It has been nearly 20 years since Larry Sanders and Hank Kingsley sat on that fictional late-night stage together, but with the death of Garry Shandling today, Jeffrey Tambor revealed a deep sense of loss for his friend. “I am so sad,” said the actor of Shandling passing at age 66.
“Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher,” Tambor said of his Larry Sanders Show co-star in a statement. “Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of Geniuses. I will miss him so much.”
With his trademark “Hey Now,” Tambor spent six years as the doltish sidekick Kingley on the acclaimed HBO series created by Shandling and Denise Klein. During The Larry Sanders Show’s 1992-1998 run, it won three Primetime Emmys and two Peabody Awards. While never winning an Emmy for his Hank role, Tambor was nominated four times.
Tambor had two more Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nominations in 2004 and 2005 for his performance in Arrested Development. Last September, Tambor won the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy for his Maura Pfefferman role in Transparent. The Amazon series had five wins that night including for the marquee Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
Shandling and Tambor had a rare on-screen reunion in a way at the 56th Emmy Awards in 2004, when the former was the host and asked the latter to present one of the categories with him — and yes, after a bit of coaxing, got a “Hey Now” out of his friend.