‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Boss Jeff Schaffer Details Richard Lewis’ Last Days on Set

Lewis’ last two appearances on ‘Curb’ are coming in the next few weeks
‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Boss Jeff Schaffer Details Richard Lewis’ Last Days on Set

When Curb Your Enthusiasm airs its last-ever episode on April 7th, the late, great Richard Lewis’ final appearance on the show will be right on time.

Last April, Lewis revealed that he had been struggling with Parkinson’s Disease for two years and would have to retire from comedy to focus on the fight. Despite the diagnosis, Lewis was able to return to his most celebrated acting role playing a fictionalized version of himself in what would later be revealed as the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then, on February 27th and with six more episodes of Curb still to air, Lewis died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles home. The beloved comic was 76 years old.

Curb Your Enthusiasm paid tribute to one of their most celebrated guest stars in the title card of the following episode to air. Lewis has already created some of the funniest moments on this season of Curb, and will appear in two more episodes before credits roll for good. And, as Curb Your Enthusiasm executive producer and perennial director Jeff Schaffer told The Hollywood Reporter yesterday, when it came time to shoot Lewis’ final scenes, “He was funny every minute he was on set.”

“The thing about Richard is that everyone knows how funny he was,” Schaffer began describing Lewis in the interview, “But I want people to know also that he was the sweetest, kindest man. Everyone loved him. He loved being on the show. He will be missed.” Schaffer recalled the joy that Lewis brought to the set of Curb, even with his declining health during the production of Season 12.

We've already watched Lewis and Larry spar over sperm counts in the third episode of this Curb season, and, in the most recent entry, Lewis explored the stand-up potential of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to his appearance in what will be the show's final episode, the fittingly titled finale "No Lessons Learned," Lewis also has scenes in the third-to-last episode of Season 12, titled “The Colostomy Bag,” which airs on March 24th.

“That idea was in the script,” Schaffer explained of the most recent AA scenes that saw Lewis delighting a crowd of recovering alcoholics with an unexpected set. “That it seemed like he was just getting up and doing his material in the AA meeting. In the original version of the script, Larry was sort of accusing him of doing that and he was denying it. And we were like, ‘oh, it’s way funnier if he just owns it.’ And once we made that flip, the scene came to life. Because they were both able to just riff on the joke.”

Schaffer said of Lewis' continued comedy mastery, “He said he wasn’t going to do standup again or tour anymore, obviously due to health reasons. But he never stopped coming up with jokes. He was funny every minute he was on set.”

“Three weeks to the day before he passed, we shot with him,” Schaffer recalled of his last encounters with Lewis. “He looked great. He was moving around way better than he was when we were shooting the rest of the season. He was just excited and it was great. It was a bit of a shock. I’d say his body may have betrayed him, but his wit never wavered the entire time.”

And, to the joy of Curb fans everywhere, some of that wit is still to come – Schaffer closed with the touching teaser, “No one has seen the last of Richard Lewis.”


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?