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It's Garry Shandling's Show
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It's Garry Shandling's Show
Directed by: Don Mischer, Alan Rafkin, Thomas Schlamme, Art Wolff
Starring: Garry Shandling, Bernadette Birkett, Ian Buchanan, Barbara Cason, Molly Cheek, Richard Fancy, Jessica Harper, Bruno Kirby, Scott Nemes, Michael Tucci, and Paul Willson.
Theme music composer: Joey Carbone
Country of origin: United States
Number of seasons: 4
Number of episodes: 72
Production Executive Producers: Bernie Brillstein, Brad Grey, and Garry Shandling
Producers: Jeff Franklin, Jim Geoghan, Al Jean, and Mike Reiss
Running time: 30 minutes
Broadcast Original channel: Showtime
Original run: September 10, 1986 - May 25, 1990
It's Garry Shandling's Show was an American television show broadcast on Showtime from 1986 to 1990. It was created by and starred Garry Shandling.
The 30 minute sitcom starred Shandling as, more or less, himself, a neurotic, somewhat self obsessed (''how's my hair?'') stand up comedian who just happened to be aware he was a TV sitcom character. Garry spent just as much time interacting with the studio audience as he did the regular cast members, offering up opening monologues and show closing summations of the episode's events, much like George Burns on The Burns and Allen Show. On Garry's show, however, all the supporting characters knew they were on a TV show, not just Garry; and the studio audience was often in the storyline on one episode, Garry invited them to make themselves at home after he left the scene (they ended up throwing a raucous party); in another, a surprise birthday party for Garry's mom went awry when the audience's shout of ''surprise!'' caused her to have a heart attack. One memorable episode saw Garry move out of town, with his apartment (and show) taken over by Red Buttons; when he tried to return, his friends admitted they liked Red better.
Storylines were often manipulated by Shandling to create more favorable outcomes, or simply to speed things along (one episode ended years later, for example). On America's presidential election night in 1988, Showtime presented a live episode where in Shandling brought in Soul Train host Don Cornelius to incorrectly announce that Michael Dukakis had soundly defeated George H. W. Bush.
The show's bouncy, well remembered theme song was ''This is the Theme to Garry's Show'', and was often a target of ridicule and disdain by the other castmembers. It was performed by Bill Lynch. The song's lyrics are self referencing, explaining how the song came to be (''Garry called me up and asked if I would write his theme song,'') and asking what the listener thinks of it.
Considered largely a critical and niche success, It's Garry Shandling's Show ran 72 episodes and was on the air for five years (1986 - 1990). The show was later picked up by Fox Broadcasting Company from 1988 to 1990 as part of its Sunday night lineup; FOX started the show from the beginning, but due to longer seasons for network shows versus cable, had caught up by the time the show left FOX in 1989. It continued for one more year on Showtime. The show introduced much of the country to Shandling and paved the way for his more successful run as late night talk show host Larry Sanders on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show.
The supporting cast for all four seasons were Molly Cheek as Garry's 'platonic friend' Nancy, Michael Tucci, Scott Nemes and Bernadette Birkett as his neighbours the family Schumaker, Paul Willson as condo kingpin Leonard Smith, and Barbara Cason as Garry's mother, Ruth Shandling. From series three, Ian Buchanan played Nancy's boyfriend (and eventually husband) Ian, and Bruno Kirby was Garry's agent Brad Brillnick. In the fourth series Jessica Harper joined the cast as Garry's new girlfriend Phoebe. Other regulars included Roy Brocksmith as Mr. Guest, Richard Fancy as network boss Mr Stravely, Danny Dayton as comedy club owner Mr Peck, and Rob Reiner, Martin Mull and Tom Petty as themselves. Jennifer Tilly appeared in a multi-episode arc as another girlfriend, Angelica.
After fighting ovarian cancer, Gilda Radner guest starred as herself on the show in 1988 in what would be her final television appearance. When Shandling asked her why she had not been seen for a while, Radner replied ''Oh, I had cancer. What did you have?''