Garry Shandling - Early Life and Career

Early Life and Career

Shandling was born in Chicago, Illinois, into a Jewish family. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona, the son of Muriel, a pet store proprietor, and Irving Shandling, a print shop owner. He had an older brother, Barry, who died of cystic fibrosis when Garry was 10. Shandling attended Palo Verde High School. After graduation, he attended the University of Arizona, at first majoring in electrical engineering, but eventually completing a degree in marketing and pursuing a year of postgraduate studies in creative writing.

In 1973, Shandling moved to Los Angeles, California. He worked at an advertising agency for a time, and then sold a script for the popular NBC sitcom Sanford and Son. Shandling's script became the November 21, 1975 episode titled "Sanford and the Rising Son," in which Ah Chew (played by Pat Morita) turned junkyard owner Fred Sanford's (played by Redd Foxx) house into a Japanese restaurant. Shandling also wrote the script for the Sanford and Son episode, "The Committee Man", in which Fred Sanford represents the community of Watts on the Los Angeles Mayor's Committee. In addition to Sanford and Son, Shandling wrote scripts for the sitcoms Welcome Back, Kotter and Three's Company.

In 1977, Shandling was involved in an auto accident in Beverly Hills that left him in critical condition for weeks. He later turned the accident into part of his stand-up comedy

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