The 15 Best Curb Your Enthusiasm Episodes - VRGyani News and Media

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Thursday, September 30, 2021

The 15 Best Curb Your Enthusiasm Episodes

With September coming to a close, Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11 is only weeks away, with HBO announcing an official release date of October 24. Eleven seasons in, fans know exactly what to expect, namely, star Larry David engaging in all sorts of social faux pas that begs the question, "How has this man not been banished to a remote island by now?" Perhaps the reason why is because no matter how cringy his behavior is, it's always more hysterical than it is embarrassing. Across over 100 episodes, David has engaged in all sorts of socially chaotic scenarios ranging from simply rude to downright destructive, and it's been some of the best comedy television in history. Here is a list of the 15 best episodes of Curb so far, celebrating the very best of David's antics across nearly 20 prettttaaay, prettttaay, prettay good years.

RELATED: Watch: Best ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Cameos, from Jon Hamm to Ben Stiller Getting Stabbed in the Eye

"Porno Gil" (Season 1; Ep 3)

Guest-starring the incomparable Bob Odenkirk as a former porn star Gil Bang, this early episode of the show finds Larry and wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) getting lost in the woods on the way to Gil’s house for what Larry thinks is a party, but is really an intimate dinner party. What’s so brilliant about this episode is that in later episodes, Larry’s faux pas would have a much larger scope, but this one wrings so much awkwardness out of small scenarios. Larry's mishaps include being subjected to the revenge of a fellow golfer after (understandably) not bending down to pick up his ball, getting his directions torn apart by an angry elderly woman after asking for for help while lost in the woods and feeling the wrath of Gil’s wife after breaking an expensive lamp. And to top it all off, Larry refuses to take off his f**king shoes in the house. As the series would again and again prove, these are all scenarios where you would actually feel bad for Larry, if he just didn’t make it all hilariously worse by being himself. In essence, this episode effectively set the tone for the whole series.

Best Line: “My wife refers to it as 'The House that Cum Build'. ‘Cause of my porn.” - Gil

"The Doll" (Season 2; Ep. 6)

If the series as a whole has proved anything, it’s that Larry is just about terrible with most children, even when he’s trying to be nice. This very fact is the groundwork for one of the strangest, funniest episodes of the series. Thinking it was okay to give the head of NBC’s daughter’s doll a haircut without hinting it may not grow back (“I thought it was understood!”) Larry has to spend the rest of the episode going back and forth trying to replace the heads of a valuable doll named Judy. A ludicrous series of events that involves stuffing a doll’s head down his pants and thus getting a bad reaction on his junk, the episode layers in one element we can all relate to: the terror of an un-lockable bathroom door. Even across a whole series, not a lot tops the visual of a door opening on Larry holding up a severed doll’s head going with the face of “Well, here ya go.”

Best Line: “Get me the f**king head, alright! Both of you, because I’ve had it! You four-eyed f**k, and you fat piece of shit! Get me the head!” - Susie Greene (Susie Essman)

"Krazee-Eyez Killa" (Season 3; Ep. 8)

This episode remains a Curb classic for a very simple reason: There's no world where the idea of Larry getting himself caught up in the intricacies of the hip-hop world and race relations isn't hilarious. After failing to keep a secret about Krazee-Eyez Killa's (Chris Williams) cheating from Cheryl and Killa’s fiancĂ©e, Wanda Sykes, Larry is all about trying to stay ahead of it, and failing horribly. This episode is full of gems, like David’s childish love of bubble wrap, him saying how giving oral sex is a “whole to do,” and Larry asking Krazee if he’s “my Caucasian.” To top it all off, you got one of the all-time great Curb endings, fit with a flustered Martin Scorsese and Larry unable to say his lines because he has pubic hair stuck in his throat.

Best Line: “Are you my Caucasian?!” - Larry

"The Car Pool Lane" (Season 4; Ep. 6)

Buoyed by the constant comedic brilliance of guest star Kim Whitley as the prostitute Monena, “The Car Pool Lane” is an episode where every last second is simply brilliant. Every bit is Larry at some of his most self-serving and ridiculous, including him trying to get Marty Funkhouser’s (Bob Einstein) baseball tickets, despite the fact he’s still mourning his recently passed father, feigning casual racism to get out of jury duty, and turning buying weed from a deal (Jorge Garcia) into a whole production. But it’s when he picks up Monena in the name of simply using the carpool lane that it earns its just praise. Whitley is dynamite and doesn’t deal with Larry’s shit for one second, and the fact these two are with each other for most of the episode makes it an endlessly funny all-timer. Fun fact: Watch the documentary short Long Shot to see how this episode played a huge part in a very real true crime story.

