On March 26th 2016, Garry Shandling passed away. Gary was an innovator, a pioneer, a legend, and above all just one of the funniest guys to do it.
Like Robin Williams, David Brenner, George Carlin, Bernie Mac and several others in the last decade, the Johnny Carson generation is dropping and its a horrible thing as a comedian to witness. These are our idols. This is what we aspire to do.
I have written in great detail about the loss of my friend and hero Tim Wilson (You can read that here) and having another Comedian pass before their time tends to re-open those wounds for myself and I’m sure all other comedians.
It’s not hard to notice a certain trend among stand up comedians: We don’t stick around too long. People will tell you it’s due to drug use, alcoholism or just hard living in general, but I disagree. I think you’re allotted a certain amount of things in life that you can mock or call bullshit on. Once that number is up, you’re out. We obviously go through ours a little quicker. The good ones seem to anyways.
Every comedian that I know I think understands that the stress and the lifestyle of what we do is not conducive to a long life, but if harnessed correctly, it can be the key to making someone else’s worth living.
Hug a comic if you see one. Love one if you can.