Is there a line Larry David won’t cross for the sake of some laughs?
Parkinson's vs. Non-Parkinson's
If it’s not Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s, a seven year old’s sexuality, or the Hitler mustache, I doubt that Larry even notices that there’s a line anymore. What would normally be unacceptable behavior in today’s hyper-sensitive society, Larry David dares you to laugh out loud. And I’m much too weak of a person to not laugh.
The season finale, like most Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, wrapped up rather nicely, coming full-circle by recalling an earlier joke — the whole “I need a convenient excuse to get out of a charity event at the Children’s Hospital”. Yeah, they brought it back to much comedic effect.
After introducing us to Greg, the sexually ambiguous son of the woman Larry was seeing last week, and a brief lesson in Nazism, Larry David gets the ball rolling in socially questionable behavior. Let’s start with Greg, an unquestionably effeminate boy who just so happens to be a huge fan of Project Runway, and how Larry shows us just enough to get us thinking about the future orientation of this young boy. It’s been my experience that I’ve found boys with that nice a haircut and that well-spoken at 7 years old are most likely to find themselves liking dick. I’m not judging, I’m just saying.
By teaching this kid the nuances of the Hitler mustache and the Swastika, Larry David plants the seed for a joke that you know will be coming back much later in the episode — much to your delight. And this is how I will remember the genius of this season’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. The way Larry David and his team were able to craft an episode around 2, maybe 3 social miscues that snowball into some crazy awkward catastrophe, it’s pure gold.
Posted in On Your Ass
Tagged convenient excuse, Curb Your Enthusiasm, elevators, funny, gay kid, HBO, JB Smoove, Jeff Garlin, Larry David, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael J. Fox, New York City, On Your Ass, Paris, Parkinson's, passive-aggressive, Project Runway, recap, sexuality, shushing, Susie Essman, TV
There are several elements that go into creating a Curb episode.
- Larry gets screwed by an asshole
- Larry gets yelled at by Susie
But what separates a funny episode from a brilliant episode is Larry David offering a real-life person a shot at redemption. It was this sort of selfless act that allowed us to finally forgive Michael Richards for his racist outburst last season. So if you’re a god-awful Red Sox fan, maybe you learned to finally let go of the Bill Buckner hate and learned to forgive the man.
It all starts off with Larry eating lunch outdoors (where “the dust and dirt from buses could easily get into their food”) with the Greens and his new boo. This new chick didn’t really do it for me, so I shoulda guessed she’d be nothing but trouble. While Larry is agreeing to get a ball signed by Mookie Wilson for Jeff’s birthday (Jeff’s a Mets fan? Awesome!), Larry falls into a trance when a Mister Softee pulls up behind him. This causes Larry to see his much-too-eager-to-share therapist.
Larry tells his therapist the traumatic story of Mister Softee which involves a game of strip poker, a “pretty, pretty, pretty good” line, and an angry dad. It is, no doubt traumatic, but altogether hilarious at the expense of a young four-eyed Larry David. One question though: Did every Jew growing up in Brooklyn, NY during the 1950s look like Woody Allen? It’s deeply concerning.
A young Larry David
After that painful jog down memory lane, Larry is back on the softball diamond for his shot at a Championship. This does not work out any better than the Golf Tournament, as Larry is, once again, caught mesmerized by the power of the Mister Softee jingle. This causes Yari, the player-manager of the softball team, to pop off in an expletive-laced tirade after Larry commits an error. If you thought Yari’s pre-game speech where he compares himself to Steinbrenner and urges his players to “fuck their (the opponents’) sisters in the cunt” was bad, then you definitely weren’t expecting anything less than “You Buckner’d me!”, were you? Classic tirade.
Posted in On Your Ass
Tagged Bill Buckner, Curb Your Enthusiasm, funny, hate, HBO, hero, ice cream truck, JB Smoove, Jeff Garlin, Larry David, Mister Softee, Mookie Wilson, On Your Ass, recap, Red Sox, redemption, second chance, softball, Susie Essman, traumatic, TV
Larry David is an idea man. He’s not an inventor. He’s not good with his hands. He probably can’t even tell you the difference between a wrench and a screw. But at least the man has got some great ideas.
And one of those ideas is that you can tell a lot about a man just from looking at his wife. This is all a man like LD needs in determining one’s character. If your wife looks like she’s been hit with the ugly stick one too many times, then you must be a man of great character — especially if your greatest contribution to society is a car periscope. What an invention by the way. I’ll admit I had my doubts, much like Susie did, but once I saw that sucker in action. Yeah buddy, I’m a believer.
Thar she blows!
Now that we know that a man’s integrity can only be trusted if his wife is ugly, Larry promptly fires his business manager who recommends that he leave the ideas at home. Not because he didn’t like Larry’s snap together ski idea (I didn’t either), no, it was because his wife walked in and she seemed just a little too good-looking for this gumpy looking accountant. If Larry is nothing else, he is a man of principle and a man of principle sticks to his principles.
Judge Horn was some sort of reality TV judge, kinda like Judge Judy, except underneath that robe was a closet bigot. Larry’s father was a big fan watching him on T.V., but their first meeting together doesn’t go as planned. Never have I heard the word “kike” uttered on T.V. before, so even I was taken aback. Larry is in there long enough to get accosted by the old man’s son who instantly accuses Larry of cheating his poor, senile old father at Scrabble. But it wasn’t him! “It was the one-armed man!” And thus Larry gives us a laugh to help us forget about the uncomfortable hate being spewed by this anti-semite. Showing Larry David giving the finger to an old man on the way out certainly helped as well.
Posted in On Your Ass
Tagged anti-Semite, bigot, car periscope, character, Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO, idea man, integrity, invention, judge, Larry David, one's character, one-arm, one-armed man, periscope, racist, recap, trustworthy, TV, ugly wife, Wanda Sykes
Ever find yourself wondering how LD has been hooking up with all these good-looking broads this season? Well, today we finally got our answer. Like any other man, he
lies withholds the truth.
Way too long shoelaces are a problem
Sitting next to an attractive blonde on his plane ride to NY (finally!), Larry is given the thumbs up by the Greens to game the broad. He bungles it spectacularly — promising “to do better next time”. Which he does, in typical Larry David fashion. After heading to the bathroom in coach, Larry trips over his own shoelaces and falls on top of a belligerent air rager. Larry is instantly recognized as a hero and, well, he doesn’t correct them. Would you?
Of course, everyone’s got their own definition of a hero and for Jeff it means grabbing your lunch off the line while your eavesdropping waiter is too busy schmoozing with comedian extraordinaire, Ricky Gervais.
Team Gervais v. Team David
This is where the episode mines most of its comedy, as it pits the ultra-sensitive to social rules Larry David against the charming but completely oblivious to accepted behavior Ricky Gervais. To watch these two assholes go at it, it’s simply poetry. The improvised banter, the talking over one another, and the truly outrageous behavior these two partake in, it’s priceless.
Posted in On Your Ass
Tagged affected, anti-hero, arsehole, asshole, Chris Parnell, comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO, hero, Italian bread, Jeff Garlin, Larry David, New York, recap, Ricky Gervais, shoelaces, Susie Essman, taking advantage of, TV