Story and photos by Bernice Fox
Special to the Palisades News
Just like the show’s fans, Larry David missed “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Season eight ended in 2011 with no word if there would be a season nine. Normally that would be fine with David because he’s “not a misser.”
He recently told reporters he doesn’t “really miss things (or) people that much.” But this was different. He missed the cast and crew whom he affectionately calls “these idiots.”
That was one reason for the comedy to return. And there was another.
“I got tired of people asking me, ‘Is the show coming back?’” David said. “I couldn’t face that question any more, and I wasn’t ready to say, ‘No, never.’”
So, by mid-November 2016, yellow “CYE” signs were appearing in Pacific Palisades and other locations on the Westside. Along with those signs, studio trucks began lining residential streets, including the 700 block of Alma Real in the Huntington Palisades, and lighting gear was set up in front of homes.
Finally, filming got underway for the long-awaited ninth season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which premiered Sunday, Oct. 1 on HBO.
David admitted that things were a little rough on the first day of filming. “I had trouble the first take, and I thought, ‘Jeez, I’ve lost it. How am I going to do this?’”
But he soon slipped back into his curmudgeonly character. “I don’t know if you’re aware of this or not,” David said, “but TV Larry is just about a quarter of an inch away from real Larry.”
Susie Essman, who plays potty-mouthed “Susie,” said a ninth season wasn’t expected. But neither were earlier seasons.
“After every season Larry used to say, ‘This is it. I’m never doing another one.’ So, we were used to that.”
David has been doing it that way for years. As creator and writer on “Seinfeld,” every year he would write the last episode of the season as if it were the end of the series because he didn’t think they’d be back. “That’s just my nature,” he said.
During the five years between the end of the last season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the start of filming for this new one, the Palisades resident kept busy.
He wrote and starred in both the HBO movie, “Clear History,” and the Broadway play, “Fish in the Dark.” He played Bernie Sanders to great acclaim and laughs last season on Saturday Night Live. (Both David and Sanders are on the season premiere of “Finding Your Roots” on PBS, airing this week.)
While David was focusing on these other projects, he also was jotting down story ideas for “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” coming up with more awkward situations for his blunt TV character.
Co-executive producer Jeff Schaffer said David would call to discuss an idea, but would say “It’s stupid for me to talk about it—it’s a waste of time,” because they weren’t planning on a new season. Eventually, there were enough ideas to tell HBO the show was coming back.
A 10th season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is expected. And when the series finally ends—who knows when that will be—is the TV version of Larry David going to soften and become a loveable guy?
David’s answer is an emphatic, “No, no he’s not.”