‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ – ‘The Palestinian Chicken’: The social assassin

A review of tonight’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” coming up just as soon as I quote Theodor Herzl…

As with the season premiere, I didn’t love the ending of “The Palestinian Chicken.” I don’t believe Larry cares about Judaism or his social standing enough to turn down either the chicken or the chance of more sex with Shara (and her sister), and therefore didn’t buy him being caught between the two crowds, even as I understood the point being made. And yet as with the season premiere, the rest of the episode was so damn funny – and featured so many clever crossovers between the various stories and running gags – that I can deal with a slightly flat coda.

“Curb” is a very Jewish show to begin with (think “The Survivor,” or “The Special Section”), and this may have been their most Jewish episode to date. Funkhouser doing a hardcore midlife recommittment to tradition was marvelous, as Bob Einstein speaking Yiddish and/or Hebrew will never not be funny. And even better was the story of the chicken restaurant itself(*), which played out  as a parody of both Israeli/Palestinian tensions(**) and the Ground Zero mosque kerfuffle.(***)

(*) Out of curiosity, is Palestinian chicken an actual delicacy? Because this episode sure did its job in making me want to try some.

(**) It’s at this time that I remind you of the No Politics rule, boys and girls. We can talk about the comedy here, but this blog is not the place to actually debate the geo-political situation in the Middle East.

(***) See (**).

And mixed in with Larry and Jeff enjoying the forbidden chicken, and Larry having hilarious, hateful sex with Shara (“I’m going to fuck the Jew out of you!”) was the concept of Larry’s friends finally trying to exploit his talents for social assassination for their own ends – and having it all, predictably, blow up for themselves and for Larry. Ron can’t get his wife to stop saying “LOL” (and she’s cheating on him, besides), Sammy(****) can’t get Susie to stop smacking her lips and saying “ah,” the golf team blows the championship, etc. About the only good that Larry accomplishes for himself is to chase the yarmulke-clad Funkhouser (“What is this, the raid on Entebbe?”) away from the Palestinian chicken place, winning Shara’s affections for the moment.

(****) I know the show’s been around for a decade now, and that Sammy appeared a couple of times last season, but it’s still kind of startling to see her as a full-blown teenager. It was very much a “Sunrise, Sunset” appearance, though the lyrics here would be “Is this the little girl whose doll Larry decapitated? Is this the little girl he got drunk?”

Throw in the fun of Larry taking his “no matter what” duties incredibly seriously, Jeff looking like Blofeld and random other historical Jewish references (“You’re Koufaxing us?”), and you have yourself a damn fine, funny episode of “Curb.”

What did everybody else think?