Judd Apatow will be honoring Garry Shandling with a new two-part HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling with the help of the late comedian’s family and friends. In a clip not featured in the doc, Apatow recruits Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder to put some of Shandling’s personal journals into a song.
It’s an intimate performance, prefaced by a longer meditation by Apatow on the undertaking of turning Shandling’s writings into a song. “There’s something nice and sharing our love for Gary, who was so kind to so many comedians, says Apatow onstage, his voice audibly cracking with emotion. “So, I’m going to sing this with Mr. Vedder.” The performance is intercut with Apatow cold-reading some of Shandling’s unused one-liners and bon mots, like “Some people say I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.”
This is part and parcel with the aesthetic of the film, which promises to feature material from home audio, personal letters, four decades of television appearances and conversations with more than 40 of Shandling’s family and friends, including Jay Leno, Jim Carrey, Conan O’Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman and many more to paint a complete portrait of the comedic legend.
By drawing on such intimate information with the utmost respect to Shandling’s legacy in TV, film and stand-up, Zen Diaries promises to tell the complete story of a complicated, brilliant figure — and “Dear Mind” encapsulates that mission.
Watch Apatow and Vedder’s performance of “Dear Mind” above, and catch Part 2 of The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling on HBO tonight at 8 p.m. ET.