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Des Moines, Iowa


Call me crazy but Larry David just isn't funny

Geoff Wood

Larry DavidI want to like the comedy of Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but for some reason I just don't.

Like most of this country, I enjoyed Seinfeld when it was airing new episodes. It wasn't my favorite show but I definitely tuned in and I still think back fondly on signature episodes such as the one about "shrinkage", the one's where George is a City Planner, and, of course, the contest in "Master of My Domain" (and several others). 

I liked them when they were aired the first time, however, I've had trouble appreciating them when they've shown up countless times as reruns. I don't mind reruns, in general, there are several shows that I'd watch anytime but, unfortunately, Seinfeld is not among them.

The Seinfeld characters were based on Larry and several friends/acquaintances from his life.

After Seinfeld ended, creator Larry David came up with Curb Your Enthusiasm, a show for HBO based on himself and his friends (novel idea). This show is different in than it's only loosely scripted and the actors improvise many of their lines to fit within the context of the scene. It is well regarded so despite my thoughts on Seinfeld reruns I thought that I'd give it a go.

Unfortunately, what I found was that almost every episode features virtually the exact same plot:

  1. Larry does something stupid
  2. Larry tries to get out of it
  3. Larry argues with his wife and/or friend
  4. Larry seemingly diffuses the situation through lies and/or jokes
  5. Larry's stupid move from item #1 comes back to get him.

"Curb" as entertainment industry-types refer to it, has received high marks from critics as well as acclaim from media folks I respect(1). Unfortunately, I just don't find it funny. I'm not sure if its the predictability or if I'm not part of the intended audience(2) being a 30-something year old white guy in Iowa, or if there is some other reason. Regardless, I have now given up.

I'm the type of person who feels like once I start a series of something, such as television or books, that I need to get through it. For that reason, I try to pick series' that have been on for several years so I don't have to wait months and months to see the next season on DVD. At seven seasons, Curb Your Enthusiasm fit that bill and through the glory of Netflix, I watched all of Season 1 and Season 2 and the first three episodes of Season 3.

It was at that point that I punted. I couldn't even make myself finish the episodes on the DVD. 

Call me crazy.

(1)Such as, Adam Carolla (known to most as the "Man Show" guy who isn't Jimmy Kimmel) and Bill Simmons (ESPN page 2's "The Sports Guy") are two guys who talk highligh of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I listen to both of their podcasts quite often. (2) I do have a theory that critics like this show because its written for them (by Hollywood-types for Hollywood-types).