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When you're a small screen actor who has been nominated for numerous Emmys and Golden Globes several times over, flattery tends to come quite easily. However, that doesn't mean that a guy like David Duchovny would ever get tired of hearing encouraging things about his work, and certain people made very specific impressions on him in his time as an actor. With that in mind, it turns out that the nicest compliment David Duchovny has ever received throughout the course of his career came from the late, great Garry Shandling during Duchovny's first day filming on The Larry Sanders Show. Duchovny explained:
At one point, [Garry Shandling] walked into the audience and stood right by me. And it became clear that he had no idea I was going to be acting with him in a few minutes. The storyline was that I was going to get bumped from the talk show and be a real asshole about it. We had this little scene in a hallway during which he tells me the bad news. We did one take and Garry yelled 'Cut!' He looked at me and asked, 'How old are you?' I said, '36.' He said, 'What took you so long?' That was the nicest thing anybody ever said to me in show business. I used to remind him of that story a lot.
David Duchovny recently penned an editorial piece for TVInsider to celebrate the life of the late Garry Shandling and described that anecdote in vivid detail. Although Duchovny had already established himself as rising star actor by the time he collaborated with Shandling on The Larry Sanders Show, the comedian's kind words resonated with him on a profound level. Duchovny was quite vocal and adamant about his love for The Larry Sanders Show in his touching essay, so it's awesome to hear such a compliment from someone he admired stuck with him.
David Duchovny's Season 5 appearance on The Larry Sanders Show is generally considered a major highlight of the series. The episode "Everybody Loves Larry" revolves heavily on Larry's growing suspicion that David Duchovny has developed a sexual attraction to him -- which is a recipe for perfectly neurotic comedy. It's a beautifully crafted episode, and it features some of the best awkward humor on HBO prior to the advent of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Check out one of the best scenes from "Everybody Loves Larry" below:
That experience on The Larry Sanders Show wouldn't be the last time that these two icons would collaborate with one another. David Duchovny also described directing Garry Shandling on an episode of The X-Files, and remarked upon the late comedian's work ethic and insistence on making his own performance seem as effortless as possible -- despite his own insecurities about taking on certain roles. Throughout each of Duchovny's stories, it's clear he developed a deep-seated admiration for Shandling.
David Duchovny has experienced a long and successful career as a dramatic and comedic actor, but we're still not even remotely surprised to learn that he looks back so fondly on Garry Shandling's flattery in those early years. We would, too. It was insanely difficult to say goodbye to Shandling earlier this year, but Duchovny will likely always cherish that memory. R.I.P. once more, Mr. Shandling.
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