TV’s most awkward Jewish comedy star ends his show

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TV’s most awkward Jewish comedy star ends his show

Curb Your Enthusiasm has provided 20 years of uncomfortable laughter. Now Larry David wants to be his real self again

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

(L-R) Ted Danson, Jeff Garlin, J.B. Smoove, Richard Lewis, Vince Vaughn, Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Schaffer and Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm. pic  Daniel Prakopcyk
(L-R) Ted Danson, Jeff Garlin, J.B. Smoove, Richard Lewis, Vince Vaughn, Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Schaffer and Larry David of Curb Your Enthusiasm. pic Daniel Prakopcyk

He has done some ‘pretty pretty’ bad things in his time. Some so dreadful that out of respect to readers these on screen moments can only be referred to as #Shoahshoes #Palestinianchicken and #grandfatherstallit.

If you saw those episodes of Curb Your Enthusiam you know, if you want to know then get comfortable because there are 110 episodes of the series which launched in 2000. Love him or loathe him, on the sliding scale of awkward Jewish comedy – the pinnacle being Mel Brooks’ Springtime for Hitler, Larry David has  is now the TV master of tasteless and toe-curling for our faith .

Larry David and guest star Ben Stiller

While watching Larry there is a twisted facial expression only Jews pull as we recognise Larry’s reactions to relatives, cinema queues and where to put a kebab skewer at a party. Ask Ben Stiller! When Larry is accused of being a self-hating Jew for whistling Wagner and replies: “I do hate myself, but it has nothing to do with being Jewish” – most of us get it and laugh.

Larry with his manager and bestie Jeff Garlin and Suzie Essman who plays Suzie

But not for much longer as Season 12 is thought to be the final series, though Larry has said that before.“That’s what I say when I don’t think I’m going to come up with another one,” he told Hollywood Reporter.
If this is it, there we will be no more fresh incomprehensible banter between Larry and opportunist housemate  Leon Black (JB Smoove). No new verbal duels between Larry and Susie (Susie Essman), no long lunches with bestie Jeff (Jeff Garlin) and absolutely no hope of a reconciliation with Larry’s ex, Cheryl (Cheryl Hines). This also means that Larry will never present a full production of the Hamilton-styled Fatwa! The Musical starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Housmate Leon Black (JB Smoove ) and misanthropic Larry D

This is probably for the best considering where we are politically, but one can only admire the chutzpah of the Seinfeld creator for coming up with a show about the fatwa placed on author Salman Rushdie that includes a hilarious performance by actor F Murray Abraham  as the Ayatollah of Iran. It’s episode 10 in Season nine if you want to hunt it down.

Larry with Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Fatwa! The Musical episode

In the first three episodes of this final season, Larry continues to be his own worst enemy while repeatedly falling victim to every social faux pas. The combination of social awkwardness, politically incorrect behaviour and no filter leads to the protagonist being jailed for an innocent mistake in Georgia, not being paid for an appearance at a party and facing a ban at his golf club. Throwing Yiddish expressions effortlessly into the madness feeds right into our hands, especially when it’s none other than Sienna Miller saying “it’s beshert”.

Jeff Schaeffer, Curb’s executive producer says Larry has always shot the the show the way he lives his life- “which is that the world is against him and now he feels he has nothing left to gripe about…..”                                But as Schaffer reminds us: “Larry still lives in Los Angeles and the people of Los Angeles are still uniquely horrible, so it’s pretty fertile ground.”          In the spirit of a finale Suzie Essman and Jeff Garlin are hosting a podcast  @TheCurbPod and in addition to Ms Miller, Steve Buscemi and Greg Kinnear are among the many cameos in this last hoorah.

Asked to share his own feelings about the finale Larry responded as only he can “As Curb comes to an end, I will now have the opportunity to finally shed this ‘Larry David’ persona and become the person God intended me to be – the thoughtful, kind, caring, considerate human being I was until I got derailed by portraying this malignant character. And so ‘Larry David,’ I bid you farewell. Your misanthropy will not be missed. And for those of you who would like to get in touch with me, you can reach me at Doctors Without Borders.” Leaving us with laughter is the perfect sign off for the exiting comedian who says in episode one of  season 12 . “I’ve been expecting more for myself my whole life and it’s just not there”.   We think it is, but good luck boychik!

Curb your Enthusiasm is on Sky Comedy

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