Free from the constraints of network television, Larry David (who turns 68 years old today) took Curb Your Enthusiasm to places that Seinfeld could never go. Inexplicably, it’s been four years since the last episode of Curb, but even if the show is gone for good, it certainly leaves an incredible legacy of comedy, wit, and misanthropy that are on full display with these six classic scenes from the show, which is available to stream on HBO NOW, should you need/want/deserve a refresher.
The time Larry met Shara at the Palestinian restaurant.
Okay, pretty much any scene from the “Palestinian Chicken” episode could have qualified for this list, but Larry’s affair with Shara, the Palestinian waitress, couldn’t go unmentioned here. After a sex-scene in which many anti-Semitic slurs are uttered — all of which Larry takes in stride — the glorious awkwardness when Shara meets Marty Funkhouser, who she had already seen arguing with Larry about wearing a yarmulke into the restaurant, is fantastic. What really makes it work is how much Larry really doesn’t care about the situation, happily having the best sex of his life, and not caring the least about what his friend thinks of him.
Larry’s meeting with the Krazee-Eyez Killa.
In a scene that would be uncomfortable for anyone else, but which Larry is quite comfortable with, he meets Krazee-Eyez Killa, the rapper his friend Wanda is dating. He asks him for some friendly advice on his lyrics, and Larry suggests that he changes one of the “motherf*ckers” in his rhymes to “b*tch,” which he says is a better way of expressing disrespect. Unfortunately for Larry, when he finds out that Killa is cheating on Wanda, his newfound bond with him creates an ethical dilemma. Does he keep his secret for his new friend, or let his old friend know the truth about her boyfriend’s cheating ways?
When Larry confronts Lisa the nurse about her big… well, you know.
When Jeff’s ex-girlfriend Lisa, who’s currently working as a nurse with the bed-ridden Richard Lewis, insinuates that he had a small penis, Jeff insists that it was the other way around. Larry decides to confront her about it, which she’s naturally horrified by. But what really sets things off is when a $20,000 Mickey Mantle baseball goes is missing, and Larry accuses Lisa of hiding it in what we might call a rather large hiding place. Amazingly, his instincts end up being correct, but not before he creates an incredible amount of awkwardness, which, to be fair, is pretty much what he’s known for.
The time Larry helped a girl get through her first period.
Larry was just going to buy some girl scout cookies, but he ends up getting way more than he bargained for here. The site of Larry trying to figure out how a tampon works is too brilliant for words. To his credit, he’s quite well-meaning, and he even figures it out at the end, but you have to imagine him having to buy a lot more cookies to smooth this one over.
When an unfortunate typo lands Larry in some hot water.
He meant to say “beloved aunt.” Sadly, the worst copy editing error imaginable leads to it saying… something different. Larry insists that it was a typo made by the newspaper, but everyone in the family firmly believes that it was what he meant to write. This scene made me feel lucky. Commenters can be pretty merciless when a typo slips through, but I’ve never had an entire family thinking I called their aunt that which shall never be uttered.
When Larry meets a girl with the most embarrassing mom ever.
Larry meets Emma, a 9-year-old girl who wants to be a writer, and admires him greatly. After they first meet, her mom inexplicably decides to tell Larry that she has a rash in a… rather personal area. Why she chooses to phrase it the way she does is anybody’s guess, but it leads to a lot of perfect misunderstandings, including a brilliant final scene in which Larry’s doctor believes he’s a pedophile.
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