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Larry David

Larry David
File:Larry David at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival 2.jpg
David at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival
Birth name Lawrence Gene David[1]
Born (1947-07-02) July 2, 1947 (age 68)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, Television,Film
Nationality American[2]
Years active 1980–present
Genres Improvisational comedy, Observational comedy, Sketch comedy, Deadpan, Political satire
Influences Phil Silvers, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, John Cleese
Influenced Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Jack Dee, Sean Lock, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Garlin, Casper Christensen, Graham Linehan, Armando Ianucci
Spouse Laurie Lennard (1993–2007)
Children 2
Notable works and roles Writer & cast member, Fridays
Co-creator & head writer, Seinfeld
Creator, writer, & actor, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Emmy Awards
Outstanding Comedy Series
1993 Seinfeld
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
1993 Seinfeld: "The Contest"

Lawrence Gene "Larry" David (born July 2, 1947) is an American comedian, writer, actor, and television producer. He was the co-creator, with Jerry Seinfeld, of the television series Seinfeld, and was its head writer and executive producer from 1989 to 1996. David has subsequently gained further recognition for the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm, also created by David, in which he stars as a semi-fictionalized version of himself.[3]

David's work won him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1993. Formerly a standup comedian, David went into television comedy, writing and starring in ABC's Fridays, as well as writing briefly for Saturday Night Live. He has won two Primetime Emmy Awards as well as being voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders as number 23 of the greatest comedy stars ever in a British poll to select The Comedian's Comedian.[4]

Early life

Lawrence Gene David[1] was born in the neighborhood of Sheepshead Bay, in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Rose and Morty David who was a men's clothing manufacturer.[5] His family is Jewish. He resided at 3655 Shore Parkway, Brooklyn [6] graduated from Sheepshead Bay High School and then from the University of Maryland, with a bachelor's degree in History,[7][8] and then in Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business.[9] After college, David enlisted in the United States Army Reserve.[10]


While a stand-up comedian, David also worked as a store clerk, limousine driver, and television repairman to pay his bills. He lived in Manhattan Plaza, a federally subsidized housing complex in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, across the hall from Kenny Kramer, the inspiration for the Cosmo Kramer character in Seinfeld.[11] David then became a writer for and cast member of ABC's Fridays from 1980 to 1982, and a writer for NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1984 to 1985.[12] During his time at SNL, he was able to get only one sketch on the show, which aired at 12:50 AM, the last time slot on the show.[13]

David quit his writing job at SNL midseason, only to show up to work a few days later acting as though nothing had happened. That event inspired a second-season episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Revenge".[14] David met his future Seinfeld stars during that early stage of his career: he worked with Michael Richards (Kramer) on Fridays[12] and with Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Elaine)[13] on SNL.[15][16] He can be heard heckling Michael McKean when McKean hosted SNL in 1984, and he can be seen in the sketch "The Run, Throw, and Catch Like a Girl Olympics" when Howard Cosell hosted the season finale in 1985.[17][18]


Main article: Seinfeld

In 1988, David teamed up with comedian Jerry Seinfeld to create a pilot for NBC called The Seinfeld Chronicles, which became the basis for Seinfeld, one of the most successful shows in United States television history,[19] reaching the top of TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time. Entertainment Weekly ranked it the third-best TV show of all time. David made occasional uncredited appearances on the show, playing such roles as Frank Costanza's cape-wearing lawyer and the voice of George Steinbrenner. He was also the primary inspiration for the show's character George Costanza.[20] David left Seinfeld on friendly terms after the seventh season but returned to write the series finale in 1998, two years later.[21] He also continued to provide the voice for the Steinbrenner character.[22]

David wrote 62 of the episodes of Seinfeld, including 1992's "The Contest", for which he won a Primetime Emmy Award and which TV Guide ranked the episode #1 on its list of "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time".[23] Syndication of Seinfeld earned David an estimated US$250 million in 1998 alone. This amount has been steadily decreasing each year, but payments will continue until the full $1.7 billion from the original deal has been paid. In 2008 David made $55 million from Seinfeld syndication, DVD sales, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.[24][25] He was nominated for an Emmy[26] award 19 times for Seinfeld, winning twice – once for best comedy and once for writing.[27]

