Garry Shandling & Bob Odenkirk: Their Longtime Friendship

bob odenkirk and garry shandling

(L-R) Actor Samm Levine, actor Garry Shandling, actor Bob Odenkirk, cinematographer Jack N. Green and director Judd Apatow attend the Academy’s Jack Oakie Celebration of Comedy in Film on November 9, 2007. (Getty)

Garry Shandling and Bob Odenkirk were close friends. In fact, Kathy Griffin and Bob Odenkirk had just spent time with Shandling last weekend, a few days before the comedian passed away, TMZ reported. How close were the two actors? How did they know each other?

Odenkirk and Shandling have known each other for a very long time. Back when Shandling starred in The Larry Sanders Show, Odenkirk played Steven “Stevie” Grant, his obnoxious agent. Many say that the series helped launch Odenkirk’s career. In fact, Odenkirk said in an interview with NPR that Saul Goodman, the character on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, was “six degrees of separation” from Ari Emanuel, the real-life agent who inspired his Stevie Grant character.

When The Larry Sanders Show ended, Odenkirk’s and Shandling’s work together didn’t stop. They still appeared in movies or shows together periodically. For example, both actors starred in the 2001 direct-to-video movie Run Ronnie Run!

Odenkirk only had the highest praise for his time with The Larry Sanders Show. In one interview he said: “It’s rare to find a show or project where there’s no difference between what you’re shooting for and what you’re creating. On most projects, you have a dream of what you’re shooting for and you’re very aware, especially when you’re in production, that what you’re making has fallen short. It’s just inevitable. Not everything delivers like Larry Sanders or Breaking Bad.”

Odenkirk and Griffin were with Shandling just a few days before he passed away. Griffin tweeted a photo of the three together:

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