TMZ has reported that Garry Shandling, comedian and creator of It's Gary Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show, died this morning from a massive heart attack.
Shandling was one of the great stand-up comics of the '80s, but his actual genius lay in mining the narcissism inherent in his comedic persona to create hilarious and surprisingly deep television. His postmodern tricks were an excellent use of the medium that mirrored the changing times. (Larry Sanders was certainly the harbinger of the current era, when we expect TV shows to actually be good). What often appeared to be about the self-absorbed world of entertainment was, at its best, actually about the nature of the self.
I saw Shandling perform live twice, shook his hand once, and will revere his talent always. In other news, Jesus fucking Christ already with all the death this year.