Arts & Culture

Happy Bithday Larry David — I Sorta Hate You

As a Jew, I know I’m supposed to unabashedly and unapologetically love Larry David. I’m supposed to revere him as some sort of king of nonsense, of quintessentially farcical Jewishness. Curb Your Enthusiasm is kind of the Jewish version of … Read More

By / July 2, 2010

As a Jew, I know I’m supposed to unabashedly and unapologetically love Larry David. I’m supposed to revere him as some sort of king of nonsense, of quintessentially farcical Jewishness. Curb Your Enthusiasm is kind of the Jewish version of blackface-it’s terrible and uncomfortable and politically incorrect-but for some reason we’re all supposed to think it’s hilarious. And I do, I really do. Like everyone else, I can watch Larry David convince a prostitute to jump into the passenger seat of his car in order to take advantage of the carpool lane, or awkwardly gift his housekeeper a bra, to her-and Cheryl’s-horror, and I can laugh really hard, to the point of stitches. He’s a foil, and in many ways Curb Your Enthusiasm, and its creator, is totally genius. Larry David is someone we all love to hate. We revel in his missteps and fumbles, probably because, unlike in real life, he gets what he deserves most of the time. It’s rewarding to watch someone so awful, so oblivious to other people’s feelings, so socially inept and morally corrupt, get served. Thing is: and I hate to say this, but I sort of despise Larry David, and not in that, I-love-to-hate-you-but-really-I-find-you-endearing way. I appreciate him, quite a lot. But unlike Seinfeld, where the characters are equally terrible-they steal loaves of rye bread from old ladies and sneakily put lobster into the scrambled eggs of a friend’s girlfriend who openly keeps kosher-they’re watchable. I’m allergic to Larry David and his antics. It’s just too hard to watch. He makes my skin crawl. That said, I’m glad he exists. He makes me feel less neurotic. So, happy birthday, Larry David. I find you incredibly uncomfortable.