Larry David has famously played a fictionalized and exaggerated version of himself on his HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm since 2000. Now, after a six-year break from the role, he’s bringing back his cantankerous, unabashed on-screen alter ego, who frequently speaks inappropriately without any fear of consequences. His performance is universally beloved, but it’s hard not to wonder: does he see any similarities between “Larry David” and Donald Trump?
“How dare you put me in the same sentence as that man! Please, show some respect,” David deadpanned to Vanity Fair at the show’s extravagant ninth-season premiere party in New York Wednesday evening. ”There are no similarities. None!”
The comedian and Seinfeld co-creator didn’t just shoot down Trump comparisons; he also laughed at the idea that Trump stole his neurotic thunder during David’s long absence from the screen. The last episode of Curb aired in 2011; it returns to HBO Oct. 1, with 10 new episodes that producers call the “most insane and original season, unlike anything we’ve done before.”
At the premiere, David, his co-stars (Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, J.B. Smoove), and the show’s creators remained tight-lipped about any specific plot details. But director David Steinberg did indicate that the show will get political even as it revolves, as usual, around David’s faux pas and annoyance at certain social conventions.
“You will find humorous versions of Trump without us mentioning his name or referring to the president or anything,” said Steinberg. “Larry has made it with reverence, but not at the expense of the comedy.”
Production of Season 9 began the day after the 2016 election in Los Angeles. Just don’t expect a comedy about #resistance: “People are entertained by the show, and that’s great because people can laugh. But when the show’s over, you’re still going to be living with the same president,” said David. “Maybe the show will be a fun half hour of escape.”
It seems Season 9 will be a little less overtly political than, say, David’s spot-on performance as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Saturday Night Live last year. “I loved playing Bernie Sanders,” he said. “It was a lot of fun to imitate him.” So, can viewers expect the senator from Vermont to appear on Curb as one of the show’s many celebrity guests?
David wouldn’t say, though he did point out that he doesn’t see his own physical resemblance to Sanders—even though the two are actually distant relatives.
“Come on, it’s impossible for people to really think I’m him. I don’t know if it’s flattering, but it’s fun to imitate him,” said David. “Nobody has ever said to me, ‘Hey Bernie.’ And nobody has ever called me: ‘It’s Senator Sanders. I voted for you.’ That’s never happened!”
David would also like fans to know that there is at least one big difference between “real Larry” and “TV Larry.” The 70-year-old star said the biggest misconception about him is that people find him intimidating.
“They think that I’m going to be as brutally honest as the guy in the show, and that I’m not nice,” he said. “But I am nice, which makes me sick! I wish I wasn’t.”
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