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Larry David has got it all: a loving wife, good friends, and a successful career - what could possibly go wrong? Co-creator and executive producer of the long running hit series "Seinfeld", David tackles a new, but familiar, topic in his latest show - himself.
Shot cinema-verité style and mostly improvised, each half-hour episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" proves how the seemingly trivial details of day-to-day life - a trip to the movies, a phone call, holding an elevator - can precipitate a "Murphy's Law" chain of misfortune to hilarious effect.
Surrounded by an eclectic mix of real and fictional re-creations of his friends and enemies, prone to speaking the unspeakable and honest to the point of insensitivity, Larry David - like George Costanza in "Seinfeld" - is a walking victim of misunderstandings and missed opportunities.
01 - The Divorce
Larry and Cheryl's reunion is short-lived, as Larry discovers that Cheryl does not respect wood. When he presses her on it, she storms out of the house. A year later, Larry meets with his divorce lawyer, Randy Berg, and is confident about the deal he's getting. At lunch, Larry orders the buffet, and shares some of his plate with Jeff. When restaurant management asks him not to share, another lawyer, Hiram Katz, steps in to successfully argue Larry's case.
Larry agrees to buy Girl Scout cookies from the daughter of the owner of the Dodgers, who'd asked Larry if he was interested in going to a game in his box. The cookie purchase is interrupted by the arrival of the girl's first menstrual period. Larry does his best to help, reading the instructions off of one of Cheryl's tampon boxes. The Dodgers' owner is furious, and rescinds his offer to Larry. When the Girl Scouts come back to collect, Larry rescinds his order.
Larry finds out that his lawyer is not Jewish and fires him, saying "You Sweded me!" He hires Hiram Katz as his lawyer, and recommends him to the owner of the Dodgers. A month later, the Dodgers owner loses his team to his ex-wife, and Larry loses his house to Cheryl. As Leon and Larry pack up to leave, a troop of Girl Scouts accost Larry, demanding their payment.
02 - The Safe House
In the grocery store, Larry's path to the chubby hubby ice cream is blocked by a grieving woman being comforted by her friend. He feigns sympathy and tries to reach around the side and, in the process, falls into the freezer. At lunch with Jeff and Larry, Funkhauser discusses Lewis's girlfriend-a burlesque dancer with amazing breasts. They go watch her dance and Lewis catches them in the parking lot. The next day at lunch, Larry tells her and Lewis his "breast-vision" noticed she had a small mole.
In a restaurant, a white man asks Larry to watch his computer. After waiting awhile for him to return, Larry leaves it with a black man nearby. The next day, Larry realizes that the black man never returned the laptop, and Leon is deeply disappointed.
Larry catches a woman letting her dog go on his lawn and berates her. Later, another woman knocks on his door and informs him that she runs a safe house for battered women nearby-her group includes both the woman with the dog and the one who'd been standing in front of the chubby hubby. To make amends, he agrees to go speak to them. His apology goes increasingly awry-he wonders aloud whether Dale, a larger woman, is "the capo that runs the show"- but makes up for it by allowing the women to do laundry in his house.
Lewis's girlfriend has her mole checked and, while it's benign, decides she wants to have her breasts reduced. Lewis is outraged, but plans to take her out for one great last stand, which Larry dubs "a breast blowout."
Watching Dale do laundry, Larry insinuates that she could probably take care of herself, and Larry ends up in the hospital. The doctor takes his statement, and recognizes Leon acting abusively towards Larry. When the police come to Larry's house to take Leon away, they instead nab the black man from the restaurant, who had come to return the computer.
At the grocery store, Dale is standing between Lewis and the freezer. When he's informed that she's from a battered women's shelter, he also tells her she could probably take care of herself. She crushes his hands in the freezer door. With his hands broken, Lewis is unable to partake in the breast blowout.
03 - Palestinian Chicken
Larry, Jeff and their teammates Ron and Eddie prepare for their club's golf tournament. They like their chances, so long as they can get Funkhouser-who's been missing in action-to play with them.
