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Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm (1999)

Mock documentary about Seinfeld writer Larry David featuring contributions from his friends and colleagues. Larry makes a return to stand-up comedy and prepares to film a television special for HBO.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Himself
...
Herself
...
Rick Newman ...
Himself
Glenn Padnick ...
Himself
...
Linda Bates ...
HBO Production Team
...
Mourner
...
Wife's Friend
...
HBO Production Team
...
HBO Receptionist
...
Larry's Suite Mate
...
...
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Storyline

Larry David, co-creator and co-writer with Jerry Seinfeld of the Seinfeld series, decides to make a come-back to stand-up comedy. His agent, Jeff Greene, has even more ambitious plans - make a TV special of the occasion, including showing the planning behind the show. This is that TV special. Sort of. Written by grantss

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17 October 1999 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode can be found in the first season disc set on the second DVD's bonus section. See more »

Goofs

Early on, after Larry and Jeff exit the initial HBO meeting and are walking to the elevator, you can clearly see Larry reach for the elevator button, hesitate, then move his finger up a couple inches and press it into empty metal above the button. This was presumably done to prevent the elevator doors from opening during filming of the scene. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Jeff Greene: HBO pays for the porn.
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Crazy Credits

To add authenticity to this mockumentary, the credits don't list a writer (it was Larry David himself). See more »

Connections

References Sabrina, the Teenage Witch (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Written by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of Verve Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Being Larry David
5 February 2010 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

From 1990 to 1998, Larry David was famous as the creator and - during the first seven seasons - head writer of Seinfeld, widely regarded as the best sitcom of all time, in which he also occasionally made guest appearances, most notably as a fictionalized version of New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. After the show ended, Larry decided to try something different, which led to his becoming known as the star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the most daring and hilarious shows on television since, well, Seinfeld. This 90-minute special, produced a year before the show officially debuted on HBO, is exactly what The Seinfeld Chronicles was in 1989: the beginning of a new era in television comedy.

The focus of Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm is the former stand-up comedian's attempt to make a comeback after the end of Seinfeld, even if he technically could spend the rest of his life doing nothing (having written and/or produced most of the series, he gets paid every time an episode is rerun). With the help of his manager Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin, who also produces), he secures a deal with HBO to make a one-off special out of a stage performance, for which he will prepare by testing his material in comedy clubs throughout Los Angeles. Naturally, between the work-related stress (Larry has to participate in various production meetings) and his habit of speaking frankly on any subject, even with his wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines), the neurotic writer starts having second thoughts pretty fast...

The "show within the show" theme of Seinfeld's fourth season is heavily present in the special, since it is about an HBO special and shot like a documentary, which adds to the feeling that this is the "real" life of Larry David (and also justifies the improvisational style of the Curb series, although this special is largely scripted). The feeling is further enhanced by interviews with friends and co-workers, including Richard Lewis (a regular presence on the show), Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander (aka George Costanza, Larry's on-screen alter ego). What emerges from their statements is an occasionally unflattering but always spot-on portrait of the man: anecdotes include the famous story of him walking on stage, looking at the audience and walking off again (interestingly, Larry bases a lot of his routines on audience interaction), and the legendary revelation that a scene from Seinfeld which Alexander found far-fetched was in fact inspired by Larry's real-life reaction to a similar situation.

As far as performances are concerned, both Garlin and Hines are terrific comedic forces, as is everyone else involved, but the whole thing would fall apart if it weren't for Larry David's painfully exhilarating non-acting, starring as a not-too-fictional version of himself, with plenty of things to say and no sense of shame when it comes to saying them. His wonderfully absurd relationship with the world is a joy to behold, and the title of his creation is wrong under at least one aspect: Curb Your Enthusiasm is worth getting excited about.


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