As the co-creator and writer of “Seinfeld” and the creator, writer, and star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Larry David has had his fair share of plaudits over the years.
But, according to two members of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” team, there are actually aspects of David’s talent and career that do go underappreciated. Jeff Schaffer, who is the executive producer on the comedy, was the first to make this declaration to me when I sat down with him to discuss season 9 of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” back in September, as he insisted that some people just think the show is made up on the fly.
“I’ll tell you what’s underappreciated. People just say, ‘Because it is an improv show you just turn up to a location and then let fly.’ ‘Curb’ is written just like ‘Seinfeld’ was. We spend all this time taking a funny idea, which is usually just one scene, and then trying to weave them into a show. The difference with ‘Seinfeld’ is that we used to spend a few days writing a script, and here we don’t. That’s the under-appreciated part. The amount of time we spend writing these elaborate structures that are funny.”
Susie Essman, who plays the wife of the long suffering Jeff, Larry’s manager, on the show, went even further, insisting that any student of comedy should watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for tips on how to structure comedy.
“Any writer, anyone who wants to learn about comedy should take any episode of ‘Curb’ and just break it down scene by scene, and write down what happened in that scene. In the essence of that scene. And that would be the outlines. And you would see the structure.”
You can do just that when the latest episode of the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” airs on Sunday on HBO at 10pm EST, while Larry David will host this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live,” too.