Curb Your Enthusiasm

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Genre Comedy
Created by Larry David
Written by Larry David
Starring Larry David
Jeff Garlin
Cheryl Hines
Susie Essman
Theme music composer Luciano Michelini
Opening theme "Frolic"
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 80 (plus 60-minute special) (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Larry David
Jeff Garlin
Robert B. Weide
Alec Berg
David Mandel
Jeff Schaffer
Larry Charles
Gavin Polone
Tim Gibbons
Erin O'Malley
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel HBO
Picture format 4:3 480i (Seasons 1–6)
16:9 1080i (Season 7–)
Original run October 15, 2000 (2000-10-15) – present
Related shows Seinfeld
External links

Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American comedy television series produced and broadcast by HBO, which premiered on October 15, 2000. As of 2011, it has completed 80 episodes over eight seasons. The series was created by Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, who stars as a fictionalized version of himself. The series follows David in his life as a semi-retired television writer and producer in Los Angeles and later New York City. Also starring is Cheryl Hines as David's wife Cheryl, Jeff Garlin as David's manager Jeff, and Susie Essman as Jeff's wife Susie. Curb Your Enthusiasm often features guest stars, and some of these appearances are by celebrities playing themselves.

The plots and subplots of the episodes are established in an outline written by David and the dialogue is largely improvised by the actors themselves.[1] Much like Seinfeld, the subject matter in Curb Your Enthusiasm often involves the minutiae of daily life, and plots often revolve around Larry David's many faux pas, and his problems with certain social conventions and expectations, as well as his annoyance with other people's behavior. The character has a hard time letting such annoyances go unexpressed, which leads him often into awkward situations.

The series was developed from a 1999 one-hour special titled Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, which David and HBO originally envisioned as a one-time project. This special was shot as a mockumentary, where the characters were aware of the presence of cameras and a crew. The series itself is not a mock documentary, but it is shot in a somewhat similar cinéma vérité–like style.[1]

Curb Your Enthusiasm has been nominated for 34 Primetime Emmy Awards, and Robert B. Weide received an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, for the episode "Krazee Eyez Killa". The show won the 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.[2]



The series stars Larry David as an extreme fictionalized version of himself. Similar to the real-life David, the character is well-known in the entertainment industry as the co-creator and main co-writer of the highly successful sitcom Seinfeld. Throughout most of the series, the Larry David character is living a married life in Los Angeles with his wife Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines), without children. David's main confidant on the show is his manager, Jeff Greene (played by Curb executive producer Jeff Garlin), who has a temperamental wife Susie (Susie Essman). A large portion of the show's many guest stars are various celebrities and public figures, such as actors, comedians, sportspeople and politicians, who play themselves. These include David's long-time friend Richard Lewis, as well as Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen, who all have recurring roles as fictionalized versions of themselves.

The show is set and filmed in various affluent Westside communities of (and occasionally downtown) Los Angeles, California, as well as the adjacent incorporated cities of Beverly Hills, Culver City and Santa Monica. Several episodes in the third, fourth and eighth seasons [3][4] also feature New York City, Mr. David's hometown.[5]

Although David maintains an office, he leads a semi-retired life in the series, and is rarely shown working regularly, other than in season four, which centered on his being cast as the lead in the Mel Brooks play The Producers, and in season seven, writing a Seinfeld reunion show. Most of the series revolves around Larry's interactions with his friends and acquaintances, with Larry often at odds with the other characters (usually to Larry's detriment). Despite this, the characters do not seem to harbor ill feelings toward each other for any extended period and the cast has stayed stable throughout the show.

David has explained the meaning of the show's title in TV interviews: It reflects his perception that many people seem to live their lives projecting false enthusiasm, which he believes is used to imply that "they are better than you." This conflicts with his style, which is very droll and dry. The title also urges the audience not to expect too much from the show; at the time of the premiere, David wanted to lower expectations after the phenomenal success of Seinfeld.[6]


Creator Larry David stars as a fictional version of himself. He also serves as executive producer and writes the story for each episode.
Jeff Garlin also serves as an executive producer and has directed an episode of the series.

