The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
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The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
Directed byJudd Apatow
Produced by
  • Judd Apatow
  • Sheila Nevins
  • Joe Beshenkovsky
  • Mike Bonfiglio
  • Wayne Federman
  • Sam Fishell
  • Amanda Glaze
  • Christopher Wilcha
Music byMike Andrews
  • Matt Bass
  • Jonathan Furmanski
Edited byJoe Beshenkovsky
Distributed byHBO
Release date
March 26-27, 2018
Running time
270 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling is an American documentary film that premiered on HBO in two parts on March 26 and 27, 2018. Directed and produced by Judd Apatow, the film explores the life and legacy of comedian Garry Shandling.


The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling features "interviews from nearly four dozen friends, family and colleagues; four decades' worth of television appearances; and a lifetime of personal journals, private letters and home audio and video footage."[1]

Persons featured

The documentary features the voice of actor Michael Cera reading various excerpts from Shandling's diaries and includes interviews with:



In February 2017, it was reported that Judd Apatow was developing a documentary on his mentor and friend Garry Shandling.[2][3] On Twitter, Apatow made a public plea for anyone with photographs, videos, or information about Shandling to reach out to him.[4]

In January 2018, it was announced at the annual Television Critics Association's winter press tour that cable network HBO had acquired the documentary and planned to premiere it in two parts on March 26 and 27, 2018.[5]



On February 21, 2018, HBO released the first trailer for the film.[6] A week later, the official poster was released as well.[7]


On March 14, 2018, the series held its official premiere at Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles, California. The event was attended by various celebrities including Bob Saget, Kevin Nealon, Vanessa Bayer, Kathy Griffin and Regis Philbin.[8]


Critical response

The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling has been met with a positive response from critics. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 92% approval rating with an average rating of 9 out of 10, based on 12 reviews.[9]Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 89 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[10]

In a positive review, Newsdays Verne Gay gave the film four out of four stars and said, "Diaries is for Shandling fans, certainly, but it's especially for any kid who might want to become a comic, or write for TV or get into this industry. Zen Diaries is a nearly five-hour-long master's degree in "the business," and also a sober, clear-eyed view of the risks as much as the rewards." His ultimate summation of his opinion of the film reads, "Brilliant portrait of an iconic comic, but an especially moving and human one, too."[11] Offering similar praise, Steve Greene of IndieWire gave the film a grade of "A-" and said, "As a tribute, a eulogy, and an appreciation, The Zen Diaries is a even-handed look at someone who sought to bring meaningful change into other people's lives as he searched for that same sense of fulfillment himself. Even if the film didn't actually include footage from a ceremony remembering and celebrating Shandling's life, you'd feel like you were already part of one."[12] In another enthusiastic critique, The Hollywood Reporters Daniel Fienberg said, "Presented over two nights, but easy to digest in a single sitting, Zen Diaries is a worthwhile account of Shandling's career and evolving philosophy, an insightful exploration of stand-up comedy and the comedic voice, and a sad contemplation and reckoning from those Shandling left behind and those grappling with his legacy." In a one sentence "bottom line" abridgment of his review he writes that the film is, "Essential for Shandling fans, a superb introduction for neophytes."[13]


Upon their premiere, part one of the documentary was viewed by 268,000 people and part two was viewed by 286,000 people.[14][15]

Awards and nominations

See also


  1. ^ Turchiano, Danielle (January 12, 2018). "HBO Announces 2018 Documentaries From Mariska Hargitay, Judd Apatow, Peter Kunhardt, Rebecca Miller". Variety. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Wright, Megh (February 6, 2017). "Judd Apatow Is Working on a Documentary About Garry Shandling". Splitsider. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business (February 6, 2017). "Judd Apatow to honour Garry Shandling". Chortle. Retrieved 2018.
  4. ^ Apatow, Judd (February 7, 2017). "I am making a documentary about Garry Shandling. If anyone has any great video, photos or anything helpful let me know. I am looking!". Twitter. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Pedersen, Erik (January 11, 2018). "'The Zen Diaries Of Garry Shandling': HBO To Air 4 1/2-Hour Documentary From Judd Apatow In The Spring - TCA". Deadline. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Rice, Lynette (February 21, 2018). "Get a first look at HBO documentary 'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' from Judd Apatow". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Collis, Clark (February 28, 2018). "No flipping! See the exclusive poster for HBO doc 'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ Chuba, Kirsten (March 14, 2018). "Judd Apatow Talks Garry Shandling's Mentorship at 'The Zen Diaries' Premiere". Variety. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ Gay, Verne (March 23, 2018). "Review: 'Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' is brilliant". Newsday. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Greene, Steve (March 26, 2018). "'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling' Review: Judd Apatow's Doc is Like Going to a Funeral with the World's Funniest People". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (March 26, 2018). "'The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 27, 2018). "UPDATED with CHARTS: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Monday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.26.2018 | Showbuzz Daily". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ Metcalf, Mitch (March 28, 2018). "UPDATED with CHARTS: SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 150 Tuesday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 3.27.2018 | Showbuzz Daily". Showbuzz Daily. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 12, 2018). "Emmy Nominations: 'Game Of Thrones' Tops Noms, With Netflix & HBO Leading Way". Deadline. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ Sanchez, Omar (September 8, 2018). "Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special - Creative Arts Emmys: Complete Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Blyth, Antonia; Hipes, Patrick (September 9, 2018). "Creative Arts Emmy Awards Winners: Anthony Bourdain, Craig Zadan's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' Fittingly Lead Way On Night 2; 'SNL' Tops With 7 Wins - Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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