Larry David Used Richard Lewis’ Death to Get Out of Doing ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

Kimmel called out David for flaking on an interview with a classic ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ excuse
Larry David Used Richard Lewis’ Death to Get Out of Doing ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’

Sometimes Larry David based Curb Your Enthusiasm plot lines on his real-life experiences — other times, he uses Curb jokes as genius strategies to avoid talking to Jimmy Kimmel.

When legendary stand-up comedian and long-time Curb Your Enthusiasm star Richard Lewis passed away this past February 27th, the hearts of the entertainment world went out to his old friend and showrunner David. Lewis and David first entered each other’s lives when they were both just 12 years old, having met at a summer camp where they became fast enemies. 

“(Larry) was a gangly, obnoxious fucking asshole just like I was,” Lewis said of his first impressions of his future best friend during a 2010 interview on The Howard Stern Show. “He used to punch me. I punched him. I used to beat him. We had fistfights. But when I became a comic he loved my work. And I loved his work. And one day, I got drunk at two in the morning, here in New York, and something about him scared the shit out of me and we retraced childhood.”

From then on, the two were thick as thieves, and, when Lewis passed away from a heart attack at the age of 76 earlier this year, the comedy world rallied around a devastated David in his time of need. When David canceled a planned appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! for the March 11th show, the host “totally understood” his need to grieve privately. Then, on March 10th, he saw David at an Oscars party.

“Okay, so, you want an explanation?” David said to his host when Kimmel revealed to the audience that, just one day before Larry was supposed to miss his scheduled and all-important post-Oscars interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! due to bereavement, the Oscars host saw the sitcom megastar “smiling broadly” at a post-ceremony party. David admitted, “I used the death of my best friend to get out of doing a show that I didn't want to do in the first place. Very simple.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm fans will recall that, in the Season Three episode “Special Section,” Curb Larry used the death of his mother as a reusable “Get Out of Jail Free” card for any unwanted invitation and obligation that bothered him in the weeks following her passing, despite his relative lack of devastation. While the Curb version of Larry and real-life David dont always line up perfectly, its good to know that David takes pages out of his own comedy playbook when the opportunity arises to skip some stupid engagement, such as an evening with Kimmel.

Jimmy Fallon would do well not to book David on his silly show around the time of Jeff Garlins next doctors appointment.


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