Watching the last couple of episodes of the seventh season of Curb Your Enthusiasm was a bit of a strange experience. Seinfeld is an ever-present, um, presence throughout Larry David’s schlemiel-celebrating, political correctness-challenging HBO show, but usually only in passing references. In the seventh season, Larry puts together a Seinfeld reunion show – just to try to get back with his ex-wife; the last two episodes feature pretty, pretty, pretty long segments of the show within the show in rehearsals and later on TV.
Which made me feel kind of strange.
As I’ve watched the first seven seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it’s a fair bet that I like it a lot. Some episodes are better than others (it’s a lot patchier than many other TV programmes, I think), but the good ones are fantastic. Seinfeld, on the other hand – from the admittedly little I’ve seen – was, not terrible, exactly, but not funny in the slightest. All the characters seemed to have exactly the same voice (perhaps not Kramer), there was something smug and shallow about it, it was very static and the laughter (or laughter track) never matched up to the wit (for want of a better word) of the dialogue. I found Jerry Seinfeld moderately amusing as a stand-up comedian, but his show just didn’t work.
So in the midst of the hilarious awkward-fest that is Curb, you had these leaden, clunky bits of a made-up Seinfeld episode that everyone in the programme was made up with – but they were just as unfunny as Seinfeld ever was.
Maybe it started growing on me, however. There was one snippet that I found droll.
George: Well, I’ll never meet anyone else again.
Jerry: Probably not.
George: Meeting is hard.
Jerry: Meeting is hard. Why can’t you meet?
George: Can’t meet! Why is that?
Jerry: This is what single people are thinking about the minute they wake up in the morning. And yet we’re surrounded by people – they’re right next to us on the bus, on the street – but we can’t meet them.
George: Why won’t they meet us?
Jerry: Because strangers have a bad reputation.
George: A few bad strangers have ruined it for the rest of us.
Jerry: It’s unfortunate.