[03/14/10 - 07:00 PM]
Live at the Paley Festival: HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

Please note: As a courtesy, please do not reproduce these comments to newsgroups, forums or other online places. Links only please.

7:05 PM - The final archival clip of this year's Paleyfest features Larry David and Michael Richards in a 1981 episode of "Fridays," ABC's attempt to do a "SNL"-esque sketch comedy show.

7:12 PM - Craig Hitchcock welcomes us for one last time and brings out tonight's moderator, Martin Miller of the Los Angeles Times. He in turn intros the clip package we're about to see.

7:30 PM - And with that Martin returns to bring out the panelists: Bob Einstein! Richard Lewis! Susie Essman! Cheryl Hines! Jeff Garlin! And of course, Larry David!

7:32 PM - "We don't have any plans to have another 'Seinfeld' reunion," Larry notes. "I think 'Seinfeld' questions at this point, probably not appropriate."

7:34 PM - Larry on his first day working with Susie: "She did a take and when the take was over I said, 'Go up and call [Jeff] a fat fuck.' She said, 'I can't say that to him.' I said, 'I know the guy, he'll have no problem with it.'"

7:36 PM - "'How could we not do this?'" - Jeff on then HBO topper Chris Albrecht's reaction to their pitch for Larry's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" stand-up special, which would go on to serve as a pilot for the series.

7:38 PM - Martin notes that there were few single-camera improv shows on at the time of "Curb's" premiere, which prompts Larry to add, "I don't think there were any."

7:40 PM - Larry on the show's origins: "[The special] was supposed to be a documentary about me going back to stand-up after a 10-year absence. So I started to think, well, it's going to be really boring... what's the off-stage stuff going to be - follow me around the supermarket, picking up my dry cleaning? It seemed very boring to me so I started to concoct some scenes. I gave myself a wife, I had a wife at the time, a manager and then for this thing to seem like a documentary it had to be improvised. That was really why I choose to do that. Also... I hated the idea of memorizing lines."

7:43 PM - Cheryl on going from working as Rob Reiner's personal assistant to booking "Curb": "I knew who Larry was but I don't think I had ever seen him before... I [asked my agent], 'How old is he?'" Adds Larry about her audition, "She was very sassy." She would go on to get the part four hours later.

7:45 PM - Richard begins complaining for a solid three minutes about his experiences on the show, which leads Larry to point out he's just angry he doesn't get the outlines ahead of time.

7:48 PM - "The reason the show is great is because we really, honestly like each other, all of us." Bob notes. "You can don't improvisation if you are with an asshole."

7:49 PM - Bob's quintessential Larry story: "Larry called me up, he said, 'Do you want to know what happens in the first episode this year?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Your mother dies.' I said, '[truthfully] she just did die.' He said, 'I'm not changing the script.'"

7:52 PM - Larry on the show's process: "The actors don't get a script with dialogue to memorize. They get a story. In fact they really don't get anything... people often come to the set without really knowing too much."

7:54 PM - "'This is the happiest day of my life.'" - What Susie says Larry told her after filming the scene in which Vivica A. Fox kicks her out of the house.

7:55 PM - "'Don't you have a shorter joke?'" - What Bob says Larry told him after filming the scene in which Bob tells Jerry an off-color joke at the table read.

7:57 PM - Susie on fan reactions to the show: "People will come up to me wherever I am... begging me to tell them to go fuck themselves." Cheryl adds that strangers frequently ask her, "Hey Cheryl, how's your vagina?"

8:00 PM - Cheryl is apparently one of the few people who's gotten ideas into the show. Jeff adds that he loathes when people pitch him ideas for episodes.

8:02 PM - More Richard complaining: Larry apparently bailed mid-dinner with him at a fancy restaurant in order to play poker with Steve Martin. "I'm sorry," Larry adds.

8:04 PM - Martin brings up Larry's recent appearance on "The Marriage Ref." "Martin," Larry says. "I think we're here to talk about 'Curb.'"

8:05 PM - Martin finally brings up the elephant in the room, will there be another season of "Curb?" "I think there's a pretty good chance," Larry responds.

8:07 PM - Martin wonders if Larry's character has changed at all on the show. "Have I done anything redeeming?" Larry quips.

