On indefinite hiatus from the HBO hit "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Richard
Lewis is currently on a comedy tour that brings him to the Helium Comedy
Club this weekend. Lewis tells us he decides the content of his show
only minutes before getting on stage. "I never know what I am going to
say. It depends on what kind of day I am having. I have only one rule --
no props," he says.
On "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David and Lewis
play best friends who are neurotics in desperate need of therapy.
(Lewis does not, by the way, have any inside information about the
elusive, rumored ninth season.)
Lewis describes David, who he has
known since they met at summer camp when they were 13, as "eccentric,
wearing his heart on his sleeve and needing to tell you everything."
swears that their friendship off-camera is pretty similar to the one
depicted on camera, "except for a little hyperbole on camera."
whole life is one big ['Curb'] episode. I wanted to take out Larry for
his birthday and bought a special gift for him," recalls Lewis. "Even
though the restaurant had a valet, Larry David, a multimillionaire many
times over, parked at the meter. When I was thanking him for our
wonderful friendship, as I was giving him his present of Yankee Mickey
Mantle's cufflinks, I noticed that he was not listening to me and kept
looking at his watch. He explained that he had to go because he was
parked at a meter and did not want to pay a ticket. Our lunch lasted a
total of 38 minutes. As he dashed out the door, I had to remind him not
to forget his Mickey Mantle cufflinks."
Staying in touch
Lewis believes that some of the credit for his success is due to the comics who came before him. He shows his appreciation to older comics by staying in touch or visiting them, and recently had dinner at Sid Caesar's house.
"I talk to Jonathan Winters every day. He is like a father figure to me," he says. "I used to visit Stan Laurel of Laurel and Hardy and stayed in touch with his widow when he died. When I am older, I hope that Bill Maher and Jon Stewart will visit me."