Garry Shandling, 46, was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. After earning a degree in marketing at the University of Arizona Shandling head out to Los Angeles in search of the comedy circuit. He soon made a real name for himself as a highly regarded writer for such renowned 1970s sitcoms as "Sanford and Son "and Welcome Back, Kotter.
In 1975, seeking to expand his comedic voice, Shandling made his stand-up debut at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. In the comedy club scene, he happened to spark the interest of Joan Rivers, who brought him to the attention of Johnny Carson and in 1981, Shandling made his first appearance on "The Tonight Show", going on to serve as the shows guest host on numerous occasions.
From 1986 to 1990, in addition to frequent appearances on "The Tonight Show, "Shandling was the star and executive producer of the CabIeACE Award-winning series "Its Garry Shandlings Show" and served as host of the Grammy Awards in 1990 and 1991.
Shandling credits his experience of filling in for Johnny Carson as the genesis of the THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW. "When I was hosting the The Tonight Show I got an intimate look at how talk shows work backstage," Shandling says. "I realized that this was a world no one had really explored yet. I wanted to take an honest look at the very wide difference between the way a talk-show host acts on the air and what he or she is truly like."
According to Shandling, Larry Sanders is "a character trying to find the balance between what his life is and how he is supposed to be on television."
Although SANDERS was his first series for HBO, Shandling is no stranger to the network, having previously been seen on HBO in "Comic Relief III," 1991s "HBO Comedy Hour Garry Shandling: Stand-Up" and "Comic Relief V."
His sophisticated HBO lampoon, of the late-night worlds on-air posturing and behind-the-scenes chaos lead to massive critical acclaim.
In early 1998, Shandling announced that the upcoming season of his critically acclaimed series would likely be his last. In addition to preparing what could be the final episodes of the show, Shandling is working on the Columbia feature Which Planet Are You From?. He has also wrapped production on Hurlyburly.