David Duchovny remembers the ‘genius’ of late friend Garry Shandling: ‘I miss him all the time’

The comedy world lost a great when Garry Shandling died of a heart attack March 24, but close friend David Duchovny says his legacy continues.

“I find it still hard to talk about Garry. He was a great friend and a lifelong friend, and I miss him all the time,” the X-Files star said Friday on EW Morning Live. “What I’m appreciative of as I watch the response to his death is that people are, I think, really appreciating how talented and influential he really was as a performer and as a thinker, really, a comedic thinker or human thinker.”

“You have people like Judd Apatow, who would be the first to tell you that he learned everything from Garry, and Garry very generously lent his wisdom to Judd, to me, to countless other performers and people. We’re not just talking about show business advice or chops advice, we’re talking about life advice, talking about friendship. He’s a loss to many people as a friend. I think what we’re realizing is he’s not lost as an influence,” continued Duchovny, 55. “His work lives on, certainly through Judd, through many other performers, through me.”

The pals memorably collaborated on a 1996 episode of The Larry Sanders Show in which Shandling’s titular character discovered Duchovny, playing himself, harbored a crush on him, trying to seduce the comic in a move straight out of Basic Instinct.

Duchovny said the inspiration for the hilarious scene came from a real visit Shandling paid him at a hotel after the Golden Globes.

“Garry came over to hang out, and I was in a robe because I had come back sweating in that tuxedo and the makeup and the hair. I was like, I just want to shower and put on some shorts. So I’m in a robe and he comes in and I say, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I Sharon Stoned you?’ ” he said. “That makes it sound like these were my ideas, and maybe some of them were. The genius of Garry was also so inclusive and embracing of other people’s sense of what was funny and other people’s inspiration. His generosity of spirit was consistent, not just to people in life but also to the artistic soul of other people, and that’s very rare.”

EW Morning Live airs on Entertainment Weekly Radio (Ch. 105).

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