biography of Shandling, it also tells you a lot about those interviewed like Carrey, and the camaraderie that exists in this comedy community.