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‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Made One thing Out of Nothing

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Larry David — the character a minimum of — doesn’t hesitate to punch down. He’s a down-puncher! A recurrent theme of the present is his prosperous character believing himself to be persecuted by service workers, together with, within the ultimate season, a automotive valet, a masseuse, a lodge housekeeper and a number of restaurant servers.

His saving grace is that Larry nearly by no means punches down, up or sideways with out injuring himself twice as badly. Inevitably, his “A.I.T.A.” is answered with a powerful “Y.T.A.” (usually delivered by the deliciously scathing Susie Essman).

But in addition, there’s a sort of twisted egalitarianism to Larry’s bile. He believes, just like the Roman playwright Terence, that nothing human is alien to him, that nobody is best or worse than he’s — and that, due to this fact, nobody will get a go from his kvetching.

Like his forebear Mel Brooks (who appeared in an arc casting Larry in his musical “The Producers”), David has additionally performed with materials that would explode on a lesser comedian. In a basic episode, Larry turns into hooked on a Palestinian rooster restaurant that raises a furor when it opens a department subsequent to a Jewish deli. (Whereas the plot may appear uncomfortably prescient throughout the Gaza struggle in 2024, when it premiered in 2011 it alluded to the controversy over a deliberate Islamic heart in Decrease Manhattan that was mislabeled a “floor zero mosque.”)

Larry is unsettled, as a Jew, by the militant posters on the restaurant’s partitions. He’s seduced, as a mortal, by the scrumptious poultry and by a Palestinian lady he meets there, who turns him on with antisemitic soiled discuss.

Does the episode stereotype? Does it caricature? Does it mock lethal severe points? Sure — brilliantly. It blows straight by offense into transcendence, guided by the comedian philosophy that every one individuals are debased, fallen and ruled by low passions, above all Larry David. He ends the episode in a car parking zone between two livid crowds: a gaggle of Jewish protesters, together with a lot of his mates, and the Palestinian counterprotesters, together with his girlfriend — tribe vs. tribe, socialization vs. urge for food, the digicam pushing in on Larry’s anxious, indecisive face.