Best Line: “I will pull a titty out!” - Monena

"Opening Night" (Season 4; Ep 10)

The main story arc for season four involved Larry being cast as the lead in the Mel Brooks’ musical The Producers, and despite his general Larry David-ness, Brooks insisted he was the right fit for the legendary role. However, the finale showed that in a sort of meta gag, Brooks was just using David to tank the show so he could end the nightmare of a production. “No more openings in Cleveland,” he exclaims to his wife, actress Anne Bancroft. This gag puts a great twist on an already terrific episode, which finds Larry avoiding more needed rehearsal for the sake of trying to get laid as part of his tenth-anniversary present, notably with cast member Cady Huffman. The hour-long finale finds Larry engaging in all sorts of mishaps around NYC, and brings in appearances from Richard Kind, Stephen Colbert, Nathan Lane, and more. It’s a lot crammed into the episode, but it all works, and the ending fit with Larry in The Producers blends the expected brand of awkward with the unexpected validation that David is a truly fantastic performer.

Best Line: “What the f**k were you thinking! A picture of Bush, who gives a flying f**? I'd f**k her with a Bush mask on!” - Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin)

"The Ski Lift" (Season 5; Ep 8)

The events of “The Ski Lift” are pure gold in that they show just how far Larry is willing to go to get himself out of a situation, even if that situation involves saving his friend’s life. So desperate to get his pal Richard Lewis a new kidney — simply so he doesn’t have to give him one — leads to him faking being an orthodox Jew to make friends with the head of the kidney consortium (Stuart Pankin), and then keeping the ruse going while on a ski trip with him, his daughter Rachel (Iris Bahr), Jeff, and Susie. This is Larry at his most hilariously devious trying to stay one step ahead of Bahr’s suspicious Rachel, her commitment to her faith brilliantly juxtaposed alongside David’s general indifference towards it. Paired with a subplot involving one of the series’ more bizarre elements, featuring Mo Collins as a nurse stealing things from Lewis’ house in her “big vagina,” this is Curb at some of his most hysterically brazen.

Best Line: “I think you took the ball, stashed in your unusually large vagina, and marched right out of here!” - Larry

"The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial" (Season 6; Ep 3)

Larry is often at his most watchable when he’s in ass-covering mode, and he’s at his peak in this season six winner. After grilling the dean of admissions at local middle school for taking too many ice cream samples, Larry takes a batch of flowers from the memorial site for Marty’s mother, sending him on an odyssey of hunting down make-up gifts and cover-ups for other terrible things he’s done that day. The pacing is brilliant, and woven are gags featuring David being cursed by a sweaty $50 bill Marty gave him that no one wants to accept. A perfect episode for anyone who likes to see David constantly fumbling, yet somehow making it to the end with everything mostly intact.

Best Line: "Little Orphan Funkhouser.” - Larry

"The Freak Book" (Season 6; Ep. 5)

Much like “Roadside Memorial” earlier that season, “The Freak Book” is a madcap episode wherein David’s personality and lack of social etiquette gets him into one mishap after another across L.A. At its core is the titular “Freak Book,” and while we never get a look at what’s inside, the reactions from Larry, Jeff, and even John McEnroe are priceless (“Three Legs!”). Really, the whole episode rides on David being a ridiculous human being. So angry with his wife and family that he decides to drive himself to a concert in a limo, only to become an actual limo driver as a favor to the actual limo driver. Ridiculous, and even petty as hell, selling off his grave plot alongside Ted Danson because he didn’t like his “Freak Book” gift. Basically, it’s Larry being Larry at its most gut-bustlingly funny, and I could watch reactions to that book for a whole episode in itself.

Best Line: “What is that?! It’s a pig! It’s a human pig!” - Larry

"The TiVo Guy" (Season 6; Ep 7)

After everything she’s put up with, Cheryl was bound to leave Larry at some point, and it makes sense after he did the most Larry thing he possibly could have: Ignoring a call from her as her plane was going down because he was at risk of losing the TiVo guy. What makes this episode great is not only does it shake up the show after deep into six seasons, but that it shows how much of an impact it doesn’t really make on Larry. Throughout the episode, he still makes big deals over small matters he sees as slights towards him — like Susie giving him a small dinner plate, or a hostess not buying his reason for cancelling his and Cheryl’s dinner reservation. Before the episode is over he’s already trying to get a new lover (in this case, Lucy Lawless), proving that even when his life is still in shambles, Larry is never going to stop being himself.

