On Thursday (July 30) afternoon at the Television Critics Association press tour, HBO presented clips from the upcoming seventh season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The clips featured series stars Larry David, Jeff Garlin and Cheryl Hines, but it also featured some mighty familiar faces from David’s past.
How familiar? Try Jason Alexander. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus. And Jerry Seinfeld.
Indeed, a full-on “Seinfeld” reunion is coming to HBO this fall, but maybe not in exactly the manner fans of the beloved NBC comedy were hoping for.
“The context is that for years I’ve been asked about a ‘Seinfeld’ reunion, as has Jerry and the other cast members, and then one day I realized that — I mean, I would always say, ‘No, there’s no reunion. There’s not going to be a reunion show. We would never do that. It’s a lame idea.’ And then I thought, ‘But it might be very funny to do that on ‘Curb.” And I kept thinking about the idea. I started to think of different scenarios and how we could pull this off, and I called Jerry. And Jerry was game. And I said, ‘Well, I’ll call the others,’ and I did. And we did it. So we’re doing a ‘Seinfeld’ reunion show on ‘Curb.’ We’re going to see writing. We’ll see aspects of the read-through, parts of rehearsals. You’ll see the show being filmed. And you’ll see it on TV.”
David added, “You won’t see the entire show. You’ll see parts of the show. You will get an idea of what happened 11 years later, and within the show, you’re going to – it will be incorporated into regular ‘Curb’ episodes. So the cast members will be playing themselves on ‘Curb’ while all this is going on.”
The “Seinfeld” creator and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” mastermind explained that the semi-reunion would be peppered throughout the season, with Jerry Seinfeld appearing in five episodes and the other cast members appearing in at least four. In the clips shown to reporters, we saw David interacting with Seinfeld and Alexander, but also a table-read for the reunion episode, with “Seinfeld”-esque dialogue on the etiquette of blowing your nose into napkins at fancy restaurants.
“It was surprisingly smooth,” David notes of writing for “Seinfeld” again, even just in bits and pieces. “Coming up with the right ideas for what’s happened in 11 years, that took some thought. Three of the guys working on my show as executive producers also were producers on ‘Seinfeld,’ so I was working with them, and I think we came up with some interesting stuff.”
The assembled reporters were plenty curious on the logistics of event partially resurrecting a show that ended its acclaimed run back in May of 1998.
Given Real-Larry’s refusal to do a reunion, what makes “Curb”-Larry give in?
“That’s a very good question, really good question, and that will be answered in one of the episodes,” David told the scribe. “Good. That is. That’s a big thing, because I would never do that. So there was a compelling reason as to why I decided to do it.”
And given the structure and conventions of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” can we assume that “Curb”-Larry might make a mess of the “Seinfeld” reunion?
“My guy might consider wrecking something like that, yeah,” David laughed. “We will see what happens. My guy could very well wreck it. I’m not saying he did. I don’t know.”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” returns to HBO on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET.