Larry David

Lawrence Gene David (born July 2, 1947)[1] is an American comedian, writer, actor, director, and television producer.[2] He and Jerry Seinfeld created the television series Seinfeld, of which David was the head writer and executive producer from Seasons 1-7. David gained further recognition for the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, which he also created, in which he stars as a semi-fictionalized version of himself.[3]

Larry David
David at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Birth nameLawrence Gene David
Born (1947-07-02) July 2, 1947
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
MediumStand-up, television, film
Alma materUniversity of Maryland, College Park
Years active1980–present
GenresObservational comedy, improvisational comedy, black comedy, blue comedy, political satire, deadpan, cringe comedy
Spouse
Laurie Lennard
(m. 1993; div. 2007)
Children2

David's work won him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1993. Formerly a stand-up comedian, David went into television comedy, writing and starring in ABC's Fridays, as well as writing briefly for Saturday Night Live. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards, and was voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders as the 23rd greatest comedy star ever in a 2004 British poll to select "The Comedian's Comedian".[4]

Early life

David was born in the neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, in Brooklyn, New York. His parents are Rose (born Regina Brandes) and Mortimer Julius "Morty" David, a men's clothing manufacturer, and he has an older brother named Ken.[5] David's family is Jewish. His father's side moved from Germany to the U.S. during the 19th century, while David's mother was born into a Polish-Jewish family in Tarnopol, now in Ukraine.[6] David graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School, and then from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was a brother in Tau Epsilon Phi in the 1960s,[7] with a bachelor's degree in history.[8][9] It was while at college that David started developing his take on things and discovered that he could make people laugh, simply by being himself.[6] After college, David enlisted in the United States Army Reserve.[10]

Career

While a stand-up comedian, Larry David also worked as a store clerk, limousine driver, and historian. He lived in Manhattan Plaza, a federally subsidized housing complex in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, across the hall from Kenny Kramer, the inspiration for the Cosmo Kramer character in Seinfeld.[11] David then became a writer for and cast member of ABC's Fridays from 1980 to 1982, and a writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1984 to 1985.[12] During his time at SNL, he was able to get only one sketch on the show, which aired at 12:50 AM, the last time slot on the show.[13]

David quit his writing job at SNL in the first season, only to show up to work two days later acting as though nothing had happened. That event inspired a second-season episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Revenge".[14][15] David met his future Seinfeld stars during that early stage of his career: he worked with Michael Richards (Kramer) on Fridays[12] and with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine)[13] on SNL.[16][17] He can be heard heckling Michael McKean when McKean hosted SNL in 1984, and he can be seen in the sketch "The Run, Throw, and Catch Like a Girl Olympics" when Howard Cosell hosted the season finale in 1985.[18][19]

Seinfeld

In 1989 David teamed up with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to create a pilot for NBC called The Seinfeld Chronicles, which became the basis for Seinfeld, one of the most successful shows in history,[20] reaching the top of TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time. Entertainment Weekly ranked it the third-best TV show of all time. David made occasional uncredited appearances on the show, playing such roles as Frank Costanza's cape-wearing lawyer and the voice of George Steinbrenner. He was also the primary inspiration for the show's character George Costanza.[21] David left Seinfeld on friendly terms after the seventh season but returned to write the series finale in 1998, two years later.[22] He also continued to provide the voice for the Steinbrenner character.[23]

David wrote 62 of the episodes of Seinfeld, including 1992's "The Contest", for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award and which TV Guide ranked as episode No. 1 on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time".[24] Syndication of Seinfeld earned David an estimated $250 million in 1998 alone. This amount has been steadily decreasing each year, but payments will continue until the full $1.7 billion from the original syndication deal has been paid. In 2008 David made $55 million from Seinfeld syndication, DVD sales, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.[25][26] He was nominated for an Emmy[27] award 19 times for Seinfeld, winning twice – once for best comedy and once for writing.[28]

Curb Your Enthusiasm

The HBO cable television channel aired David's 1-hour special, Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, on October 17, 1999.[29] This was followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm, a television series on HBO that aired its first episode on October 15, 2000.[30] The show revisits many of the themes of Seinfeld,[31] and is improvised from a story outline only several pages long that David writes (as of the 5th season, additional writers were hired).[32]

