Conan O’Brien Outlines ‘Romantic’ Memory Of Garry Shandling

Conan O'Brien
Host Conan O'Brien appears backstage at the MTV Movie Awards on April 13, 2014. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

NEW YORK, March 25 (UPI) — Conan O’Brien shared a personal story about the late comedian Garry Shandling hours after his death.

The late night host scrapped his initial monologue on TBS’ “Conan” Thursday night to memorialize his friend and mentor, who died suddenly after a massive heart attack, TMZ reports. The comedian was 66 years old.

O’Brien described Shandling as a rare breed of comedian who was not only hilarious but “really did care about other people.”

Garry Shandling at the premiere of "Iron Man 2" in 2010. The comedian died on Thursday. He was 66 years old. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Garry Shandling at the premiere of “Iron Man 2” in 2010. The comedian died on Thursday. He was 66 years old. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

He then went on to describe how Shandling helped him out of a deep rut after his stint on “The Tonight Show” turned out a failure. During an impromptu Hawaii vacation with his family, O’Brien said Shandling sought him out and “counseled me, he cheered me up, he told me jokes, he talked to me about philosophy. He talked to me about how there are bigger things in the world and I was going to be fine.”

He described the last day of the Hawaii trip, during which the duo went on a long walk about the island and hiked through a cave. Toward the end of the day, they were watching the sunset from a remote part of the island when O’Brien joked to Shandling, “this is the most romantic moment of my life, and it’s with you.”

Late night host Seth Meyers also honored Shandling during his NBC show Thursday. He recounted his experience watching “The Larry Sanders Show” as a kid and how deeply Shandling influenced him.

“I never had the chance to get to know him,” Meyers said, calling the “Larry Sanders” show “completely groundbreaking.” He joked watching “Larry Sanders” made him not want to host a talk show.

Jimmy Kimmel also paid tribute to Shandling on Twitter following hearing news of his death. “Garry Shandling was as kind and generous as he was funny and that is saying a lot,” the TV comedian wrote.

Garry Shandling died suddenly Thursday following a medical emergency, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The actor and comedian rose to fame with the help of “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” which aired between 1986 and 1990.

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