Garry's condo. Garry's friends and family. Garry's sputtering love life. Garry's hair.
The quirky but comfortable little universe that was "It's Garry Shandling's Show" came to an end in April. Now, Garry is back on the comedy stage for the first time in more than four years, going back to his stand-up roots as he decides what to do next.
"I was grateful the show ran for four years, but it was all-consuming," Shandling says now. "I feel better not having to devote my life to the show."
"It's Garry Shandling's Show" built a solid critical and cult following while gently skewering sitcom conventions. Shandling would talk to the camera or climb into the bleachers to interact with the studio audience; when he turned on the TV, he found his own show.
It was fun and refreshing television, but Shandling and co-creator Alan Zweibel finally decided that it was time to walk away and try something else. "We had done what we set out to do," Shandling explained at the time.
So, what now? "I'd really like to pursue acting," says Shandling, who is looking for the right role ("Maybe I should try a high school play," he quips).
In the meantime, he has been working on new stand-up material for a planned television special, trying it out since July in a series of club appearances. While the act is recognizably Shandling--"It's still my sense of humor"--it is becoming less joke-oriented and more story-oriented, he says. So far, the audience response has been "very encouraging."
While he's enjoying being on stage, Shandling says he has no plans to return to the heavy touring schedule of his pre-television days.
After this stand at the Irvine Improv--the first time he has played there--he is not likely to be back soon. "I've never liked going on the road," he explains. "I may not do stand-up again for a while."
But for now, he says, "I've been having a lot of fun. . . . This allows me to express exactly what I want to express at the moment."
Monday, Sept. 17, through Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 p.m.
Irvine Improv, 4255 Campus Drive, Irvine.
In the Irvine Marketplace shopping center, across Campus Drive from UC Irvine.
Where to call