How Garry Shandling’s Unexpected Death Inspired the Most Recent Episode of Girls

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Photo: HBO

On this week’s devastating Girls episode, viewers got two relatively shocking reveals as the show’s final season continues on — Hannah is pregnant and unsure how to handle her unanticipated child, and Hermie, Ray’s coffee shop boss and mentor, dies. While both were seen as relatively abrupt narrative developments, the latter was actually influenced by a recent painful loss experienced by one of the show’s executive producers. “Honestly, the truth was that Judd [Apatow] lost Garry Shandling, who was one of his closest friends and his mentor, and it just seeped into everything,” co-showrunner Jenni Konner told The Hollywood Reporter in a new interview. “It seeped into our creativity. It was a real time of loss for Judd. I don’t know exactly how it came up, but that’s where it came from.” In the year since Shandling’s death, Apatow has honored the comedian through various means, including basketball games and memorial services. He’s also currently in the midst of working on a documentary dedicated to Shandling.

How Garry Shandling’s Death Inspired a Girls Episode