After six long years, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon Larry David is back as Curb Your Enthusiasm returns to our TV screens this Sunday (October 1).
The ninth season promises to be every bit as agonizingly and hilariously awkward as the previous eight, with regular stars Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, J.B. Smoove, Bob Einstein, Richard Lewis, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen all returning.
Not only that, but some of our favorite stars are set to make guest appearances, including Bryan Cranston, Gilmore Girls‘ Lauren Graham, Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Elizabeth Banks (30 Rock), Ed Begley Jr., Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), SNL‘s Nasim Pedrad, Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds), Damon Wayans Jr. (New Girl), Steven Weber (Wings), Katie Aselton (Legion) and Judy Sheindlin, a.k.a. Judge blimmin’ Judy.
To say we are excited about Larry’s comeback would be an understatement, so let’s revel in our favorite (and most toe curling!) moments from the series so far.
10. The stop and chat
If anything, Larry David is a social renegade, ready to break its rules and conventions at a moment’s notice. One such rule is the “stop and chat,” or the obligation to “stop and chat” upon meeting an acquaintance. In an episode called “The Massage” (season 2, episode 20), a man on the sidewalk approaches Larry as if he knows him, says hello, and turns to engage him in conversation. Anyone else would do the same, but not Larry.
9. Larry explains tampons
Women have known about the unintelligible instructions for tampons for a long time, but it takes someone with Larry David’s dogged persistence to figure it out for the rest of mankind. He is forced to do so in “The Divorce” (season 8, episode 1) when buying cookies from an unfortunate girl scout, who suddenly gets her period for the first time in his house. Awks.
8. The Miracle
In one scene in “Bare Midriff” (season 7, episode 6), Larry goes to the bathroom at his assistant Maureen’s home and accidentally splashes urine on a picture of Jesus. As you do. When Maureen — played by the hilarious Jillian Bell of Workaholics fame — sees the stained picture, she assumes what anyone would: that Jesus was crying, and she’d witnessed a full-on miracle. Larry’s face here says it all.
7. Larry deals with annoying Bluetooth guy
Bluetooth headsets may have gone the way of pagers and rotary phones, but their heyday took place in the middle of Curb‘s original run, and, in the case of this scene from “The TiVo Guy” (season 6, episode 7), right under the nose of one Larry David. Larry did what we’ve all dreamt of doing, thus becoming a hero to us all.
6. Larry wears women’s panties
For some reason, Larry’s agent Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin) turns to his favorite client in “Officer Krupke” (season 7, episode 8) for help when his wife finds some discarded women’s underwear in his car. Jeff cooks up an absurd excuse — and Larry, incredibly, goes along with it.
5. Larry vs. Ricky Gervais
Two worlds collide when Larry meets Ricky Gervais, whose character David Brent is arguably an inheritor of both Curb and Seinfeld, in “The Hero” (season 8, episode 6). Things between the two rivals come to a head when Larry spots Ricky on a date with a woman he’d previously dated: Larry gives chase, before coming to their rescue when a mugger attacks them on the New York subway. Briefly, he looks like a hero — but that’s never going to last, is it?
4. Larry pretends to be deaf
Some of the best Larry moments are actually the reactions of his loved ones to him. Take this moment in “The Special Section” (season 3, episode 6), when, eating breakfast on the verandah with his wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines), it briefly looks like Larry might be enjoying himself.
3. “Prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay, pretty good”
Okay, so this isn’t a single moment, but something akin to a catchphrase, if that’s not too conventional a comedic idea for the co-creator of Seinfeld. Larry utters it a few times throughout the series, usually when he’s feeling little more than a bit fond of something, so it’s particularly crushing for wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) when he whips out the phrase in front of all their family and friends during the renewal of their marriage vows.
2. “She didn’t want to bother you”
If George Costanza (Jason Alexander) was based on Larry David, then his mom and dad, played so memorably in Seinfeld by Ben’s dad Jerry Stiller and Estelle Harris, are based on Larry’s parents. In this scene from “The Special Section” (season 3, episode 6), Larry’s father (Shelley Berman) recounts his mother’s final behest — an act of passive-aggressive selflessness that’s worthy of Estelle Costanza.
1. The Larry David stare
Not a single moment either, but the one Curb fans are most likely to reenact when asked for their favorite moment. If anybody seems to be lying, or up to something — anything — then Larry subjects them to this inimitable stare, accompanied by a perky clarinet. It’s amazing any of them keep a straight face (though anyone who’s seen the show’s blooper tapes knows they don’t always).
What’s your favorite Curb moment?