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Main article: Curb Your Enthusiasm
David in December 2009

The HBO cable television channel aired David's 1-hour special, Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, on October 17, 1999.[28] This was followed by Curb Your Enthusiasm, a television series on HBO that aired its first episode on October 15, 2000.[28] The show revisits many of the themes of Seinfeld,[29] and is improvised from a story outline only several pages long that David writes (as of the 5th season, additional writers were hired).[30]

The actors improvise their dialogue based on the story outline, direction, and their own creativity. David has said that his character in the show, a fictionalized version of himself, is what he would be like in real life if he lacked social awareness and sensitivity.[31] The character's numerous and frequent social faux pas, misunderstandings, and ironic coincidences are the basis of much of the show's comedy and have led to the entry into the American pop culture lexicon of the expression "Larry David moment", meaning an inadvertently created socially awkward situation.[32]

The basis of the show is the events in David's life following the fortune he earned from the Seinfeld series; David, semi-retired, strives to live a fulfilled life.[33] Alongside David is his wife Cheryl (played by Cheryl Hines), his manager and best friend Jeff (played by Jeff Garlin), and Jeff's wife Susie (played by Susie Essman). Celebrities, including comedians Bob Einstein, Wanda Sykes, and Richard Lewis, appear on the show regularly. Actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have had recurring roles as themselves.[33]

The show is critically acclaimed and has been nominated for 30 Primetime Emmy Awards, with one win, as well as one Golden Globe win. In the first six seasons, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander appeared in several episodes, and Jerry Seinfeld made a cameo. In season 7, the cast of Seinfeld, including Michael Richards, returned in a story arc involving David's attempt to organize a Seinfeld reunion special.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2010, the series premiered on the TV Guide Network, making its network television debut. TV Guide Network also produced a series of related discussions with high-profile guest stars, media pundits, and prominent social figures called "Curb: The Discussion" debating the moral implications depicted in each episode. David is quoted as saying "Finally, thanks to the TV Guide Network, I'll get a chance to watch actual, intelligent people discuss and debate the issues addressed on 'Curb'. Now if only someone could tell me where this alleged 'Network' is, I might even watch it."[34]

Other projects

David has also been involved in other films and television series. David wrote and directed the 1998 film Sour Grapes, about two cousins who feud over a casino jackpot.[28] It was neither a commercial nor a critical success.[35][36] He has appeared in minor parts in two Woody Allen films – Radio Days and New York Stories[37] – more recently taking the leading role in Allen's New York-based comedy film Whatever Works.[38] Because his daughters are Hannah Montana fans, David, along with his daughters, guest-starred, as themselves, in the episode "My Best Friend's Boyfriend," in which they were waiting for a table at a fancy restaurant.[28] David had a cameo appearance on the HBO series Entourage as a client of Ari Gold, and also appeared as a panelist on the NBC series The Marriage Ref. During the 2008 U.S Presidential Election, David supported and actively campaigned for Barack Obama. In December 2010, David penned an op-ed piece for The New York Times, a sardonic critique of the extension of Bush-era tax cuts headlined "Thanks for the Tax Cut!"[39][40] David played Sister Mary-Mengele in the 2012 reboot of The Three Stooges.[41][42] David co-wrote and starred in the 2013 HBO television film Clear History.

David stars in the Broadway play Fish In The Dark, which he also wrote, alongside Rita Wilson, Jayne Houdyshell and Rosie Perez. The play centers around the death of a family patriarch and opened March 5, 2015.[43][44] As of February 1, 2015, its advance sale of $13.5 million had broken records for a Broadway show.[45]