The actors improvise their dialogue based on the story outline, direction, and their own creativity. David has said that his character in the show, a fictionalized version of himself, is what he would be like in real life if he lacked social awareness and sensitivity.[33] The character's numerous and frequent social faux pas, misunderstandings, and ironic coincidences are the basis of much of the show's comedy and have led to the entry into the American pop culture lexicon of the expression "Larry David moment", meaning an inadvertently created socially awkward situation.[34]

The basis of the show is the events in David's life following the fortune he earned from the Seinfeld series; David, semi-retired, strives to live a fulfilled life.[35] Alongside David is his wife Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines), his manager and best friend Jeff (played by Jeff Garlin), and Jeff's wife Susie (played by Susie Essman).

Celebrities, including comedians Bob Einstein, Wanda Sykes, and Richard Lewis, appear on the show regularly. Actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have had recurring roles as themselves.[35]

The show is critically acclaimed and has been nominated for 30 Primetime Emmy Awards, with one win, as well as one Golden Globe win. In the first six seasons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander appeared in several episodes, and Jerry Seinfeld made a cameo. In season 7, the cast of Seinfeld, including Michael Richards, returned in a story arc involving David's attempt to organize a Seinfeld reunion special.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2010, the series premiered on the TV Guide Network, making its network television debut. TV Guide Network also produced a series of related discussions with high-profile guest stars, media pundits, and prominent social figures called "Curb: The Discussion" debating the moral implications depicted in each episode. David is quoted as saying "Finally, thanks to the TV Guide Network, I'll get a chance to watch actual, intelligent people discuss and debate the issues addressed on 'Curb'. Now if only someone could tell me where this alleged 'Network' is, I might even watch it."[36]

Other projects

David has also been involved in other films and television series. David wrote and directed the 1998 film Sour Grapes, about two cousins who feud over a casino jackpot. It was neither a commercial nor a critical success.[37][38]

David also has appeared in bit roles in Woody Allen's Radio Days (1987) and New York Stories (1989)[39], before taking the leading role in Allen's New York-based comedy film Whatever Works (2009) alongside Evan Rachel Wood.[40]

David had a cameo appearance on the HBO series Entourage as a client of Ari Gold, and because his daughters were Hannah Montana fans, David, along with his daughters, guest-starred, as themselves, in the episode "My Best Friend's Boyfriend," in which they were waiting for a table at a fancy restaurant.

During the 2008 U.S Presidential Election, David supported and actively campaigned for Barack Obama. In December 2010 David penned an op-ed piece for The New York Times, a sardonic critique of the extension of Bush-era tax cuts headlined "Thanks for the Tax Cut!"[41][42]

David appeared as a panelist on the NBC series The Marriage Ref and also played Sister Mary-Mengele in the 2012 reboot of The Three Stooges.[43] David co-wrote and starred in the 2013 HBO television film Clear History.

David wrote and starred in the Broadway play Fish In The Dark. Also appearing were Rita Wilson, Jayne Houdyshell and Rosie Perez. The play centers on the death of a family patriarch. It opened March 5, 2015. Jason Alexander took over David's role in July. The play closed in August.[44][45] As of February 1, 2015, its advance sale of $13.5 million had broken records for a Broadway show.[46]

Since 2015, David made multiple guest appearances portraying 2016 and 2020 United States presidential election candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live; he also hosted the show on February 6, 2016, with musical guest The 1975 and a cameo from Sanders himself, and on November 4, 2017 with musical guest Miley Cyrus.

Personal life

David married Laurie Lennard on March 31, 1993.[47] They have two daughters, Cazzie Laurel (b. May 10, 1994) and Romy March (b. March 2, 1996).[47][1] David and his wife became contributing bloggers at The Huffington Post in May 2005.[48][49] Laurie David filed for divorce on July 13, 2007, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of the couple's two daughters.[47][50]

In the summer of 2017, PBSFinding Your Roots discovered through genealogical research that David and Bernie Sanders are distantly related. Sanders told David the news. “I was very happy about that,” David said, according to Variety. “I thought there must have been some connection.” The comedian explained that Sanders is “a third cousin or something.”[51]

David is an atheist and has said that religion should be ridiculed.[52][53]

