Seth Meyers also remembered the comedy legend after his death.
Late-night shows traditionally tape in the late afternoon, which means most hosts did not get the chance to address comedian Garry Shadling’s unexpected death on Thursday on air. Two that did, however, were Conan O’Brien and Seth Meyers.
Speaking Thursday night, O’Brien focused on Shandling’s personal virtues, particularly the way the legendary comic helped O’Brien recover from losing his hosting gig on The Tonight Show in 2010. As the Conan host recalled, his wife had taken him to Hawaii to recuperate from the drama, and O’Brien unexpectedly found himself staying just a few doors down from Shandling.
“This was a week I was supposed to spend with my wife and kids — I spent the entire week with Garry Shandling,” O’Brien said. “I’ll tell you something: I was at a real low point. He counseled me, he cheered me up, he told me jokes, he talked to me about philosophy and how there are bigger things in the world and how I was going to be fine. We had an incredible afternoon where we took this really long walk. We climbed over lava formations, we went into a cave, we went to this far part of the island. We saw a little stretch of sand and we lay down on it as the sun started to go down. We’re watching the sun go down, and I turned to Garry and said, ‘This is the most romantic moment of my life, and it’s with you.’ He was an incredibly generous person.”
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O’Brien also played a clip from his first time hosting the Emmys, a bit that Shandling had helped him with in which the two play love interests in order to help increase the show’s ratings.
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Meyers focused more on Shandling’s comedy work in his comments, particularly the continuing impact The Larry Sanders Show, Shandling’s satire of late-night talk shows, has on him.
“One of the things on that show I remember is his producer Artie, because Larry was very neurotic he would ask him how the show was, and he’d say, ‘Well it’s not Best of Larry,’ ” Meyers said. “I cannot tell you the times where I walk off, and maybe it’s not the level you want the show to be, and I’ll think to myself, ‘Well, it’s not Best of Larry.’ It makes me feel so much better knowing that people who do jobs like this or have done jobs like this have all felt the same way at any given time. I recommend everybody go back and watch that show.”
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Watch the clips above and below.