Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Over-the-line Larry

During the season 7 premiere of HBO's hit comedy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, I watched Larry David doing his Larry David thing. While simultaneously admiring Larry David the comedian I've come to hate Larry David the character.

David has created a "me first", obnoxious, irresponsible, excuse-making, insulting, pissed-off-at-the-drop-of-a-hat person. I've known people like Larry. Politically Larry (the character, at least) is a liberal Democrat, something I share with him. Everything else, no.

Each season brings its own share of outrages by Larry, but Sunday night's show made me feel like whatever line of propriety there is, Larry David, both the character and comedian, has stepped over it. Larry's reaction to his girlfriend Loretta's cancer passed the point of being funny, even outrageous, just sick. I say that as someone who had cancer this year, attended a funeral of a family member in April after her death from colon cancer, and whose wife's friend and coworker has just been given three months to live after years of fighting cancer. In other words, as a theme for comedy it isn't funny. Not to me, anyway.

David co-created Seinfeld, and the Seinfeld actors were all extensions of Larry David, but those flaws we saw in them were mitigated. Instead of being insulting, we liked them for their human frailties. Until Sunday night's Season 7 opener I thought David's character was annoying and unpleasant, but still likable. Sunday night I thought he was just annoying and unpleasant.

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