Eddie has the team and their wives over for dinner, and Larry hits Ron's car on the way in. Funkhouser is there as well, sporting a yarmulke, as he's recently undergone a spiritual awakening in the wake of his divorce and mid-life crisis. At dinner, the table discusses the fact that the Al Abbas Palestinian chicken restaurant is opening up a second location next to Goldblatt's deli. Funkhouser is outraged and debate rages across the table.
The next day, Larry visits Ron to offer to pay for the damage to his car. Rather than accept payment, Ron offers Larry another kind of deal. He'll waive the fee if Larry will tell his wife Ilene to stop saying "LOL" instead of actually laughing. Larry confronts Ilene about her habit of "verbal texting," but she quickly sees through the plan and berates her husband instead.
Larry and Jeff invite Funkhouser to join them for lunch at Al Abbas, but the newly devout Jew refuses to take off his yarmulke before entering. Larry ties to wrestle it away from him, and Funkhouser storms off. Applause breaks out as Larry and Jeff enter the restaurant, and Larry wins the adoration of the comely Muslim, Shara. At lunch, Larry spots Eddie and Ilene and gathers that they must be having an affair. He decides not to say anything, so as not to jeopardize his team's chances in the golf tournament.
Jeff's daughter Sami approaches Larry to enlist his services as a "social assassin." She wants him to tell Susie not to make a noise-"ah"-every time she takes a sip of her drink. Larry turns her down, but when she threatens to reveal Eddie and Ilene's affair, which would cost him the golf tournament, he relents.
Funkhouser visits Larry, and overhears him having sex with Shara. Her idea of dirty talk is to call Larry a dirty Jew and moan "F*ck me like Israel f*cks my people." When Larry emerges, Funkhouser tells him his rabbi won't let him play in the golf tournament because of the Sabbath, and Larry accuses him of "Koufaxing." Larry goes to talk to the rabbi, and gets her to allow Funkhouser to play-for the price of a piece of Al Abbas chicken.
On the 17th hole of the tournament, Larry's team is about to win. Susie arrives during Larry's stroke, takes a sip of her drink, and lets out an audible, "ah." At Sami's insistence, Larry takes the opportunity to confront her about her annoying habit. Susie blows up, not at Larry, but at Jeff who she presumes put him up to it. Distraught, Sami takes responsibility, but accidentally reveals that Eddie and Ilene are having an affair. Ron loses it "LOL, honey. LOL." and storms off. The tournament is lost.
04 - The Smiley Face
Larry's office is in disarray because his assistant is off taking care of her dying father. Dino, whose company just moved in down the hall, stops by to introduce himself and to ask if he can have a cabinet in the kitchen. Larry agrees, and Jeff admonishes him. "You never give up a cabinet," he says.
At lunch, it becomes clear that Larry is dating the hostess, Heidi, and though Jeff can't believe he would "shit where he eats," Larry is determined to be the first man to do it successfully. She sends him a text message with a smiley face, and he's put off by it. Larry and Jeff's friend Stu comes by the table and invites them over for dinner. Jeff says he would, but things aren't so great with him and Susie.
To Larry's horror, Dino has stuffed all of Larry's food into one cabinet and taken the other two. He calls Antoinette for help and she agrees to come in for one day. When she does, her father dies, his last words being, "Where's Antoinette?"
Stu and his wife stop by Larry's office to find out why things aren't so great with Jeff and Susie. They ask him if Jeff is having an affair, and though Larry says no, his voice goes up as he says it, and they take that as confirmation that he is.
Larry and Heidi argue as she applies sun screen to his head. He refuses to offer condolences for the death of her father two years prior, as the sorry window has closed. She breaks up with him, but not before leaving a smiley face of sun tan lotion on an oblivious Larry.
Larry arrives at Antoinette's father's funeral, a smiley face emblazoned on his forehead. While his assistant will require time to grieve, Antoinette's mother agrees to fill in for her.
When Larry sees Stu, he tells him that things aren't so great with Heidi. Stu figures out that Jeff was the one lying, but it's too late-his wife told Susie about the affair. Susie storms in and sees Jeff comforting Antoinette's grieving mother. Predictably, Susie freaks out.
