Larry David’s bark, bite re­turn in “Curb Your En­thu­si­asm”

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS IN THE SPOTLIGHT -

LOS AN­GE­LES » After too many years away from “Curb Your En­thu­si­asm,” Larry David pro­nounces him­self sat­is­fied with the new season, which he said is just like pre­vi­ous ones, and glad he did it. That’s pretty good — no, very good — on sev­eral fronts.

First, it means the blunt-trauma in­sults that David de­liv­ered for eight sea­sons on the HBO com­edy are undi­min­ished, as is the show’s will­ing­ness to milk any sub­ject for laughs, from sex to eth­nic­ity to ill­ness. Sec­ond, he’s in­clined to keep the re­vival going, and with­out such a lag.

“I would say lean­ing to­ward it,” David said. “If there are more, it’s not going to be five years . ... It’s too long. I wouldn’t want peo­ple to wait that long.”

And third — but who needs an­other rea­son? We’re just happy that “Curb Your En­thu­si­asm,” a plat­form for David’s griev­ances for crimes against hu­man­ity (read: Larry David) is back at 10 p.m. EDT Sun­day for the first time since 2011, and un­af­fected by time.

The world of TV Larry, as he’s la­beled his al­ter ego, is in­su­lated from the cur­rent White House ten­ant and na­tional ten­sions. All the angst is petty, per­sonal and cour­tesy of David and co-stars Ch­eryl Hines, Jeff Gar­lin, Susie Ess­man, J.B. Smoove, Richard Lewis and Bob Ein­stein, along with a bumper crop of guests in­clud­ing El­iz­a­beth Banks, Lau­ren Gra­ham and Bryan Cranston.

Turns out while we were yearn­ing for “Curb,” David felt the same way.

“I missed ev­ery­thing about it. Be­cause it’s re­ally, to be trite, a lot of fun. It gives me a lot of plea­sure, a lot of laughs, and it’s the ac­tual ideal way for me to ex­press my­self,” he said. As in ex­press hos­til­ity? “It’s not hos­til­ity. It’s the hon­esty that draws me to it,” he said in a re­cent FaceTime phone call. It’s his pre­ferred way to han­dle in­ter­views not done in per­son and, it turns out, a boon for the ques­tioner.

It makes it eas­ier to ap­pre­ci­ate that when David isn’t be­ing iras­ci­ble TV Larry, he can be at­ten­tive and dis­arm­ingly pa­tient and, when amused, flashes an at­trac­tively broad smile that brings to mind a cer­tain politi­cian — and not the one he played so well on “Satur­day Night Live,” Bernie San­ders, but jovial Joe Bi­den.

(David and San­ders actually are re­lated, ac­cord­ing to PBS’ “Find­ing Your Roots,” which traces their fam­ily ge­nealo­gies in Mon­day’s season de­but.)

Play­ing San­ders was a lark, David said, but he has zero interest in giv­ing “Curb” a po­lit­i­cal in­fu­sion. “It’s never been the ba­sis of the show,” he said, adding, “It’s not in my wheel­house, in my very nar­row, comedic wheel­house.”

His par­tic­u­lar skill set has yielded “Se­in­feld,” which he co-cre­ated with Jerry Se­in­feld, and the sin­gu­lar dar­ing of “Curb Your En­thu­si­asm.” How dar­ing? Last season, Larry ac­cused guest star Michael J. Fox of us­ing Fox’s Parkin­son’s as a cover for hos­tile acts to­ward Larry. Larry at­tempts to make amends and prom­ises Fox he’ll visit sick chil­dren, then flees to Paris. (In the new episodes, he’s back in his Los An­ge­les stomp­ing ground.)

The show is so con­trary that it’s taken 17 years to make nine sea­sons, whereas most other shows gen­er­ally toe the line with a season a year. But “Curb” ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Jeff Schaf­fer said there’s a bright side: David has been tak­ing care­ful notes.

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