Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8, Episode 9

Mister Softee (4 Sep. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Comedy
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An ice-cream truck triggers a painful childhood memory for Larry that impacts a softball title game, a therapist's fees, Bill Buckner's legacy, and his new girlfriend's travel preferences.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Black (as JB Smoove)
Minyan Member #1
Kid #1
Trevor Braun ...
11 Year Old Larry
Bill Buckner ...
Bill Buckner
Robert Cameron ...
Fireman #2
Man #3
John DeBellis ...
Card Show Usher
Emily's Dad (as John Gallagher)
Teammate #1


An ice-cream truck triggers a painful childhood memory for Larry that impacts a softball title game, a therapist's fees, Bill Buckner's legacy, and his new girlfriend's travel preferences.

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4 September 2011 (USA)  »

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References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Walking the Mule
Music by Antonio Sinagra
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User Reviews

Childhood trauma
5 October 2011 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Larry is now dating Jennifer, an attractive woman. We find them eating at Isabella's in the company of the Greenes. Larry, who ordered fish, to share it with Jeff, is surprised when their entrees arrive, at his friend's refusal to give up any of his dish, but he will have a taste. As it turns out, Larry made the right selection for his fish is good.

The softball league where Larry and Jeff are playing in Central Park is managed by Yari, who is the local mechanic who takes care of their cars. A crucial game is going on. A decisive moment in the game sees Larry let the ball go, as he hears the tune from a Mr. Softee ice cream truck in the distance. Needless to say, Yari is mortified in losing the game.

Dr. Thurgood, a psychiatrist, has been seeing Larry professionally. Larry cannot help mention the fact that he was traumatized as a young boy when his friend, the daughter of a Mr. Softee's driver, were playing strip poker. Larry, having lost to the girl, is caught naked by his friend's father naked inside the truck, where they were playing. Throwing him out of the vehicle, was traumatic to Larry. The doctor has no clear solution.

Finding Leon outside his building, Larry cannot believe the doorman did not let him in. Larry offers a bit of advice: black men with glasses are not subjected to prejudice, as much as those men without them. Susie Greene had asked Larry to get Mookie Wilson autograph a ball for Jeff as a gift for his upcoming birthday. Larry, taking Leon to the Regency, finds the event is sold out. Leon decides to wear his glasses and the men are allowed to get in.

As it happens, Larry finds Dr. Thorwood in line to get Mookie's autograph. Larry brings up an incident that happened while he was in bed with Jennifer. At a crucial point of their love making he heard the hated song from a passing Mr. Softee's truck and he could not keep an erection, something that Jennifer teases him as going Softee. The doctor thinks it will all pass.

Larry spots Bill Buckner at a table without anyone asking him for his autograph. The former ball player cannot get people to accept the error he committed on the ultimate sin on a key play. Buckner offers to get Mookie sign the ball. As the two men walk out of the Regency, Larry decides to go see the Greenes with his friend Bill Buckner. Larry, being playful threw the ball to Bill, who was standing by an open window, but he misses the catch, thus provoking Susie's anger.

Larry goes to get his car from Yari's. The passenger seat was acting up and Larry figured it should be ready. Yari does not mince words. He wants Larry out of his shop; he will never forget the way the game was lost. Taking Jennifer back to his place, where they are supposed to have sex, the car seat has a strange effect on the woman who is clearly going through an orgasm while riding. As they get to her house, she asks Larry to take her home.

Having received a bill from Dr. Thorwood, Larry wonders if the doctor charged him for talking to him at the baseball convention. Leon decides to accompany his friend. When Larry talks to the doctor, he is adamant in having charged for the time at the Regency. Leon has a better solution. Putting on his glasses, he goes in the office. When Leon emerges, he has great news, the doctor tore up the bill. In the car, Leon sitting in the passenger's seat experiences something that explains Jennifer behavior while riding the car.

Larry goes by the Greenes. He finds an agitated Susie outside. She wants him to take her to her cousin's building, which has a fire going on. Reluctantly, he takes her. On the way, Susie sits quietly while enjoying the effect the car seat has on her. At the scene of the fire, Larry and Susie spot Bill Buckner. The firemen succeed in having a woman throw her infant to safety. The firemen's net cannot prevent to have the infant bounce off, but Bill Buckner rises to the occasion in grabbing the baby for the catch of his life.

Larry Charles, long associated to the program, directed the screenplay written by Larry David, Jeff Schaffer, David Mandel, and Alec Berg. In this episode several motifs run through the chapter. First of all, it bothers Larry that having agreed to share his entree with a friend, suddenly is conveniently forgotten when the other person feels he has gotten a better deal. Blacks wearing glasses are more respected in general, is another idea behind the show. The fact that someone makes a mistake will not be forgotten even though it is human to err.

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