Best Line: “The penis needs options.” - Larry

"Denise Handicapped" (Season 7; Ep. 5)

Larry is no stranger to offending the disabled, so it makes sense he proved to have learned nothing when he begins seeing a woman named Denise (Anita Barone). Feeling trapped into going out with her after he notices she’s in a wheelchair, he soon begins to take advantage of the situation by getting praise from friends for dating her, and for getting ahead of lines at restaurants. Between his treatment of Denise and another disabled woman he uses to go to a private concert, this is certainly Larry at some of his most offensive, and in turn ,the show at some of its funniest. And of course, Larry gets what he deserves with not one, but probably two beat downs from Rosie O’Donnell.

Best Line: “Have you noticed if she has any proclivity for chopsticks?” - Larry

"The Table Read" (Season 7; Ep. 9)

The main arc of season seven brings the core cast of Seinfeld for an in-show reunion, and in this episode, they all finally get together to rehearse and film the special. The perfect opening shot of Larry and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss looking onto the set of Jerry’s iconic department can give you shivers, and the episode as a whole is a warm and hilarious glimpse into how they used to bring Seinfeld to life. That in of itself makes this penultimate episode a winner, but then you work in some classic Curb bits – like Jason Alexander using Larry’s pen as a luffa and spoofing Michael Richards’ viral stand-up rant – that make it a fireball of comedy perfection.

Best Line: “You don’t loan Jason anything, anything that can be…inserted.” - Jerry

"Seinfeld" (Season 7; Ep 10)

The Seinfeld reunion show has come, and of course, Larry finds a way to muck it all up. Angry at Jason for how close he’s gotten to his wife, and then trying to take on the role of George for himself, this is Larry at some of his most self-sabotaging, unable to stop himself from jeopardizing the whole thing. But, at the end of the day, he’s doing it for an uncharacteristically sweet reason: to get his wife back. If “The Table Read” is great in how so much of it plays like a behind-the-scenes look at making an episode of Seinfeld, then this one is equally so in that we can get to watch a decent amount of this would-be episode. The result is something far more special than the kind of full-fledged continuation it would get nowadays, giving you just the right amount of these characters back in action without overstaying.

Best Line: “She’s an icon! He’s an icon! He was an icon! [points to self] Icon! [points to Larry] No-con!” - Jerry

"Palestinian Chicken" (Season 8; Ep. 3)

With the absolutely brilliant “Palestinian Chicken”, you get Curb at a lot of its very best and provocative. The team behind this episode looked at Larry’s brand of challenging social norms and the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict and asked, “How can we combine these two?” Larry goes against the views of his friends in the Jewish community in the name of great chicken from a Palestinian-owned restaurant and great sex with a Palestinian woman (Anne Bedian), leading up to a perfect, meme-able finale where he is literally caught in the middle of conflicting self-interests, seemingly unable to choose one. It’s the best example across the whole series of the show of being able to embrace what makes it purely hilarious, and seamlessly blend it with a topical lens to make it feel especially relevant and infinitely more hysterical.

Best Line: “Hey, lemme tell you something. The penis doesn't care about race, creed, and color. The penis wants to get to his homeland. It wants to go home!” - Larry

"Larry vs. Michael J. Fox" (Season 8; Ep. 10)

With everything Larry has gotten away with in life, there’s only one way to make him do something so bad it gets him banned from his home turf in NYC: Going toe-to-toe with American sweetheart, Michael J. Fox. In a battle of false niceties and some very sneaky work by Fox, David meets his match by trying to argue with a man whom everyone else undoubtedly loves so much more than him. Fox is brilliant as this fictionalized version of himself, and the other half of the episode with Larry getting to know the child of the woman (Ana Gastyer) he’s seeing is its own level of excellence. Larry should get props so openly supporting a child who may be gay, but of course, he had to also go and inadvertently get the kid obsessed with the Swastika, so…

Best Line: “He didn't really care for Jews. He thought they were a bit much.” - Larry

"Happy New Year" (Season 10; Ep 1)

Curb has touched on topical issues in the past, but with the opener for season ten, they came roaring out of the gate by tackling numerous hot button issues, all of which would have a role to play in the rest of the season. There’s Larry’s normal behavior getting him wrapped up in the #MeToo movement (made worse by people mistaking Jeff for Harvey Weinstein), and him realizing the genius of using MAGA hats to make people not want to be near him. On top of that, Larry gets involved with his ex-wife Cheryl again and kicks off his most devious idea yet — The Spite Store. This episode sets up so much and it all works so well, proving that in this various seasons across this many years in, there are more than enough tricks left up this team’s sleeve.

Best Line: [After Larry dunks his nose in Lewis’ coffee] “What are you, a fucking goose?!” - Richard

KEEP READING: Larry David Takes on the Avengers In This Exclusive 'Robot Chicken' Season 11 Clip



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