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Because of its largely unscripted nature, every single scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm starts off as a potential treasure trove of to-be-deleted material. But for the first eight seasons of the beloved HBO comedy, fans didn't even get to witness any of the unused hilarity that got filmed on the set. (Minus a few extended scenes on one release.) That all changed with Season 9's release, which finally gives fans a peek at the ridiculousness that was meant for the cutting room floor. CinemaBlend recently spoke with showrunner Jeff Schaffer, who told me it was actually Larry David himself who always vetoed the deleted scenes.
My greatest achievement was convincing Larry to actually put deleted scenes out in social media and on the DVD. Because he has never wanted to do this. He has always said about the DVD, 'Well, if it wasn't in the show, no one wants to see it.' And I'm like, 'No, it's the exact opposite. Because it wasn't on the show, everyone wants to see it, and they're funny. Look, let me cut some stuff. Let me take some of the stuff that didn't make it in the show and let me cut some pieces for you, and I'll show them to you.' And he said, 'All right, fine.' So the first one, I showed him some stuff from Episode 1, and the first thing he said, he goes, 'Oh, that's really funny. That should have been in the show.' [laughs] I said, 'We made the decision six months ago to take it out of the show. See, it's show-worthy though, right?' And he goes, 'Yeah, that's show-worthy.' So now you've got stuff on the DVD that's really, really funny stuff that normally wouldn't be there, and it's time.
Far be it for me to question anything Larry David thinks -- and we're clearly talking about Real Larry here, since I question 92% of the things that TV Larry does -- but why wouldn't he see the inherent value in watching more of this spectacular cast's improvised glory? I like to think he just assumes that every TV studio that puts deleted scenes on its TV DVDs are doing it to spite the customers, as well as the employees who have to edit and add the footage to the DVDs themselves. TV Larry would likely think that some more nefarious motivations were at play.
Not even to speak of the consistent comedic brilliance that Larry David has displayed over Curb Your Enthusiasm's extended run, but I cannot in good conscience believe that a single second of JB Smoove-centered footage exists, deleted or not, that isn't worth every bit of viewer attention. And the same goes for Bob Einstein, Susie Essman, Richard Lewis, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Ted Danson, and just about every other person that has crossed TV paths with Larry over the years. One shudders to think about how much cringe-friendly merriment got trashed in those first eight seasons.
After all, deleted scenes aren't always cut because they're no good, and time is very often a deciding factor. During our talk, Jeff Schaffer brought up one such moment (from the episode "The Nanny from Hell'), in which Larry and Leon's conversation about short pants flies went well beyond what was originally intended.
In the show, Leon says that his penis touches the water, like Michael Phelpses it or whatever. Larry said, 'That's ridiculous.' There's a lot more that we shot, which they ended up having a $1,000 bet that this was gonna happen, and then we actually shot a whole scene. By the way, while they're talking about this, we had no idea that this was going to come up, but then we're like, 'Oh, we gotta shoot that scene.' So we actually shot the scene of the penis bet, too, and none of it ended up making it in because the show got long, and we ended up having this two extra other tags, and we couldn't just keep piling on. But that's the kinda stuff you can find on the DVD.
If Jeff Schaffer hadn't convinced Larry David that deleted scenes are awesome, then we might never have known if Leon's dong could touch toilet water or not. You are a saint among men, Mr. Schaffer.
Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 9 is currently available on DVD, so be sure to pick it up from a retailer near you. Or on online, from a retailer far away from you. And don't forget that Season 10 is coming to HBO soon, hopefully before the end of 2018! In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see everything that's coming before then.