Personal life

David married Laurie Lennard on March 31, 1993. They have two daughters, and lived in Pacific Palisades, California.[46] David and his wife became contributing bloggers at The Huffington Post in May 2005.[47][48] On June 5, 2007, the couple announced their intention to separate amicably.[49] Laurie David filed for divorce on July 13, 2007, citing irreconcilable differences and seeking joint custody of the couple's two daughters.[50] As of 2013, David's estimated net worth was $900 million. However, the estimate according to a former Reuters reporter does not take into account the divorce. David also disputes the figure, saying he has nowhere near that amount.[51] The results of a DNA test shown live on Lopez Tonight in 2009 revealed that 37% of David's ethnic lineage might be Native American,[52] though some criticism was shared about the method of testing the show have used.[53]



Year Title Role Notes
1983 Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? Mort's Friend
1983 Second Thoughts Monroe Clark
1987 Radio Days Communist Neighbor
1989 New York Stories Theater manager
1998 Sour Grapes Studio executive, Annoying doctor, Singing bum Also writer and director
2008 Is Anybody There? Fireman
2009 Whatever Works Boris Yelnikoff
2012 The Three Stooges Sister Mary-Mengele
2013 Clear History Nathan Flomm Also writer and producer


Year Title Role Notes
1980–1982 Fridays Himself Also writer
1984–1985 Saturday Night Live Various
1989–1998 Seinfeld Various Also co-creator, writer
1993 Love & War Himself Episode: "Let's Not Call It Love"
1998 Charlie Rose Himself
1999–2009 Late Night with Conan O'Brien Himself
2000–2011 Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself Also creator, writer
2003 Real Time with Bill Maher Himself
2004 Entourage Himself Episode: "New York"
2005 Earth to America Himself
2006–2014 Late Show with David Letterman Himself
2007 Hannah Montana Himself Episode: "My Best Friend's Boyfriend"
2007 The View Himself
2009 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Himself
2009 D.L. Hughley Breaks the News Himself
2009 Up Close with Carrie Keagan Himself
2009 The Joy Behar Show Himself
2009 Lopez Tonight Himself
2009–2012 The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Himself
2010 The Marriage Ref Himself
2010 Totally Tracked Down Himself Episode: "Master of Her Domain"
2010 Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education Himself
2011 The Paul Reiser Show Himself Episode: "The Father's Occupation"
2011 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Himself
2012 Inside Comedy Himself
2012 Conan Himself Episode: "Where in Carmen Sandiego Is Waldo?"
2013 The Burn with Jeff Ross Himself
2013 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Himself
2014 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Himself 2015 60 minutes


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Fish in the Dark Norman Drexel Broadway