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleNotes
1977It Happened at Lakewood ManorCameo in crowd near hotel
1983Can She Bake a Cherry Pie?Mort's Friend
1983Second ThoughtsMonroe Clark
1987Radio DaysCommunist Neighbor
1989New York StoriesTheater Manager
1998Sour GrapesStudio Executive/Annoying Doctor/Singing BumAlso writer and director
2004EnvyExecutive producer
2009Whatever WorksBoris Yelnikoff
2012The Three StoogesSister Mary-Mengele
2013Clear HistoryNathan/RollyTelevision film; also writer

Television

YearTitleRoleNotes
1980–1982FridaysVarious54 episodes; also writer
1984–1985Saturday Night LiveVarious18 episodes; also writer
1989–1998SeinfeldVarious180 episodes; also co-creator, writer and producer
1993Love & WarHimselfEpisode: "Let's Not Call It Love"
1999Larry David: Curb Your EnthusiasmLarry DavidOne-hour special; also creator, writer and executive producer
2000–presentCurb Your EnthusiasmLarry DavidAlso creator, writer and executive producer
2004EntourageHimselfEpisode: "New York"
2007Hannah MontanaHimselfEpisode: "My Best Friend's Boyfriend"
2011The Paul Reiser ShowHimselfEpisode: "The Father's Occupation"
2013Clear HistoryNathan FlommTelevision film; also writer and producer
2014TripTankHimself (voice)Episode: "Roy & Ben's Day Off"
2015The LeagueFuture RuxinEpisode: "The Great Night of Shiva"
2015–presentSaturday Night LiveBernie Sanders
2016–2017Saturday Night LiveHimself (host)2 episodes
2016Maya & MartyHimselfEpisode: "Jimmy Fallon & Miley Cyrus"
2019Last Week Tonight with John OliverHimselfEpisode: "Bias in Medicine"

Theater

Year Title Role Theatre Notes
2015 Fish in the Dark Norman Drexel Cort Theatre Also writer

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Award Nominated work Result
1991 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Deal Nominated
1991 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Pony Remark Nominated
1992 Best Comedy Series Seinfeld Nominated
1992 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Parking Garage Nominated
1992 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Tape Nominated
1993 Best Comedy Series Seinfeld Won
1993 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Contest Won
1994 Best Comedy Series Seinfeld Nominated
1994 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Puffy Shirt Nominated
1994 Writing for a Comedy Series Seinfeld - The Mango Nominated
1995 Best Comedy Series Seinfeld Nominated
1996 Best Comedy Series Seinfeld Nominated
2002 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2003 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2003 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2004 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2004 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2006 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2006 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2008 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2010 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2010 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2012 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2012 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2016 Guest Actor in a Comedy Saturday Night Live Nominated
2018 Best Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2018 Best Actor in a Comedy Series Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated

Golden Globes Awards

Year Award Nominated work Result
2003 Best Comedy - Television Series - Comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2005 Best Comedy - Television Series - Comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2006 Best Comedy - Television Series - Comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Award

Year Award Nominated work Result
2006 Comedy Ensemble Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2006 Comedy Actor Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2010 Comedy Ensemble Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2010 Comedy Actor Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2018 Comedy Ensemble Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated
2018 Comedy Actor Curb Your Enthusiasm Nominated

