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'Curb's' Larry David: 'Seinfeld' Curse 'Idiotic'

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Publication Date: 07-SEP-01
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Byline: Greg Baerg

LOS ANGELES ( - The HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm" may not register on the radar of many TV fans, but that wasn't evident Tuesday night when the cast and creative powers behind the show met fans during the Museum of Television and Radio's 19th Annual William S. Paley Television Festival. A packed house greeted series star/creator Larry David, co-star and executive producer Jeff Garlin, co-star Cheryl Hines and co-executive producer/director Robert B. Weide as they discussed the series, which won the AFI Award for top comedy series in January.

While much has been made of a "Seinfeld" curse, "Enthusiasm," which is in the midst of filming its third season, has apparently broken through. David, who created the hit NBC series, doesn't think the inability of its former stars to find a new hit is anything but a coincidence.

"It's so completely idiotic," David says of the supposed curse. "It's very hard to have a successful sitcom."

"Enthusiasm" has garnered a cult following, especially in Hollywood, because of its unique "mockumentary" format, which combines improvisation with elements of David's real life, including his adventures in the entertainment industry. Instead of full-length scripts, David writes outlines of about eight pages for each episode, which aren't shared with the cast -- especially guest stars.

"I see no reason for people who are guest starring to get them," he says. "And I'm paranoid about the ideas getting out."

"It's sort of like working for the CIA," Weide adds. "You work on a need-to-know basis."

Even though he writes as much for only a 10-episode season of "Enthusiasm" as he did for a full season of "Seinfeld," David says that the improvisational element on-screen is different than a regular series for actors.

"It's not really acting the way actors act," he explains, "it's really doing stuff anyone can do."

David's background in stand-up comedy helps with the improv, and Garlin was also a comedian. Hines performed improvisation with the Los Angeles comedy troupe The Groundlings, but was concerned by something else when she auditioned for the role.

"They told me not to touch Larry during the audition," she laughs. "I was expecting a weird monster in the corner that didn't want to be touched by humans."

She managed to get the part despite the rule, which David says he didn't set. Even so, there isn't too much personal contact between her an her on-screen husband.

"It seems that once in a while a husband and wife would celebrate a moment with a kiss," she says. "But apparently not."

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" will return with new episodes in September, and David says the first two seasons may come out on DVD in time for the holiday season.

"Just the kind of gift you want to give somebody," he deadpans.

(c) 2002,

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