Main cast

  • Larry David (Larry David) – Candid, neurotic, but generally disposed to pursue what he perceives to be the right course, Larry often finds himself in awkward situations that arise as a result of his obstinate belief in his own ethical principles and codes of conduct, which he is nevertheless prepared to bend when it suits him. He usually has good intentions but often finds himself a victim of circumstance and social convention, as many of the people around him are also self-centered and stubborn; the character's unintentional tactlessness has resulted in the term "Larry David Moment" entering the American pop culture lexicon as a slang term for an inadvertently created socially awkward situation.[7] He often centers on petty details, to the extent of aggravating everyone around him just to prove an insignificant point. The real life Larry David has commented that although he secretly wishes to be more like his fictionalized version on the series, he could never be that way because he is a lot more cautious when it comes to social tension.[8] Larry's trademark behaviors are his probing stare when he doesn't think somebody is telling the truth, fondly saying something is "prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay, pretty good" and, when caught up short in a moment of poor or contrary behavior, quizzically and mock-innocently inquiring, often of his wife, Cheryl, or of a close friend, "No good?"
  • Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin) – One of Larry's closest friends, Jeff is his sympathetic manager whose marital problems and adulterous misadventures entangle Larry in embarrassing situations. Jeff often helps Larry with his problems, but that usually leads to Jeff getting entangled in the mess. Jeff and his wife, Susie (Susie Essman), have a daughter named Sammi (Ashly Holloway). While they ultimately love each other, his wife constantly criticizes him on his decisions and weight, while his daughter at times is neutral about her love for her father. Jeff Garlin stated that he truly does not empathize with his character at all and described him as a "pretty evil guy" who has "no morals, no scruples".[9]
  • Cheryl David (Cheryl Hines) – Cheryl is Larry's long-suffering wife and later ex-wife, who often expresses annoyance with his behavior, even in situations beyond his control. She often serves as a voice of reason for him, and helps define the social guidelines that he may have overlooked. While her adventures never led her far off from Larry, she has various activities outside day-to-day married life, including an acting stint, and, more sustainably, as an advocate of environmental issues, including being a member of and fundraiser for the NRDC. Her affection for Larry has been tested, even resulting in her leaving him for a time; upon learning that he had put together the Seinfeld reunion just to have a chance to get back with her, she sees it as a sign of their "belong[ing] together", but soon decides to file for divorce when Larry concentrates on a coffee stain incident rather than the fact that they are back together, refusing yet again to listen to her. They divorce in the season eight premiere episode (which is Cheryl Hines' final appearance on the series to date).
  • Susie Greene (Susie Essman) – Jeff's wife, who has a very explosive temper and a filthy mouth. Consequently her reactions to Larry range from near violence via benign grievances to occasionally fonder repartee. She routinely berates Larry and Jeff with profanity-laced tirades after uncovering one of their hare-brained shenanigans. Susie and Jeff have an "on-again, off-again" relationship. She often uses Larry as a scapegoat for her marital problems. She is known to refer to Larry as "Larry Fucking David" and "Four-Eyed Fuck" and when he crosses her, she is known to respond "Fuck you, Larry David!", while her common expletive to her husband is "You fat piece of shit!" She often serves to enforce traditional moral standards such as the sanctity of marital vows and fealty to hearth and home, at times versus her husband, at others versus Larry and usually versus both. Susie Essman is upgraded from guest star billing to main cast billing beginning with season eight.

Recurring roles

Among the show's many recurring roles, Richard Lewis and Ted Danson play versions of themselves as old friends of Larry's with whom he frequently butts heads. Shelley Berman plays Larry's father, Nat David. Bob Einstein frequently appears as Marty Funkhouser, another of Larry's oldest friends. Beginning with season six, J. B. Smoove appears as Leon Black, and in seasons six and seven, Vivica A. Fox appears as Loretta Black, members of a family of hurricane evacuees who stay in Larry's house.

Notable guest appearances

Celebrities, including actors, comedians, authors, musicians and athletes, often make guest appearances on the show, with a large portion of them playing themselves, or fictional versions thereof. Some of the guest stars who have appeared as themselves include Mel Brooks, Michael York, Martin Scorsese, Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Shaquille O'Neal, Rosie O'Donnell, Ricky Gervais, Michael J. Fox, and the main cast of Seinfeld. Notable people who filled in fictional roles include Bea Arthur, Dustin Hoffman, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, and Steve Coogan.

Plots and episodes

Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes are typically named after an event, object, or person which figures prominently in the plot, similarly to how Seinfeld episodes were named. Many episodes concern breaches of intricate aspects of social conventions, such as the various details of tipping at restaurants,[a][b][c] the obligation to "stop and chat" upon meeting an acquaintance,[d] the allowed amount of caviar one may put on a cracker at a house party,[e] whether a house guest needs the permission of the homeowner before taking a soft drink from the refrigerator.[f] Others involve more significant issues, such as if and when a white person may say the racially sensitive word "nigger".[g] And some involve the etiquette of extremely complex and unique circumstances, such as the occasion when Larry discovered at a wake that the deceased was to be buried with his favorite golf club—borrowed from Larry.[h] Another involved Larry picking up a prostitute for the sole purpose of using the carpool lane on the freeway.[i] In many episodes, Curb—like its predecessor Seinfeld—tied together apparently unrelated events woven throughout a given episode into an unforced climax that resolves the story lines simultaneously, either to Larry's advantage or detriment.

