Arts & Culture

Buddha, Jesus, Vishnu, Larry David

What we’re trying to say is that Larry David is a Jewish god. Read More

By / July 8, 2011
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There is something enlightening about previewing an episode from the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm with a room full of people that you have to assume are mostly Jewish.  The reason I can assume, is because the preview was at 92Y — which is possibly the most important Jewish cultural institution in the known universe.

What’s even more enlightening was that after viewing the single most Jewish episode in the history of the program (the details of which I have agreed to not disclose, but be aware that the episode is titled “Palestinian Chicken,” and it’s amazing) was when Brian Williams trotted out on stage and introduced himself as the goy of the evening, then brought out the stars of the show: Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, and of course, Larry David.

The thing you fast realize when Larry David is in a room full of Jews is that he is THE Jew.  Jesus had INRI carved above his head when he was hung up on a cross, but the reality is that Larry David is the King of the Jews.  There’s a lot of Jews who contribute great things to the worlds of science, medicine, and if you can imagine such a thing, law.  Larry David excels in being horrible.  Horrible and hilarious.

In the time between the curtain going down after the preview and the stars taking the stage, there were several shouts of “Larry!” as the crowd waited for the entrance for the man who is the defining neurotic Jew of this generation.  When he finally did come on stage, dressed in his trademark t-shirt, blazer, and sneakers, the crowd went wild.  They went wild for a man who plays a man who plays a character (supposedly) based off himself who lacks any empathy, and says and does some pretty terrible things.  But those of us who are his fans, can look past that.  We actually sympathize with some of  David’s antics, and can quote from his oeuvre at will.

I’m not quite sure how he does it — how a guy whose show has poked fun at just about every group of people on the planet, can elicit such devotion.  When non-Jews tell me their favorite Jew is Larry David, I should probably gasp that such a guy is so respected, and looked at as a representative of the ethnic/religious group I belong to, but I don’t.

The conversation at 92Y among Brian Williams and members of the show didn’t dig up any nuggets of knowledge I was unaware of  (Jeff Garlin laughing with sheer delight through most of the program was a treat in itself).  What I came away with was the proof that Larry David is a Jewish god to a certain people.  I don’t know how you define those people, but since I have seen every episode of both Seinfeld and Curb, I know that I count as one of them.