Best episodes of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’
If ever a person embodied the words “endearing misanthrope,” that person would be Larry David. To quote the master himself, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is “pritty, pritty, prit-ty good.” Larry David created the show and stars as a fictionalized version of himself. David’s brilliant yet grating sense of humor, drawing upon influences from Mel Brooks and Woody Allen, burst onto the scene when he created “Seinfeld” in 1989. David himself primarily inspired the character George Costanza. What makes the show so impressive is that it is largely improvisational. The actors receive a synopsis of the scene and then ad lib the rest. “Curb,” as it is affectionately abbreviated in my house, stars a slew of David’s actual friends including Ted Danson, Jeff Garlin, Wanda Sykes and Richard Lewis to name a few. The show is not new by any means; the seventh season premiered three weeks ago following a two-year hiatus and thank God for that. In the time that I yearned for David’s unparalleled permutation of neurosis and wit, I have compiled my top five episodes from the previous six seasons.
Episode 1: “The Pants Tent”
In the show’s pilot episode, Larry accompanies Nancy, one of his wife’s friends, to the movies. It would not be “Curb Your Enthusiasm” if there were no awkward occurrences, and the instigator in this episode is Larry’s pants. The excess fabric causes an inconvenient and innocent bunch-up giving the illusion that Larry has an erection, which alarms Nancy. Also at the theater is Larry’s friend, Richard Lewis’s new girlfriend, Sofia. Throughout the show, Larry has uncomfortable interactions and opinions regarding Richard’s girlfriends, but in this first episode, Larry tries to walk past Sofia to get to his seat. Sofia feels he is taking too long to go by and accuses him of staring at her breasts. Given the fact that she is wearing a provocative, form-fitting dress, Larry delivers a great line—“No, you wear that dress so people look at your shoes.” Later in the episode, Larry calls his wife “Hitler” on a phone call with his friend Jeff, not knowing that he is on speakerphone with Jeff’s outraged parents listening in.
Episode 28: “Krazee Eyez Killa”
Wanda Sykes is Larry’s wife Cheryl’s good friend, and in this episode she is engaged to a rapper, who goes by the name Krazee Eyez Killa. At a party, Krazee confides in Larry about his love for vaginas and the differences that exist between ethnic vaginas. Krazee trusts Larry and warmly asks him, “Are you my n****?” Later, when Wanda finds out her fiancé’s side activities, Krazee accuses Larry of betraying him, but Larry vows to him that he didn’t say anything. Larry demonstrates his friendship by asking Krazee, “Are you my Caucasian?” Also in this episode, Susie, Jeff’s wife, offers Larry a tour of their new house, but Larry turns down the offer saying, “Yeah, it’s a house. It’s new. I get it. It’s nice.”
Episode 29: “Mary, Joseph, and Larry”
While Larry is Jewish and his wife Cheryl is Christian, their religious differences never seem to have come between them in the past. When Cheryl’s family comes to visit for Christmas, Larry’s lack of Christian knowledge creates a tense visit. After Cheryl and her sister bake Nativity-themed cookies, Larry eats the cookie of the baby Jesus unknowingly. Shocked, Cheryl’s sister tells Larry, “You ate the baby Jesus and his mother Mary,” to which Larry replies, “I thought he was a monkey.” In an effort to salvage Christmas, Larry hires a group of actors to play the Nativity scene and sets them up in his driveway, but he quickly offends the actor playing Joseph by saying that the actress playing Mary is hot. Throughout the episode, Larry has a problem clearing his throat and even sees his doctor to help him remove the irritant in his throat, a pubic hair from his wife following oral sex.
Episode 39: “The Survivor”
For Larry and Cheryl’s 10-year anniversary, Cheryl tells Larry that he can sleep with another woman one time. This proposal drives much of the fourth season, and in this episode, Larry considers a tempting offer from his Hasidic dry cleaner. As they prepare to meet in a hotel, Larry wonders if it’s true that Hasidic Jews have sex through a sheet. Larry shows up at the hotel with a sheet with a hole cut out, much to the woman’s chagrin. Later, Larry is attending a dinner party, and a friend of his comments that he is bringing a survivor to the party. Assuming that he means a Holocaust survivor, Larry invites a friend of his father’s, another Holocaust survivor so that they can meet. Larry brings Solly to the dinner, but his friend brings Colby Donaldson, a participant on a season of the reality show “Survivor.” Colby and Solly get into an all-out fight discussing who had it harder, as a contestant on the show or in a concentration camp. Colby asks him “Did you ever see our show?” and Solly replies, “Did you see our show? It was called the Holocaust!”
Episode 36: “The Car Pool Lane”
Larry and Jeff want to play golf but can’t because they haven’t heard back from the “restricted” golf club about their membership applications. Instead, they want to go to the next night’s Dodgers game, but it is sold out. Cheryl surprises Larry with tickets to the game. Jeff cancels at the last minute and Larry finds himself in traffic on the way to the game. In a stroke of genius, Larry decides to pick up a prostitute, Monena, so that he can use the HOV or car pool lane. Monena insists that Larry take her to the game, and she proves to be entertaining company, until Larry runs into some of the golf club board members who review applications. It doesn’t fare so well for Larry that he escorted a hooker to the game. Earlier that day, Larry nervously bought marijuana from a street dealer for his father, who suffers from glaucoma. He ends the night smoking the marijuana with his elderly father and Monena.