Season overview

While each episode has a distinct individual plot, story arcs between episodes are also fairly common, and most seasons have a major overarching arc. These season-long story arcs are stretched across most of the season's ten episodes, and culminate in a season finale.

Larry David with the cast of Seinfeld during the reunion in the seventh season.
  • In season one (2000), the style and the characters of the show are introduced across a series of mostly isolated episodes, as it is the only season without a major story arc.
  • In season three (2002), Larry invests in a restaurant enterprise which finally opens despite many mishaps, most of which are Larry's fault.
  • In season four (2004), Mel Brooks casts Larry as the lead in his hit musical The Producers. Cheryl also gives Larry the opportunity to have sex with another woman before their tenth anniversary as an anniversary-gift.
  • In season five (2005), Larry's friend Richard Lewis gets very ill and requires a kidney transplant. Larry is a match, but he spends the season looking for other sources of a kidney for Lewis. Also in season five, Larry suspects he may be adopted and embarks on a search to find his biological parents.
  • Season six (2007) is built around Cheryl persuading Larry to take in a black family that is left homeless after a major Gulf Coast hurricane. Later in the season, Cheryl leaves Larry, mimicking Laurie David's real-life divorce from Larry. He spends the rest of the season either fighting for her to come back or looking for a replacement.
  • Most of season seven (2009) is centered on creating a Seinfeld reunion show with the original cast, while Larry is either dating or trying to get back together with Cheryl.
  • Season eight (2011) continues to follow Larry's single life after he and Cheryl get divorced. At the midpoint of the season, the main characters all travel to New York City, where the rest of the season is set.

Critical response

Since its 2000 debut, the show has enjoyed wide critical acclaim and a steadily growing, dedicated audience that has helped it emerge from its early "cult" status. On Metacritic, the fifth season scored 91 out of 100 based on five reviews,[10] the seventh season scored 81 out of 100 based on 18 reviews[11] and the eighth season scored 85 out of 100 based on six reviews.[12]

Slate magazine named the characters of Cheryl David and Susie Greene as two of the best on television and as reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in the fall of 2007.[13] Curb Your Enthusiasm has also received praise from Galus Australis magazine for being even more unashamedly Jewish than the Seinfeld series.[14]

Awards and nominations

The series has received a total of 34 Primetime Emmy Award nominations with one win, for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for Robert B. Weide for the episode "Krazee-Eyez Killa". The series has received six nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. Larry David has received four nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Cheryl Hines has received two nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The series has also received many nominations for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series.[15]

It has received five Golden Globe Award nominations and won for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy in 2002, while being nominated in 2005. Larry David has been nominated for three Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series – Musical or Comedy.[16] It has been nominated for five Producers Guild of America Awards and has won twice.[17] It has been nominated for four Screen Actors Guild Awards, two for Larry David and two for the ensemble cast.[18][19] It has been nominated for four Writers Guild of America Awards and has won once.[20] It has been nominated for nine Directors Guild of America Awards and has won once for Bryan Gordon for the episode "The Special Section".[21]

Juan Catalan incident

In 2003, Juan Catalan, a resident of Los Angeles, was cleared of premeditated murder charges against a material witness (a crime eligible for capital punishment) after outtake footage shot for the "Carpool Lane" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm showed him and his daughter attending the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves baseball game some 20 miles from the crime-scene at the time of the murder, resulting in a $320,000 settlement against the City of Los Angeles.[22] Larry David joked afterwards "I like to tell people that I've now done one good thing in my life, albeit inadvertently".


On June 2, 2010, the series premiered on the TV Guide Network, making its network television debut. The network also recorded a series of related discussions with high-profile guest stars, media pundits, and prominent social figures called "Curb: The Discussion" debating the moral implications depicted in each episode.[23] The show was also syndicated on local stations and WGN America,[24] but has been removed from both stations and WGN America due to low ratings.[25]


DVD releases

Curb Your Enthusiasm seasons come in a two-disc DVD set with ten episodes, with the exception of the release of season one encoded for region two, that contains three discs.

