TV | October 1, 2017 11:47 am

‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Stars Take Quip Down Memory Lane

The Hollywood Reporter shares oral history of comedy series from Larry David & co.

A funny thing happened on the way to the television.

Ahead of the ninth season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm Sunday night, Larry David and the other stars of the comedy sat down with author James Andrew Miller (Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live) to reminisce about the start of their show seventeen years ago for the podcast, Origins.  The talk that followed, excerpted by The Hollywood Reporter, proved comedy gold in its own right.

It’s hard to imagine after the success of Curb Your Enthusiasm, but David, fresh off producing and writing Seinfeld, had to be coaxed by HBO to participate in what was then billed as a stand-up special — only to evolve into something very, very different. Here are some of the highlights of their reminiscing:

Larry David on the initial reaction to Curb Your Enthusiasm. “You know, when people told me after the show started airing that they had to leave the room for some scenes because they were cringing and they couldn’t bear to watch — it was like a horror movie — I had no idea it was having that effect on people. That was a complete surprise to me, and I liked it. I liked that they couldn’t see it. But I never really gave it that much thought. I was just trying to do funny shows. I never felt I was going too far. I felt I was doing what I wanted to see.”

Director Bob Weide On the casting of then-unknown Cheryl Hynes: “I got an invitation one night for an actors showcase. Lo and behold, one of the actresses was Cheryl Hines, who was unknown to all of us. But I remember the bit that she did to this day: It was some sort of employee training meeting, where they had some guy advising about what to do in a disaster at the workplace. He would say, ‘OK, so there’s been an earthquake and the water is cut off, there’s no running water in your office and you can’t escape. You’re thirsty, what do you do?’ Cheryl pipes up, ‘Well, I suppose if push came to shove you could drink your own urine.’ The room just goes real quiet, and everybody stares at her. And the guy stares at her and says, ‘Well, OK, I was thinking more about having water stored in the room or, you know, possibly detaching a hose from the back of the refrigerator and drinking the water that way.” Cheryl goes, ‘Oh, well, yeah.’ And then I remember the line that really killed me: ‘Well, I did say if push came to shove.’ I just said this girl’s really, really funny. And that line, ‘I did say if push came to shove,’ gave Cheryl a career.”

Actress Susan Essman on a now legendary episode: “The only scene that I think I ever preplanned what I was going to say, and there was a reason for that, was the restaurant opening. You know, where everybody is cursing, and Paul Sand plays the Tourette’s chef. And I walk in while they’re all in the middle of this crazy cursing, and Cheryl says something like, ‘God damn, son of a b—-. And I think she’s talking to me. So I actually planned my response, which is one of my most famous quotes: ‘F— you, you car-wash c—. I had a dental appointment.’…. Years ago, when I first put my website up, I had a contact thing on it. And I was getting these crazy S&M guys contacting me. You know, just really weird, sexually perverse, and wanting me to like tie them up and scream at them. So I got rid of the contact, because it was gross.”