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ a b Divorce document (PDF).
  2. ^ "Larry David". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  3. ^ Steve Heisler (2 June 2010). "Improv on TV: How Curb Your Enthusiasm Gets It Right". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "The comedians' comedian". Chortle. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  5. ^ "Why The `Seinfeld' Fuss? `Model' Parents Don'T Understand All The Hype Over Sitcom - Or Its Curtain Call". 1998-05-07. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  6. ^ 60 Minutes interview "Who is Larry David?" aired March 1, 2015, accessed March 5, 2015
  7. ^ "Larry David Spotted on Campus". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Some of Maryland's Distinguished Alumni". University of Maryland. Retrieved April 4, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Alumni Leaders". University of Maryland, College Park. Archived from the original on June 15, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  10. ^ David, Larry (2004-02-15). "My War". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  11. ^ McShane, Larry. "The real Kramer says actor no racist: But Richards is 'paranoid,' 'very wound-up'", Chicago Sun-Times[dead link], November 26, 2006. Accessed August 11, 2009. "The real Kramer lived for 10 years in a Hell's Kitchen apartment across the hall from Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, and his life became the framework for Richards' quirky, bumbling Seinfeld sidekick."
  12. ^ a b Marin, Rick (2000-07-16). "The Great and Wonderful Wizard of Odds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  13. ^ a b Shales, Tom (2005-11-12). "'SNL in the '80s': The Last Laugh On a Trying Decade". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  14. ^ ""Seinfeld" The Revenge (1991)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  15. ^ Koltnow, Barry (1997-05-30). "Eager Actor Finds Kramer a Bit of a Trial". Contra Costa Times. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  16. ^ Kolbert, Elizabeth (1993-06-03). "Julia Louis-Dreyfus: She Who Gives 'Seinfeld' Estrogen". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  17. ^ "Saturday Night Live". Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  18. ^ Transcript of Michael McKean's monologue, voice of audience member: Larry David
  19. ^ Carter, Bill (1997-12-26). "Seinfeld Says It's All Over, And It's No Joke for NBC". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  20. ^ "The 'real' George Costanza sues Seinfeld for $100 million". CNN. 1998-10-26. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25. [dead link]
  21. ^ Dancis, Bruce (2007-11-05). "DVD Review: 'Seinfeld: Season 9' wraps up all the hilarious nothingness". The Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on January 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  22. ^ "Still ... seventh-season DVD shines". The Sacramento Bee. 2006-11-21. 
  23. ^ "TV's Top 100 Episodes of All Time" TV Guide; June 15, 2009; Pages 34–49
  24. ^ "Who's the richest? Seinfeld". Associated Press. 1999-01-01. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  25. ^ "#65 Larry David – The 2009 Celebrity 100". Forbes. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  26. ^ Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (2012). "Larry David". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  27. ^ "Larry David". Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  28. ^ a b c d "Larry David (I)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  29. ^ "COMEDY CLUB.(Jerry Seinfeld: a film 'Comedian,' and his influence on the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' TV show)". The New Yorker. 2002-10-28. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  30. ^ "'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Seinfeld' Writers Talk About the Legend of Larry David". RollingStone. 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-07-25. 
  31. ^ "Larry David Talks Dating Post-Divorce, 'Seinfeld' and Wealth". Rolling Stone. July 20, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2011. 
  32. ^ David Brinn (October 9, 2009). "'Yeah, I'm available for Woody Allen'". Jerusalem Post. 
  33. ^ a b rick mcginnis (2004). "Once Upon A Time In Mexico Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment DVD". Life with Blog: Father. rick mcginnis. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "TV Guide Network Teams-up with Legendary Show Creator Larry David to Launch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Exclusive Extras Hosted by Series Regular Susie Essman". March 22, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Sour Grapes". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  36. ^ "Sour Grapes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  37. ^ Sperling, Nicole (2008-02-06). "Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood to star in Woody Allen's next movie". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  38. ^ "Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood to star in Woody Allen's next movie". Hollywood Insider. Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 22, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  39. ^ "Reuters: Larry David "Praises" Tax Cuts for Rich in NY Times". 2010-12-21. 
  40. ^ David, Larry (2010-12-20). "NY Times: Thanks for the Tax Cut!". The New York Times. 
  41. ^ "Larry David Torments ‘The Three Stooges’ And ‘Hunger Games’ Finds More Tributes In Today’s Casting Call » MTV Movies Blog". Retrieved 2011-06-13. 
  42. ^ The Three Stooges at the Internet Movie Database
  43. ^ "Fish In The Dark". Retrieved 2015-01-13. 
  44. ^ Zinoman, Jason (28 January 2015). "Enthusiasm, Entirely Uncurbed: Larry David’s ‘Fish in the Dark’ Comes to Broadway". New York Times. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  45. ^ "Larry David comes to Broadway" The New York Times, February 1, 2015
  46. ^ "News for "Seinfeld" (1990)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  47. ^ "Laurie David's Huffington Post blogger page". Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  48. ^ "Larry David's Huffington Post blogger page". Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  49. ^ Johnson, Richard (2007-06-05). "Newly Single". Page Six (New York Post). Retrieved 2007-06-05. [dead link]
  50. ^ Finn, Natalie (2007-07-19). "Divorcing Larry David". E!. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  51. ^ Horgan, Richard. "Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld: Nothing But Net Worth". Retrieved 2014-08-29. 
  52. ^ Extra TV (Nov 13, 2009). "Larry David's Surprising DNA Test on 'Lopez Tonight'". Warner Bros. Retrieved Dec 27, 2010. 
  53. ^ ^ Megan Smolenyak Become a fan Genealogy Expert, Author of "Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing" & "Who Do You Think You Are?" Email Playing with DNA: Is Larry David Really 37 Percent Native American? - Huffington Post

Further reading

External links

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