Larry David doesn’t care about transcending the real world for the sake of perverse comedy. (Note: I said perverse comedy. Larry is reaching into more unsavory realms this season.) Since the show is filmed like a home video and the characters speak like you and I, we as an audience often attempt to relate to the plots. Nevertheless, as much as we push to find the realism in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — as close as we get to thinking, I would do the same thing! — Larry can effortlessly shatter the correlation.
So, when Larry’s casting director casually informs him that her daughter has “a rash on her pussy,” we know we’re visiting another universe. As the episode carries on, Larry repeatedly receives text message from Emma, the little girl. Try as he may to end the correspondence, Larry is deterred by her persistence and cuteness. When Larry visits his doctor (because of a rash he likely got from Emma), we fully appreciate our view from home.
Doctor: Well, do you have any idea how you may have gotten this rash?
Larry: I’ve been seeing this nine year-old girl and she kinda has a rash on her pussy. Uh, I took her to lunch the other day and we had a fight. We made up and we hugged. It’s gotta be her.
(Larry receives a text.)
Larry: Yeah, that’s her now.
Larry: She’s so cute. We text all the time. For a while we weren’t but we’re back on now, so…
The doctor tells his assistant to call the police. Larry’s performance in the doctor’s office was perfect and will go down as one of my favorite scenes from “Curb.” His maniacal laughter at the end over the closing credits is priceless.
Thankfully, this episode of “Curb” finally gets the “Seinfeld” reunion off the ground. We watch as the cast rehearses the fictional reunion. This was a true joy as the script actually sounded really funny. Of course, there are some problems on the set — problems similar to the ones the real Larry David probably encountered while shooting his old show. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander immediately question Cheryl’s acting credentials; Marty Funkhauser shows up uninvited and tells Jerry a filthy joke; during the table read, Jason Alexander molests a pen he borrowed from Larry. This all happens in the opening scene and unravels at a comfortable pace over the next 36 minutes. Yes, this episode is quite a bit longer than most. Since “The Table Read” is so focused on the construction of the reunion, the weaker storylines are excusable. This serves as a reminder that “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is indeed a show about Larry David. Thus, his disagreements with the maitre d’ and Emma were vital.
I’ve previously pointed out that Larry is in practically every scene from “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” I closely examine those rare instances when he’s absent as the show briefly takes a detour from Larry’s brilliantly preculiar point of view. Although the scenes feel unhinged without his presence, they’re a breath of fresh air. With that in mind, Michael Richards and Leon deserve a bulk of the credit for making “The Table Read” a great episode.
We suspected Larry David would incorporate Richards’ mistake from three years ago, when Richards insulted an African American heckler during his comedy routine. I don’t know why I never thought Leon would get involved.
But I’m happy he did as the results were hysterical. In the opening scene, Michael tells Larry that he’s contracted the fictional Groat’s Disease. He’s worried that it will affect his performance. In response, Larry tries to set up a meeting with an accountant named Danny Duberstein, a longtime Groat’s Disease sufferer. Unfortunately, Duberstein has died from Groat’s, so Larry looks to Leon for help. He wants Leon to visit Michael and pretend to be Duberstein.
Later in the episode, Leon, dressed more like Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam than a Jewish accountant, manages to convince Michael that he’ll be fine. It doesn’t take too long for Michael to discover that Leon is full of crap. Confronting Leon, Michael has every right to be angry, but he stops short of using any harsh insults because of his past. As various onlookers remove their cell phones to capture a potential meltdown, Michael departs in a frenzy.
Shortly after Michael Richards’ real-life scandal, he apologized on “Letterman” and spent weeks groveling in front of the African American community. That’s all but forgotten now and I don’t really know how people currently feel about this talented actor. Nevertheless, last night’s episode of “Curb” gave audiences a glimpse at the repercussions of Richards’ outburst. He can never screw up again and must always be on his toes. Isn’t that punishment enough? Given his willingness to skewer his own troublesome past on “Curb,” he’s obviously moving in the right direction. He has Larry David to thank for that.