Larry David Biography
He may be bald, bold and bickersome, but one thing Larry David is not, is broke. As the co-creator of "Seinfeld" (1990), David cashed in immensely on the success of the "anti-sitcom" and went on to create another hugely successful show a decade later with HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiam." (2000).
David grew up in Brooklyn, New York and in his words, he "had a wonderful childhood, which is tough, because it's hard to adjust to a miserable adulthood." He began hitting the stand up comedy circuit around 1974, performing mostly in New York City clubs. He met fellow New York comedian and future collaborator, Jerry Seinfeld in 1976. David gained the reputation as a "comic's comic," a title which David says "means I sucked." In 1979, he was hired on the comedy variety show "Fridays." The show was modeled after "Saturday Night Live" and David was both a writer and regular performer. He stayed with the show until 1982 when he was hired as a writer on "Saturday Night Live." David spent one tortured year there where he claims he made no friends and only got one sketch on the air -- the last sketch of the night, traditionally the placement held for the least funny skit.
In 1989, Seinfeld was working with NBC to develop a comedy pilot and he called upon his old friend Larry David to help him out. Together they developed the legendary "show about nothing" starring Seinfeld with fellow comedic actors Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards and Jason Alexander. While it was not initially a success, due, in part, to the show's novel format, eventually "Seinfeld" would become one of the most successful and influential television shows in history. The talented cast and daring storylines (an award-winning episode titled "The Contest" featured the characters seeing who could refrain from masturbating the longest) won the show a rabid fan base and countless other television shows would rely on the "Seinfeld" dynamic for their formulas. David modeled Alexander's character George Costanza on himself, as a cheap, neurotic and ultimately selfish bald man. David wrote and produced the series until 1996, when he took time off to work on feature screenwriting. He returned for the season finale in 1998 and was a frequent guest voice or actor on the show in the meantime. Besides these appearences, David had made some other small acting ventures, including a part in 1983's "Can She Bake a Cherry Pie" and roles in Woody Allen's "Radio Days" (1987) and "New York Stories" (1989).
In 1998 David wrote and directed the feature "Sour Grapes," a characteristically unsentimental look at the pitfalls of wealth and greed. Though the movie was not a commercial success, David again struck television gold when he created the semi-scripted series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" in 1999. Originally airing as a special, the show featured David playing himself in a mockumentary about a nervous stand-up comic returning to do a television special after a long absense from the stage. The popularity of the special resulted in a weekly HBO series featuring David playing a neurotic and spoiled TV celebrity named Larry David. Partially improvised and heavily immersed in Hollywood culture, the show again proved to be a groundbreaking television experiment. And again, the gamble paid off as "Curb" became a media darling and garnered several nominations and awards. Of course for David, success does not equal contentment, so we can be sure a wealth of depressive, cranky and shockingly unenthusiastic comedy will keep on coming for quite some time.
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