Honors

References

  1. "Larry David Biography". TVGuide.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  2. "Larry David". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  3. Steve Heisler (June 2, 2010). "Improv on TV: How Curb Your Enthusiasm Gets It Right". TV.com. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  4. "The comedians' comedian". Chortle. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  5. Wallace, Benjamin (January 26, 2015). "Why Larry David the Schmuck Was the Best Thing to Happen to Larry David the Mensch". New York Magazine. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  6. "The Impression". Finding Your Roots. Season 4. Episode 1. October 3, 2017. PBS. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. "Larry David Spotted on Campus". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  8. "Some of Maryland's Distinguished Alumni". University of Maryland. Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  9. David, Larry (2004-02-15). "My War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-22.
  10. McShane, Larry. "The real Kramer says actor no racist: But Richards is 'paranoid,' 'very wound-up'", Chicago Sun-Times, November 26, 2006. Accessed August 11, 2009. "The real Kramer lived for 10 years in a Hell's Kitchen apartment across the hall from Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, and his life became the framework for Richards' quirky, bumbling Seinfeld sidekick."
  11. Marin, Rick (2000-07-16). "The Great and Wonderful Wizard of Odds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  12. Shales, Tom (2005-11-12). "'SNL in the '80s': The Last Laugh On a Trying Decade". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
  13. Louis-Dreyfus, Julia; Richards, Michael; Alexander, Jason (November 3, 2004). Seinfeld Seasons 1 & 2: Audio Commentary - "The Revenge" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
  14. Horiuchi, Vince (November 22, 2004). "Side-splitting 'Seinfeld' finally arrives on DVD". Salt Lake Tribune. p. C7.
  15. Koltnow, Barry (1997-05-30). "Eager Actor Finds Kramer a Bit of a Trial". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  16. Kolbert, Elizabeth (1993-06-03). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus: She Who Gives 'Seinfeld' Estrogen". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  17. "Saturday Night Live". TV.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
  18. Transcript of Michael McKean's monologue Archived 2013-09-23 at the Wayback Machine, voice of audience member: Larry David
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  20. "The 'real' George Costanza sues Seinfeld for $100 million". CNN. 1998-10-26. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25.
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  22. "Still ... seventh-season DVD shines". The Sacramento Bee. 2006-11-21.
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  25. "#65 Larry David – The 2009 Celebrity 100". Forbes. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
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  28. TV.com. "Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm". TV.com. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  29. "Curb Your Enthusiasm". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  30. "COMEDY CLUB.(Jerry Seinfeld: a film 'Comedian,' and his influence on the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' TV show)". The New Yorker. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
  31. "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Seinfeld' Writers Talk About the Legend of Larry David". RollingStone. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-07-25.
  32. "Larry David Talks Dating Post-Divorce, 'Seinfeld' and Wealth". Rolling Stone. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  33. David Brinn (October 8, 2009). "'Yeah, I'm available for Woody Allen'". Jerusalem Post.
  34. rick mcginnis (2004). "Once Upon A Time In Mexico Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment DVD". Life with Blog: Father. rick mcginnis. Archived from the original on June 14, 2008. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  35. "TV Guide Network Teams-up with Legendary Show Creator Larry David to Launch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Exclusive Extras Hosted by Series Regular Susie Essman". March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  36. "Sour Grapes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  37. "Sour Grapes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  38. Sperling, Nicole (2008-02-06). "Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood to star in Woody Allen's next movie". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  39. "Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood to star in Woody Allen's next movie". Hollywood Insider. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
  40. "Reuters: Larry David "Praises" Tax Cuts for Rich in NY Times". 2010-12-21.
  41. David, Larry (2010-12-20). "Thanks for the Tax Cut!". The New York Times.
  42. "Larry David Torments 'The Three Stooges' And 'Hunger Games' Finds More Tributes In Today's Casting Call » MTV Movies Blog". Moviesblog.mtv.com. Retrieved 2011-06-13.
  43. "Fish In The Dark". Archived from the original on 2015-01-13. Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  44. Zinoman, Jason (January 28, 2015). "Enthusiasm, Entirely Uncurbed: Larry David's 'Fish in the Dark' Comes to Broadway". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  45. "Enthusiasm, Entirely Uncurbed ; Larry David's 'Fish in the Dark' Comes to Broadway" The New York Times, January 28, 2015
  46. "Laurie Ellen David v. Lawrence Gene David Petition for Dissolution of Marriage" (PDF). Los Angeles Superior Court. July 13, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2017 via TMZ.com.
  47. "Laurie David's Huffington Post blogger page". Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  48. "Larry David's Huffington Post blogger page". Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  49. Finn, Natalie (2007-07-19). "Divorcing Larry David". E!. Archived from the original on 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
  50. "Bernie Sanders is Related to 'SNL' Doppelganger Larry David". 2017-07-27.
  51. Dolan, Deirdre (2006). Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Book. Gotham Books. p. Front Matter.
  52. Shor, Nissan. Curb Your Judaism: Why Larry David Is a Better Jew than ... www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-why-larry-david-is-a-better-jew-than-most-israelis-1.5460727. "Larry David is a Jewish atheist. In a video interview with The New York Times in 2007, he said: "People ... go around as if [God] is a fact. It’s so insane. If I really believed that stuff I’d keep it to myself, unless somebody would think I was out of my mind." Larry presents his Jewishness as a defiance of God, giving him the finger."

Further reading

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