Season Release dates Bonus features
Region 1 Region 2
1 January 13, 2004 May 17, 2004 Commentary by Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines and Robert B. Weide on the pilot episode; interview with Larry David; HBO TV Special – "Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm"
2 June 15, 2004 October 18, 2004 None
3 January 18, 2005 February 7, 2005 60 minutes of extras with the cast and directors at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen
4 August 30, 2005 September 26, 2005 None
5 August 1, 2006 September 11, 2006 "The History of Curb... so far" and "The History of Curb... even further" featurettes
6 January 28, 2008 June 9, 2008 A Conversation with Larry David and Susie Essman; On the Set: Curb Your Enthusiasm; Gag reel
7 June 8, 2010 June 7, 2010 Rebuilding the Seinfeld Sets; Larry David as George Costanza; Interview with Larry David and the Seinfeld cast, and more


A Curb Your Enthusiasm book was released October 19, 2006, published by Gotham Books. The book contains stories from Larry David's past, original interviews and commentary, episode outlines, episode guide, and over 100 full-color photographs. The contents of the book span the first five seasons of the show.[26]


The show is punctuated between scenes with music orchestrated by Wendell Yuponce (first season), and from a music library company called Killer Tracks (seasons two to five).[27] Frequently heard are instrumental arrangements of the whimsical "Three Little Maids From School Are We" from The Mikado, and the rhythmic Gypsy dance "Les tringles des sistres tintaient" from Carmen. The opening and closing theme song (not mentioned in the credits) is "Frolic" by Italian composer Luciano Michelini. Larry David heard the music used in a bank commercial years before the show was created and thought it had a lighthearted, joyful quality.[28] An unofficial soundtrack was released by Mellowdrama Records in 2006.[29]


  1. ^ Episode 4, "The Bracelet" (season one)
  2. ^ Episode 67, "The Black Swan" (season seven)
  3. ^ Episode 63, "The Reunion" (season seven)
  4. ^ Episode 20, "The Massage" (season two)
  5. ^ Episode 64, "The Hot Towel" (season seven)
  6. ^ Episode 61, "Funkhouser's Crazy Sister" (season seven)
  7. ^ Episode 58, "The N Word" (season six)
  8. ^ Episode 35, "The 5 Wood" (season four)
  9. ^ Episode 36, "The Car Pool Lane" (season four)


  1. ^ a b Richmond, Ray (July 2003). "Unscripted: Directing HBO's Improv Comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm". DGA Magazine. 
  2. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm: About the Show". HBO. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  3. ^ Tucker, Reed (May 18, 2010). "'Curb' kicked to NYC". New York Post. Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ Paul Needham (July 12, 2011). "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Heads To New York City". The Huffington Post. 
  5. ^ "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Season 8 Official Poster (PHOTO)". Huffington Post. June 6, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  6. ^ Marin, Rick (July 16, 2007). "The Great And Wonderful Wizard of Odds". The New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ Urban Dictionary: larry david moment
  8. ^ "Larry David Talks Dating Post-Divorce, 'Seinfeld' and Wealth". Rolling Stone. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Jeff Garlin, from Curb Your Enthusiasm". BuddyTV. November 11, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 7". Metacritic. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 8". Metacritic. Retrieved July 10, 2011. 
  13. ^ Lapidos, Juliet (September 21, 2007). "Oh, How We've Missed You!". Slate. Retrieved September 23, 2007. 
  14. ^ Frosh, Anthony (June 28, 2009). "Jews in Pop-culture: a Critical Examination Part". Galus Australis. 
  15. ^ "Primetime Emmy® Award Database". The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  16. ^ "Award Search". The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  17. ^ "PGA Award Winners 1990-2010". Producers Guild of America. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  18. ^ "The 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  19. ^ "The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". Screen Actors Guild. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  20. ^ Mitchell, Gregg (January 19, 2010). "Larry David to Receive 2010 TV Laurel Award". Writers Guild of America. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Award / Winner and Nominee Search". Directors Guild of America. Search for Curb Your Enthusiasm. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  22. ^ Laura Coverson (2007-03-08). "Man Cleared by TV Footage Gets $320,000". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  23. ^ "TV Guide Network Teams-up with Legendary Show Creator Larry David to Launch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Exclusive Extras Hosted by Series Regular Susie Essman" (Press release). TV Guide Network. March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm". WGN America. Retrieved August 31, 2011. 
  25. ^ "WGN America Fall 2011 Schedule; MeTV Network Celebrates Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday With 100 Episodes of Lucy Series". July 26, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011. 
  26. ^ ASIN B000RWEL7Y
  27. ^ Goldwasser, Dan (April 5, 2006). "Exclusice - Curb Your Enthusiasm - First Listen". SoundtrackNet. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  28. ^ "Curb Your Enthusiasm - Larry David on Theme Song (Paley Center)". Paley Center for Media. July 29, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  29. ^ ASIN B000FDJ31Y

External links

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