Larry goes back to Heidi's restaurant, determined to eat where he once shat, but the food tastes funny. Larry asks if her if she put anything in his meal. "Noooo," she says, her voice escalating.
05 - Vow of Silence
Jeff and Susie are having a goodbye party before moving to New York for the summer. There, Larry sees Susie's friend Vance, who has taken a vow of silence but still communicates by mouthing words. While waiting in line, Larry notices a woman sneaking in front of him under the guise of conversation with an old friend and he calls out her "chat and cut." Larry's friend Tessler invites him to attend an event for special needs children, and needing an excuse, Larry claims that he'll be in New York.
Before they're supposed to meet for lunch, Larry visits Jeff at the vet, where he and Susie are taking care of their dog Oscar. The report from the vet is grim, and Susie wants them to pick up Oscar's favorite food for his last meal, Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Outside Pinkberry, Larry chastises a driver for his "pig parking." Then, Larry sees Tessler approaching and tries to duck inside the store to avoid him, but the other customers accuse him of performing a chat and cut. He leaves the store and runs right into Tessler, who tells him that the event has been moved, and now Larry can attend. Larry lies again, telling him he's going to New York for three months to work on a show with Jerry. Tessler invites him to stay at a friend's apartment and offers to arrange it for him.
On the way back from Pinkberry, Jeff and Larry inadvertently finish Oscar's final treat, and Vance sees them. As Jeff and Susie sit shiva for Oscar, Susie recounts how Jeff went to get Oscar's last meal but Pinkberry was closed. Vance picks up on the lie, but is unable to say anything.
At night, Larry parks next to another pig parker and leaves him an angry note. The pig turns out to be Vance, who yells at Larry, Jeff and Susie from across the street, "Larry ate Oscar's Pinkberry and Jeff was driving. Assholes." Enraged, Susie can't wait to go to New York to get away from Larry. But as the plane departs from LAX, he's sitting across the aisle from her.
06 - The Hero
On the plane to New York, Larry sits next to an attractive woman, but is unable to strike up a conversation. He goes to use the bathroom in the coach section, and when he exits, trips over his extra-long shoelaces. He falls right on top of a drunk man, who had been acting abusive toward a stewardess, and tackles him to the floor. The stewardess and the plane's other passengers give Larry a round of applause for his heroism, and as he returns to his seat, the woman, who introduces herself as Donna, shows a much greater interest in him.
Jeff and Larry go to lunch, where they spot Ricky Gervais, whom Jeff would like to sign as a client. Larry offers to get him a bottle of wine, and Ricky orders the most expensive one in the house. Larry and Jeff's waiter is attentive to their conversation, but not to their food, so Larry gets up and gets the food himself.
Larry brings Donna and a stick of French bread to dinner at Jeff and Susie's apartment. Susie rebuffs his contribution-"Don't impose your desires on my cuisine"-and separates the couples in her seating arrangement. She then accidentally reveals in front of Donna that it was Larry's long-shoelaces that made him tackle the man on the plane.
At Ricky's play, Larry and Susie argue the entire time, throwing off Ricky's performance-he gives himself his lowest mark yet, a nine out of ten, though he can't identify the offenders. Backstage, Larry and Ricky exchange tense verbal jabs about paying for the tickets to the show, Ricky's ability to cry onstage, and the artistic merits of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!"
At lunch the next day, the same eavesdropping waiter from earlier reveals to Ricky that it was Larry talking in the audience the night before.
Larry spots Ricky and Donna entering the subway, and follows them with his baguette in hand. He sees them being robbed and intervenes, bashing the offender with his hard stick of bread. A heroic Larry walks off, but his laces are stuck in the closing subway doors.
07 - The Bi-Sexual
At an art gallery opening, Larry hits it off with a woman and gets her number. He recounts the encounter to Rosie O'Donnell, who's just met someone herself. They piece together it's the same woman, Jane, and she's bisexual. "What is this?" Larry says. "She has to sleep with everyone?" Neither Rosie nor Larry will back down though, and the competition is on.
Larry goes back to the apartment and finds Leon waiting for him outside. His first date with Jane gets off to a rocky start, when the Japanese food Larry brought for dinner spills in the bag. The next day, he returns to the restaurant, tells the maitre d' to secure his food better in the future, and asks for an apology. The maitre d' not only apologizes, he bows. Larry is impressed.
Larry shows up to a softball game with Rosie. Things have been going well for her and Jane-Rosie's taking her to the Tony Awards that week. Larry goes home and bemoans Rosie's lesbian advantage to Leon. Leon refuses to let Larry back down, offering him a pep talk and a little blue pill. Larry's reluctant to start juicing, but desperate to win Jane's affections.
After her next night with Larry, Jane is so content she cancels her trip to the Tony's with Rosie. At softball, Rosie is perplexed. She's known Larry for four decades and Jane is the first woman to rave about him in bed. Something isn't adding up. Larry credits his improved performance to diet and exercise, but she's not buying it. He hits a home run and Rosie looks on incredulous as he circles the bases.
In Central Park, Larry sees a Japanese tourist give a full bow after a minor incident. He asks if the 90-degree bow is standard, and the man tells him anything less would be seen as dismissive. He calls the maitre d's effort-head and neck only-- "a shit bow." Larry returns to the restaurant to let the maitre d' know.
Before his next date with Jane, a trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Larry needs more pills. Leon is out of them, so Larry secures two pills from an older-looking man in Washington Square Park. In Cooperstown, Larry bumps into Jane on the steps of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and she jokingly demands a full bow apology. Larry obliges, and a pill falls out of his shirt pocket. Larry makes excuses-he was leveling the playing field, it was for recovery, everyone's doing it-but Jane withholds his ticket. Larry's not getting into the Hall of Fame.
08 - Car Periscope
Waiting for a cab on a New York City corner, Larry gets upstreamed, as a woman walks up the block and takes the cab in front of him.
Jeff takes Larry to meet Ira, an inventor. Ira shows them his latest invention, a car periscope. They like the idea, though they're hesitant to invest money with a total stranger. But when they meet Ira's homely wife, Gabby, they're convinced he must be a man of character. They agree to test drive a prototype and love the invention.
Larry, Jeff and Susie go to a party thrown by their friend Henry, and run into Wanda and Larry tells her about the trainer he's been working out with. Feeling he should for once act on his benevolent impulses, Larry visits Henry's father, the former television judge Carter Horn. Larry fills in for a one-armed man playing Scrabble with the old judge and realizes the judge is suffering from dementia and prone to racist outbreaks. Henry comes in and thinks that Larry has run up the score against his father and demands he leave. Larry maintains that a one-armed man did it.
In the park, Larry once again plays Scrabble with the old man and sees Wanda running with his trainer during what used to be his time. He confronts them, and Larry and Wanda set about resolving the situation. Larry suggests Judge Horn be the arbiter, knowing his racist tendencies.
Larry leaves his business manager after meeting his too-attractive wife. He moves his business elsewhere, to a man who is much better looking than his wife of 20 years.
Larry and Jeff agree to invest with Ira. At a movie with Ira and Gabby, Larry accidentally reveals that he considers Ira to be a man of character because of his ugly wife. Gabby goes after him, and Larry winds up with his arm in a sling.
The next day, Larry sees the one-armed man who'd ditched him with the judge. They upstream each other up the block, looking for a taxi. The one-armed man runs into and knocks over the judge and hops into a cab. Henry sees his father on the floor and asks who did this to him. He says it was a one-armed man - as Henry eyes Larry with his arm in a sling.
09 - Mister Softee
Dining al fresco in New York City, Susie asks Larry to get Jeff a ball signed by Mookie Wilson for his birthday. Larry is distracted by a nearby Mr. Softee ice cream truck. He unloads to his therapist about a childhood incident playing strip poker inside a Mr. Softee truck, which ended up with him naked in front of the whole neighborhood.
Before the championship softball game, the team sponsor Yari the mechanic gives a profanity-laced pep talk in the spirit of George Steinbrenner. With the game on the line, Larry gets distracted by the sound of a Mr. Softee truck, and the ball goes right through his legs.
The next day, Larry goes to Yari to pick up his car, but it's not ready yet. A disgusted Yari says he "made an error" and "dropped the ball." He sends Larry off in an unrepaired car with a broken front seat.
Larry sees Leon standing outside the apartment building-the doorman won't let him in. After apologizing on behalf of all Caucasians, Larry tells Leon to wear glasses if he wants respect. When they arrive at the trade show to get Mookie Wilson's autograph, Larry gets turned away, but a bespectacled Leon is able to get them both in. There, Larry sees former Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner at a table and shares that he made a devastating error of his own. They leave together, and Buckner is constantly heckled by people on the street.
That night, Larry brings Jennifer home, and she rides in the broken front seat. When they get to the apartment, she decides not to come up. The next day, Leon rides shotgun, and he realizes that the vibrations in the front seat were the reason Jennifer didn't want to go up. She didn't come upstairs, Leon says, "because she was coming downstairs."
Susie spots Larry driving alone, and asks for a ride uptown-her cousin's building is on fire. Larry, now aware of what his front seat can do, does whatever he can to keep Susie out of it. When she insists, he has no other choice and lets her ride. As Susie gets increasingly excited, Larry gets more and more disgusted, and he crashes into a parked Mr. Softee truck.
At the fire, a woman has to throw her baby to the firefighters. The baby bounces away from them, and Buckner makes a diving catch. He's a hero.
That night, Larry sleeps with Jennifer. He's satisfied with his performance, but Jennifer isn't. She wants to go for a drive.
10 - Larry vs. Michael J. Fox
While waiting for his girlfriend Jennifer to get ready, Larry doodles a Hitler mustache and a swastika on a figure in one of her magazines. Her young son Greg arrives and introduces himself to Larry. Greg, who has just come from watching Project Runway and is rather effeminate, loves the design element of the swastika, and asks for one for his birthday.
At the bar, Jennifer plays background piano for the patrons, but Larry insists on shushing everyone who is talking, including Larry's upstairs neighbor Michael J. Fox. Fox shakes his head in Larry's direction as he exits, and Larry wonders if it was a statement or a product of Fox having Parkinson's disease.
Larry goes to Fox's apartment to apologize for shushing him. Telling him not to worry, Fox hands Larry a soda, which explodes all over his clothes when he opens it. Fox says it was shaken because of the Parkinson's. Later that night, Larry and Leon can't sleep as Fox is clomping on the floor in boots. When Larry confronts him, Fox again pins it on the Parkinson's.
For Greg's birthday, Larry brings him a sewing machine. While Greg is thrilled with the gift, Jennifer is not, and accuses Larry of turning her son gay. Susie tells Larry he needs to buy Greg another gift to make it up. The conversation turns to Fox's devotion to his wife and Susie asks Jeff if he'd take a bullet for her. He says he would, but she doesn't believe him.
In the lobby of the apartment building, Larry collides with Fox. As their tensions reach a boil, Fox tells Larry to take it up with the board. He does, and the board puts Larry on probation, recommending he attend Fox's Parkinson's foundation fundraiser to atone.
In the park, Larry brings Greg another gift, a violin. Greg tells Larry how much he loves the sewing machine; he even used it to make a gift for Susie. He hands her a pillow sham embroidered with a swastika, which Greg says Larry taught him how to make. As an enraged Susie confronts Larry she steps into the path of a speeding biker. Jeff throws himself in front of Susie, absorbing the crash. Lying on the floor, he tells his wife, "I took a bullet for you." "It was a bike, technically," Susie responds.
Larry and Jeff attend the fundraiser and get shushed for talking too loudly. Jeff asks what gift Larry got Greg, and in response, Larry mimes playing the violin. On stage, Fox calls out Larry for making the violin gesture during the speech and the crowd is outraged. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is in attendance, stands up to the podium and tells Larry he wants him out of the city.
Back at the apartment building, Fox sees Larry and wants to bury the hatchet. He invites Larry to join him in attending an event for sick children. Larry thinks it over, but tells Fox he's going to be out of town that day.
When the day comes, Larry and Leon are walking the streets of Paris. A man pulls his car in between two spots, and arguing in French, Larry calls him a "pig parker".