FROM the PEOPLE Archive: How Garry Shandling's 1977 Near-Death Experience Led Him to Become a Comedy Legend

March 25, 2016 1:32 AM

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Garry Shandling recognized his talent for making people laugh back when he was in middle school, but it wasn't until a near fatal car crash later in life that he decided to start taking comedy seriously.

The comedy legend, who died Thursday of a heart attack at 66, first began writing jokes to escape the boredom of an accounting class during his senior at the University of Arizona. When George Carlin, one of Shandling's stand up heroes, offered him some encouragement after a post-concert meeting in ...

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