As Kids, Richard Lewis Hated Larry David at First Sight

As Kids, Richard Lewis Hated Larry David at First Sight

When you’re a kid, you don’t always need an especially good reason to hate another kid. And when comedian Richard Lewis showed up at a sports camp at age 12, there was one kid in particular who really rubbed him the wrong way. “I disliked him intensely,” Richard Lewis told The Spectator. “He was cocky, he was arrogant.” Do we really have to tell you who Lewis was talking about?

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The odds of tweens Richard Lewis and Larry David attending the same sports camp seem infinitesimally small — and yet here they were. “When we played baseball I tried to hit him with the ball,” remembers Lewis. “We were arch rivals. I couldn’t wait for the camp to be over just to get away from Larry. I’m sure he felt the same way.”

Fast-forward eleven years and the two comics, now in their mid-twenties, met up again in a New York comedy club. Lewis and David didn’t look much like their 12-year-old selves, so it’s not surprising that they didn’t instantly recognize each other. But as they joked and drank through the night, a metaphorical lightbulb switched on over Lewis’s head. “I looked at his face and I said, ‘There’s something about you, man, that spooks me.’” Recognition set in: “‘You’re Richard Lewis!’ ‘You’re Larry David!’ I was yelling at him, he was yelling at me.” Cue the music.

The love/hate relationship will trudge forward in the newest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which drops later this year. To this day, you won’t hear David singing the praises of camp rival Lewis, at least not without some heavy sarcasm thrown in. “In truth, he loves me and I’m his dearest friend,” says Lewis. “But it would be rare for him to go deep like that. I could blabber about how much I love the guy. In one of my favorite lines from Curb, I told him that I cared about him and he said, ‘You’re a babbling brook of bullshit.’” (Away from cameras and the press, Lewis says, “Without question, I couldn’t have a better friend.”)

But with Curb possibly ending (to be fair, Curb is always possibly ending and it never does), can we suggest to Lewis and David that HBO absolutely needs to commission a new series about two smart-ass kids who want to beat the hell out of each other at sports camp? We’re here for all of the 12-year-old one-upmanship — who wins the camp trophy, who sticks the other in the ribs with a fastball, who wins the affection of the cute Catholic girl across the lake, who gets into a petty argument with the camp referee about the intricacies of the infield fly rule, who steals a mitt while the other attends Shabbat services. We’re barely scratching the surface. 

We’re working through some prospective titles, with Slugfest the leader in the clubhouse although Extra Innings From Hell has promise. Get it done, HBO, and we’ll even sign up for Max. 

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