Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin On Season 11 And Why Larry David Is Such A 'True Genius'

larry and jeff curb your enthusiasm season 10 premiere
(Image credit: hbo press)

When Curb Your Enthusiasm returned to HBO early in 2020 after another multi-year hiatus, the delightfully cringe-inducing comedy was seemingly back at the top of its satirical game, with Larry David injecting episodes with broadly topical subject matter such as MAGA hats, workplace sexual harassment, celebrity entrepreneurism and more. Fans can expect to see more of Larry's persnickety nature, too, with HBO recently confirming Season 11's future existence. Someone who is quite happy about that turn of events is Curb's essential co-star Jeff Garlin.

CinemaBlend recently had the pleasure of talking with Jeff Garlin (also well-known for ABC's The Goldbergs) about all kinds of things, with Curb Your Enthusiasm's future being one of the major topics early on. Let's get into what he said about Season 11, as well as why he considers Larry David to be such an original genius.

Talking Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 11

When I congratulated Jeff Garlin about Curb Your Enthusiasm's Season 11 renewal, he was definitely excited about it. However, he wasn't entirely optimistic that production will start up according to the current plans in place. In his words:

Oh, yeah. It's all really based on 'Does Larry David had a great idea?' And he does, and so we go. I'm really happy. I'm just grateful that that's going to happen. It's supposed to happen starting in October, but who knows?

Considering the U.S. is in the throes of a serious pandemic uptick, Hollywood's future is as up for debate as anything else. While some productions are set to start up in different parts of the world, the Los Angeles area is still very much a question mark. As such, Jeff Garlin was a little worried about whether the proposed start date would be maintained, while predicting that coronavirus stats would see another big increase around Labor Day in September.

With the conversation already touching on the pandemic and self-quarantining, I asked Jeff Garlin if he thought Larry David might be thinking of taking on the ongoing crisis with Season 11's plotline. And while the actor couldn't speak 100% for what Curb Your Enthusiasm's creator will be doing, Garlin's early impressions are that the new episodes won't take on a coronavirus-related storyline. In his words:

You know, I talk to him once a week or so, and he's one of my best friends and I love him, and we talk about all sorts of things. But when we talked about the show, he gave me a general overview of what he's written, and the pandemic was not mentioned in that general conversation about it. So I don't know what his approach is going to be. I'm curious. My next conversation with him, that question will be asked of him from me.

Considering how many other TV shows will probably work pandemic narratives into upcoming seasons – not to mention all the social unrest over racial divides – Curb Your Enthusiasm might stand out from the pack if Larry David does indeed choose to bypass current events. That said, Jeff Garlin would be up for the challenge if David did go that route, even if it wouldn't be the actor's top option.

Anything Larry David writes interests me. Does that topic in general interest me? God, no, I'm in the middle of living that shit. But if Larry David writes something, damn right it interests me.

It certainly is hard to think about what Larry David could write about for Curb Your Enthusiasm that wouldn't be entertaining in all the ways. I guess if he wrote about his own show getting cancelled, that might not be as much fun as other options. Thankfully, we don't have to worry about that reality anytime soon.

Why Jeff Garlin Thinks Larry David Is A Genius

Jeff Garlin has the rare privilege of being on one of network TV's most popular comedies, The Goldbergs, on top of spending the past 20 years as a regular on Curb Your Enthusiasm during its on-and-off years. While reflecting on the HBO series' lengthy legacy, Garlin held Curb up as one of the most influential shows out there, and praised Larry David as a "true genius" for changing the face of modern TV comedy. Here's how he put it:

Curb Your Enthusiasm, to really speak frankly, is iconic. I mean, look at The Office, the English Office, which was influenced by Curb Your Enthusiasm. Forget the American Office, forget Parks and Recreation, forget a form of television that you see [all the time now]. I mean, the show that hit the switch for a different type of comedy was The Larry Sanders Show. And then after The Larry Sanders Show, you had Curb, and Curb was so influential. Larry Sanders, too, but Curb was so influential to all these shows. Then you go back, and Seinfeld was the one that influenced Friends and all those other shows. So I'm working with a true genius. I'm blessed to work with just the best that there is in Larry David. I love him. He's the best guy, too. I just love the kid.

Those kinds of compliments weren't stated flippantly, either. Jeff Garlin has been in the business a long time, and has worked with a plethora of filmmakers and TV creators. But there's only one of them that he's chosen to keep working with continuously for two decades, and Garlin has also teamed up with Larry David outside of their TV relationship, such as for their live-on-stage conversations at L.A.'s comedy club The Largo. For my money, David and Garlin are as solid a comedy pairing as Abbot and Costello or Laurel and Hardy, while obviously being more vulgar and risqué. (Plus, the latter duos didn't have such A+ comedic accessories as the great J.B. Smoove and Richard Lewis.)

Beyond pointing out that shows like The Office and other super-popular comedies were influenced by Curb Your Enthusiasm's antithetical and problematic protagonist, as well as its blend of real-life people in heightened situations, Jeff Garlin also pointed out that there were many more projects that failed to make a name for themselves outside of Curb's shadow. Below, he talks more about just how one of a kind Larry David is.

There have been plenty of shows that even blatantly [copied Curb]. I don't want name the comedians who did them; I don't want to belittle anybody. But there are more failures at it. Look, the advantage that I have is Larry David writes our outlines, because we improvise. Any other show, whoever the writer is is not as good. Even if they're really great, they're not as good. So I have that advantage for myself, and our show has that advantage. Larry David, I'd say four-fifths of the things that come out of him are brilliant. And I gotta tell you, sometimes I'll discuss things with them that maybe have been done before, and the minute there's even something in the wind that anything is not as original as he is hoping, he cuts it either from the show, or from the outline. But I have to say, that rarely happens. I'd say nine-tenths, I wouldn't even go four-fifths. That rarely happens. He doesn't have to even try hard. He is an original.

If only Larry David had also created Curb Your Enthusiasm's instantly recognizable theme song, too. Ah, well, he's still doing pret-taaaay pret-taaaaaaaay pret-tay good in my book. Here's to Curb surviving longer than any other TV comedy!

Curb Your Enthusiasm fans can definitely start getting excited about the prospects for Season 11, even if we're not really sure when it will make its debut on HBO. Fans can currently watch all ten seasons right now on HBO Max. In the meantime, definitely check out our Summer 2020 TV premiere schedule and our Fall 2020 rundown to see what shows are already tapped to debut for the rest of the year.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.