Ted Danson has had a good history with HBO, playing a lead in Bored to Death as well as appearing on Curb Your Enthusiasm. However, in a recent profile interview, the CSI: Cyber actor revealed that his role in Curb happened following an early screening of the HBO comedy that didn’t go as well as expected. You can check out the hilarious full story, below.
I didn’t meet Larry until shortly after he had shot the pilot of Curb Your Enthusiasm. I met him on a place that we both go to—we both live in Martha’s Vineyard when we’re not in California—and we met through mutual friends. We sat there looking at his pilot up in this attic room that was the only room that had a TV in it. It was boiling hot, it was after dinner, and… a couple of folks watching fell asleep. Please quote me. I think—and I’ll speak for myself, I don’t know if Mary felt this way—I felt a little sorry for him. I thought, ‘You know, it’s a nice idea, but…’ But I said, ‘Well, let’s be supportive and say, ‘Hey, Larry, if you ever need anybody, please call us. We’d love to take part in it in any way, shape, or form.’ And a year later or something, we got a call.

Speaking with the AV Club, Danson’s account more than implies that the original pilot for Curb Your Enthusiasm was terrible. It wasn’t even bad in a good way, it was so forgettable that people even fell asleep—a feat for a TV show, which doesn’t run nearly as long as a movie. If Danson hadn’t felt so bad for Larry David while watching the pilot, it’s unlikely the actor would have said yes to the series, as he also mentions that he had been stuck for too long in “the half hour comedy party.” If the pilot had been better, he probably would have missed out on a pretty memorable role.

However, it all turned out to be pretty, pretty good. Danson and his real-life wife Mary Steenburgen popped up on the HBO comedy playing a TV version of themselves and ended up first appearing the second episode in Season 1. He later was a part of numerous episodes of the show-often with his wife in toe—frequently butting heads with Larry, as often happens on Curb. While Danson has hopped to CBS and taken drama roles like CSI and Fargo in the time since, we’re happy he stuck with comedy for this gig. Danson seems to acknowledge this too, actually noting:
So Larry, who I love to mock as much as possible—I actually owe him a great deal.

Curb Your Enthusiasm hasn’t produced a new season since 2011, but the show ended on an open-ended enough note that it could theoretically come back at any time. In fact, every few months someone related to the show tends to discuss the chances of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s eventual return, and they look good. So, with a little luck, maybe we’ll eventually get a ninth season of the comedy. If it does happen, we’ll be sure to let you know.

For now, here’s what TV shows HBO has coming up at midseason.

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