Curb Your Enthusiasm

Missing image
A promotional image from the third season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American television sitcom starring Seinfeld co-creator and writer Larry David. Since its 2000 series debut, the half-hour HBO show has enjoyed wide critical acclaim and a steadily growing audience that has helped it emerge from early cult status. Through 2004, it has been nominated for 20 Emmy Awards, winning one, and has won a Golden Globe for best television comedy (2003). The series was inspired by a one-hour 1999 special of the same name, which David and HBO had envisioned as a one-time project.



Set in Los Angeles and loosely based on David's life as a semi-retired multimillionaire in the world after Seinfeld, the series is often described as a more subversive take on that hit program's "little show about nothing" motif.

The latitude afforded by cable television allows David to employ a darker comic palette while exploring many of his stock themes: the banal idiosyncrasies of daily life, the quirky entanglements of personal relations, the over-the-top social snafus. Curb weaves wry, ironic stories around the minutiae of David's sensitivities, his propensity for outrage, and misanthropic flouting of conventions -- which turn out to reveal an unwitting knack for self-destructive behavior.

Shot on location with hand-held cameras, Curb Your Enthusiasm is produced unconventionally, eschewing traditional scripts in favor of detailed scene outlines from which actors improvise dialogue. Curb develops ongoing story lines and in-jokes set around David's interaction with his patient but put-upon wife, his loyal manager and others in the upper echelons of Hollywood.

Though many scenarios are drawn from his own experiences, the real-life David has downplayed the notion that he is like the character portrayed onscreen. In a Bob Costas interview, he did, however, say the Larry David of the show was the one he often wants to be in real life -- but can't, due to his sensitivity to others and to social conventions. For example, he forbids characters in CYE to use insults that may personally offend the actors (for example calling Jeff Greene fat) unless the actor (in this case, Jeff Garlin) okays it.

Production on the show's fifth season began in January 2005, with episodes set to air this fall.


The show's natural, quasi-documentary style, and the fact that David and many other characters play "themselves", have contributed to the show's blurring of distinctions between fiction and reality, again echoing Seinfeld.

  • Larry David (as himself): The star of the show. The rich but inept David has terrible luck in social situations (with a few notable exceptions), and is often on the losing end of heated confrontations with "the help" -- waiters, retail clerks, secretaries. Politically liberal but socially obtuse, the character is sensitive to offending others (such as the handicapped), but often does so inadvertently.
  • Cheryl David (played by Cheryl Hines): David's wife. An utterly believeable straight woman and foil for David, often exasperated by his eccentricities.
  • Jeff Greene (played by Jeff Garlin): Larry's manager. He doggedly sticks up for his client and friend. Among his character quirks is an obsession with sex, complete with hidden pornography collections and a string of infidelities.
  • Susie Greene (played by Susie Essman): Jeff Greene's wife. Often reacts to Jeff and Larry's shenanigans with extensive profanity.

Guest stars frequently play key roles. Richard Lewis and Ted Danson often appear as Larry David's friends. Others have included former Seinfeld stars Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, along with Martin Scorsese, Wanda Sykes, Rob Reiner, Alanis Morissette, David Schwimmer, Mel Brooks and Ben Stiller. Most play themselves. Jerry Seinfeld made a cameo appearance in the Season 4 finale.


Episodes in seasons after Season 1 (2000) of Curb Your Enthusiasm are often linked by a certain theme or plot.

  • Season 2 (2001) - Larry David pursues a new television project, first with Alexander, and then Louis-Dreyfus. The premise: an actor who starred in a famous television show (Seinfeld being the obvious reference point) finds it difficult to secure work because of the public's strong association with their famous former character. David pitches the idea to initially receptive network executives who ultimately back away for a variety of reasons.
  • Season 3 (2002) - David joins a restaurant venture with a group of investors that includes Danson. The season ends with the restaurant's grand opening.
  • Season 4 (2004) - David works with Brooks, Stiller and Schwimmer to star on Broadway in The Producers.
  • Season 5 - Scheduled to air in fall 2005.

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