Lawrence Gene "Larry" David (born July 2, 1947 in New York City, New York) is an actor, writer, comedian and producer. He's most famous for being the co-creator and Showrunner of Seinfeld, and the creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he stars As Himself.
He began his career as a stand-up comedian, and was a writer for Saturday Night Live between 1984-85, without much success. Most of the sketches he wrote were either aired after Weekend Update, which is where a lot of mildly funny and/or experimental sketches were left to rot in the dress rehearsal tapings, or not even considered for broadcast. Prior to his unhappy stint on SNL, Larry David was a cast member on the ABC knock-off of Saturday Night Live, Fridays (which was where he first met Michael Richards — the actor who would later be known as Cosmo Kramer), where Larry David was more involved in the sketches (he was one of the repertory players, along with Richards). His recurring characters on Fridays include Rabbi Feinberg of the Matzoi Rabbis (along with Bruce Mahler)note and Sully Muller (a temp worker who covers jobs that don't normally call for a temp worker, like a speaker for The National Organization for Women, a lawyer during a high-profile murder trial, a member of The Beatles, and the U.S. Secretary of State). David also played Larry Fine on Fridays' take on The Three Stooges (Moe was played by Bruce Mahler and John Roarke was Curly), which have the trio as bumbling burnouts trying to get high off everything from marijuana to cocaine.
In 1989, along with comedian Jerry Seinfeld, he created the revolutionary sitcom Seinfeld, which went on to became one of the most popular shows of The '90s. Seinfeld was so successful, that pretty much everything about it was copied. David based the character George Costanza, probably the biggest jerk in a show about jerks, on himself. He had many bit parts on the show (usually offscreen voices), the most memorable being the voice of George Steinbrenner. He left Seinfeld after the seventh season, but returned to write the finale.
In 1998, he wrote and directed a movie called Sour Grapes, which was a failure. In 1999, he made a one-hour long special for HBO, called Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm. The special was a Faux Documentary about him preparing for an HBO special, and eventually weaseling out of it. It was originally envisioned as a one-time project, but it was so successful, that in 2000, David created Curb Your Enthusiasm, where he plays himself as a selfish, annoying, neurotic Jerkass. As of 2020, Curb had ten seasons, with ten episodes each, due to David writing or co-writing all the episodes. In 2007, he made a guest appearance As Himself in Hannah Montana with his then-teenage daughters. In 2009, he played the main role, a misantrophic Lemony Narrator, in the Woody Allen film Whatever Works. In 2012, he appeared in the The Three Stooges movie, playing a nun. In 2013, he wrote and starred in the HBO film Clear History.
In 2015, he returned to SNL for guest appearances, playing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (who, coincidentally, he's actually related to), and hosted on February 6, 2016, becoming the first cast member from Fridays to host SNLnote and the second SNL writer after Conan O'Briennote to come back and host.
Provides examples of:
- Adam Westing: David has made a second career out of lampooning himself as a neurotic and prickly jerk.
- Author Avatar: George Costanza on Seinfeld. On Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry tries to play George in the episode "Seinfeld", when he organizes a Seinfeld reunion show, but Jason Alexander (who played him) quits.
- Bald of Awesome: David makes a lot of jokes about his bald head.
- Butt-Monkey: Often portrays himself as one, both in George on Seinfeld and his own portrayal. Partly based on reality as he once described becoming extremely rich and becoming allergic to caviar as a perfect metaphor for his life.
- Cringe Comedy: See if you can get through even a single episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm without cringing.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Jason Alexander once famously told him how ridiculous the situations were and how no-one would ever get in situations like that or act in that way. Larry answered that those things did happen to him and that was exactly how he reacted.
- Self-Deprecation: His Author Avatar is an annoying Jerkass, and he portrays himself as one on Curb.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm are heavily cynical, sticking to the "No Hugging, No Learning" rule.