Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Series: It's Garry Shandling's Show
It's Garry Shandling's Show was a late-1980s comedy on Showtime (which would later be rebroadcast on Fox) that turned No Fourth Wall into an art form. Comedian Garry Shandling played comedian Garry Shandling, who not only knew he lived inside a sitcom, but had a studio audience "inside" his house. (Sometimes their presence there waiting for him would surprise him when he first came out of his bedroom in the morning.) Garry's visitors, friends and neighbors, while not possessing studio audiences of their own, were all aware of his, and everyone made a point of addressing the audience at some point in the show.

The entire point of the show, around which almost all of its plots revolved, was deconstructing, subverting and inverting all the standard tropes of broadcast television sitcoms. Shandling would later use this same method to skewer late night television with The Larry Sanders Show.

"These are the tropes to Garry's show, the opening tropes to Garry's show..."

  • As Himself: This was the premise, but in-universe Garry referred to himself as The Danza.
  • Censor Box: Well, more like Censor Dot. In one episode, Garry strips down to just a black dot on a chain covering his genitals.
  • Christmas Episode
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Once the Sitcom tropes had generally been mined out, guest stars from classic programs and political figures allowed exploration of tropes ranging from Musicals to health movies.
  • Flashback: Courtesy of Garry's flashback booth (marked "It's Garry Shandling's Flashback Booth").
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Nancy gets amnesia (Garry: "Our first amnesia episode!") but gets her memory back using the flashback booth.
  • Locked in a Freezer: With Garry commenting that he hates this trope but the nature of the show does not allow them to skip it.
  • Musical Episode: In the third season, musical numbers accompanied a plot where Grant goes through puberty and a female classmate makes advances on him.
  • No Fourth Wall: And how. Gags included Garry asking the people in the studio not to shout out a secret he was trying to keep or tip off his neighbors to the surprise party he was planning.
  • Opening Monologue: In keeping with No Fourth Wall
  • Post Modernism
  • Sitcom: Subverted big time.
  • Subverted Trope: Just about every last one of them!
  • This Is a Song: The theme song (see Title Theme Tune below)
  • This Is the Part Where...: Used frequently. It's also part of the opening theme.
    "We're almost to the part / of where I start to whistle / Then we'll watch It's Garry Shandling's Show." (cue whistling solo)
  • Title Theme Tune: Notable in that the No Fourth Wall nature of the show forces the cast to hear the song every week season after season. Some find it reassuring, others come to hate the bouncy little tune.
    Nancy: Aw, Garry, not the theme song! I feel like I'm on a kid's show!
    • Also notable for its self-awareness as a theme song. For example, it starts "This is the theme to Garry's show / the theme to Garry's show / Garry called me up and asked if I could write his theme song..."

I Love LucyDom ComThe Jeff Foxworthy Show
Inspector MorseSeries of the 1980sThe Jeffersons
IronsideCreator/Shout! FactoryJane and the Dragon
It's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaAmerican SeriesI've Got A Secret

alternative title(s): Its Garry Shandlings Show; Ptitlegon10y3u
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy