Martin Schneider writes:
Seeing Larry David and the cast members of his show Curb Your Enthusiasm (Susie Essman, Cheryl Hines, and Jeff Garlin) as well as a sneak preview of the first episode of Season 8 (it airs on HBO this Sunday) at 92Y of all possible places felt a bit like seeing— the mind gropes for comparisons. The Pope in Rome? Prince in Paisley Park? Oprah in Oprahland?
In other words, the adoration from the audience was total. Indeed, the whole thing was even better because (no spoilers) the episode has a lot to do with Judaism, and this highly Jewish audience (I didn't say "self-loathing") lustily ate it up.
The surprise MC was Brian Williams, and he couldn't have been more perfect or more mock-awkward. His first words were, "Welcome to 'Let's Find a Catholic to Moderate This Event,'" which very much conveyed his sporting humor for the evening. As it turned out, he and Jeff Garlin parried so much and so well that Garlin suggested jettisoning Larry David from Curb and making it a Williams-Garlin joint. Garlin also went into a loud, funny tirade about how Williams is the only entity in "media" with any class. And he certainly seemed to mean it. (Nobody seemed to disagree, either.)
It's pretty useless to summarize this long, probing, hilarious, and joyful event, so I'll throw out a few choice quotations and we'll call it a day.
Garlin: "The Orthodox are known for their great sense of humor."
Williams: "I'm not William F. Buckley. I'm as dumb as this table top."
Essman: "People will come up to me and say, 'My wife is just like Susie.' And I'll think, 'You poor motherfucker!'"
David: "If the character [i.e., Larry on the show] is a narcissist, then I'm a narcissist."
Garlin [to Williams]: "You are America's most trusted news source! No opinions! These are the facts! I am Brian Williams!"
David, on losing a lot of potential script ideas when his Blackberry died: "A person could die, and I wouldn't be as unhappy."
Williams: "I wasn't going to say 'narcissistic'...."
Williams: "If you're in a cab, will you talk to the cabbie?"
Williams: "If you're at Yankee Stadium, will you talk to the guy next to you?"
David [after a hesitation]: "A cab ride lasts ten minutes...."
Garlin: "I don't think the show is brilliant. Pixar movies are brilliant, because the stupidest person and the smartest person can watch it and get something out of it. Our show—you have to be smart to get it!"
David: "When I hurt someone's feelings, I am tortured by it."
Garlin [chiming in]: "More than anyone I know, actually."
Garlin [to Williams]: "You love the word 'Judaica.'"
Williams: "Yes, we've vacationed there...."
Thanks to 92Y for a remarkable evening with five remarkable entertainers (yes, Williams too).
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, an editor, critic, copywriter, and pre-web internet nut. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent many years as a New Yorker fan blog. The project garnered some nice compliments and press.
The blog’s now treading the territories of punctuation, publications, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a brilliant brigade of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
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