8:10 PM - Jeff on the show's boundary-pushing humor: "When we're filming the show, when we're doing a scene we never think, 'Oh, they're going to run with this one!' We're talking about the catering, we're never talking about how we might offend people. So I'm always shocked when people come up to me and say, 'I cringed when [whenever happened].'""

8:11 PM - "There are ideas that we don't use in the show because I think they're over the line," Larry adds. "I do have a line, people [don't believe me] but I have a line. And sometimes ideas don't make it in because they're on the wrong side of it. The line is pretty far though."

8:12 PM - Bob quips apparently that having sex with his mentally challenged sister isn't over the line. Larry notes that they actually weren't sure who should have sex with her. First it was him, then Leon until ultimately they went with Jeff. He later adds that should they come back, Leon (J.B. Smoove) would likely return as well.

8:14 PM - Larry on why Cheryl loves Larry on the show: "The stuff you don't see, they get along very well."

8:17 PM - Cheryl shares her quintessential Larry story: "We were doing this scene with this woman who, it was her first time on the show, we were about to start rolling... and she comes up to us in character and started talking. And Larry goes [in Larry's voice], 'Wha-what are you doing?'" After Cheryl explained she was method acting, Larry responded, "[again in Larry's voice] 'Eh-eh-we don't do that here.'"

8:19 PM - Jeff realizes that the panel is also being projected behind them. This freaks him out.

8:21 PM - Susie notes that they don't sit around and think about their characters. Jeff adds, "It's very important for you to know when you see me in a scene... I'm thinking about what's for lunch, did I piss off my wife, what can I do to fix that? I've never [thought] well, representing Larry is fantastic... I don't have a clue where my character came from, where he's going..."

8:25 PM - Martin opens the floor to Q&A.

8:27 PM - A fan praises the casting of Shelley Berman as Larry's father. "Sit down Mrs. Berman," Bob quips.

8:30 PM - Someone asks where the Wendy Wheelchair concept came from. "I don't really know where it came from," Larry confesses. "I don't know, I can't remember. Give me your email, if I think of it I'll let you know... I'm joking."

8:32 PM - Will Cheryl and Larry be back together for the potential new season? "Oh, we don't know," Larry says.

8:36 PM - Will Larry's "trusty" Toyota Prius be featured in an upcoming story? "Yes," Larry says.

8:40 PM - A fan brings up Cheryl's stint on "Brothers & Sisters." "What's 'Brothers & Sisters?'" Larry and Jeff both tease her. "It was completely different," she says about the experience. "All these guys [on 'Curb'], we hang out, we sit around, when they say it's time to go we all get up and go do the scene. That's what I thought everybody did, until I started working on other projects. There's actors who won't come out of their trailers, you have actors that really want to talk about the scene and why are we walking down the sidewalk, 'I don't understand why we're [doing this].' And there's [actors] who are like, 'I don't like this wardrobe, I should be wearing [something else].' And I was shocked."

8:42 PM - Susie on having to share a trailer with everyone (and not caring) for the bulk of the show's run: "I guarantee you, those 'Sex and the City' girls, they had their own trailers."

8:44 PM - Bob decides to tell a joke (paraphrased): "A kid walks into his house and hears screaming in his parents' bedroom. He opens the door, there's his father wearing chaps, his mother's in a cheerleading outfit with nothing on and they're going at it. He says, 'Daddy, what's going on?' The dad tells him to go to his room and give him 20 minutes. Once they're done the dad hears screaming from his son's room. He opens the door and sees his son having sex with his grandmother. The father asks, 'What the hell is going on?' The kid says, 'It's not so funny when it's your mother.'"

8:46 PM - Someone asks if they come up with a better idea while filming do they go in that direction. Larry matter of factly says yes, adding that that wasn't a very good question.

8:48 PM - Bob tells another joke (again, paraphrased): "There's two women on a bridge. One says to the other, Helen, I've always wanted to pee off this bridge. The other says go ahead, no one's around. She drops her shorts and says, I'm going to pee down there on that canoe. Her friend says, 'That's not a canoe, that's your reflection.'"

8:50 PM - Good night folks! Another marathon is over. We'll see you again in 2011.

For more Paley coverage, visit our "Live at the Paley Festival" archives.

  [march 2010]  


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