At one point in Pete Holmes’ recent You Made It Weird podcast conversation with Garry Shandling, taped at the comedian’s home, the program’s 299th guest noted that comments about God can sound corny because each individual has their own set of spiritual beliefs. “So you want to send me in one direction or another?” he asked.
Holmes, with apologies for subject-matter bluntness, steered the conversation to the topic of death. Which led, fairly quickly, to this:
“I have a God who we could think of most closely in a Buddhist sense, which is, there’s certainly far more going on here. I have no doubt. I’ve had certain experiences, and to be honest with you Pete, in the other room, I have a trunk… I have all my journals, from the time I was 25. And the journals are all about understanding that this path you and I are talking about now is the most important thing in life. And the show business or anything else, is secondary.”
“I started meditating at 25… People were making fun of it. This was before there were Buddha’s in the windows of Beverly Hills… For instance, the first time I hosted The Tonight Show… What’s in my journal, is, the only way for you to do this is to become one with The Tonight Show. And anything I’ve done artistically is a reflection of what we’ll call an eastern philosophy, a zen philosophy.”
Reasons the two-hour Nerdist podcast, posted Jan. 13, is so flat-out fantastic include:
– Holmes knew Shandling personally, which permits him to bring up all sorts of touchstones (many involving their mutual pal Judd Apatow);
– The bulk of the conversation involves topics other than entertainment;
– The podcast was, as mentioned, recorded at Shandling’s home, allowing for various references to domestic belongings, events and memories (including a penultimate revisit of the time Ricky Gervais dropped by);
– Holmes has a wonderful, throaty laugh, which in every way is the opposite of a canned sitcom laugh track. The podcast vet also wisely pulls away slightly from the microphone whenever Shandling made him laugh loudest, which happens too many times to count, so as to spare our ear drums.
Previously on FishbowlNY:
HBO Exec Says Garry Shandling Showed Artists the Way