The ‘Seinfeld’ Effect on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)

It didn’t go unnoticed by ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ cast that last season’s ‘Seinfeld’ reunion brought a new group of fans and record ratings. But that doesn’t mean ‘Curb’ creator and famous misanthrope Larry David is eager to keep discussing it.

“It was a great fusion of the two shows coming together,” David, who was also a ‘Seinfeld’ co-creator, told Fancast at Sunday’s PaleyFest 2010 event in L.A. for ‘Curb.’ “It was a surreal world for a while.”

The ratings for the HBO show, in its seventh season, avoided staleness with five-year high ratings, drawing 1.6 million viewers on the first ‘Seinfeld’ reunion episode in October and 1.3 million on the ‘Curb’ season finale. (With repeat viewings, the audience was twice ‘Curb’s’ season 6 finale.)

The ‘Seinfeld’ reunion brought back the iconic 90s TV show’s four original main cast for the first time since the show departed in 1998.

“I think it brought a new fan base,” costar Susie Essman said Sunday, of ‘Seinfeld’s’ effect. “I think more people watched it.”

Moreover, the entertainment media — always affectionate toward the cynical David — greeted the ‘Seinfeld’ reunion with gusto.

“For me, the ‘Seinfeld’ reunion storyline dreamed up by Larry David — the man; the TV character — for ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is one of the funniest, smartest ideas of the new season,” raved Entertainment Weekly last October. wrote, “There was something magical about watching the same people on the same set reciting some very ‘Seinfeld’-ian lines.”

David seems loathe to attaching ‘Seinfeld’ to ‘Curb,’ however.

At Sunday’s PaleyFest event, when asked by moderator LA Times TV critic Martin Miller about the concept in the panel discussion, David said, in front of a crowd of 1,500+ people, “There will be no more ‘Seinfeld’ references on the show. That’s all over … I think ‘Seinfeld’ questions at this point are no longer appropriate.”

Also, when promoting the ‘Seinfeld’ reunion in interviews last year, David said he was against the idea, generally.

“These reunion shows, they’re so lame, really, they never work,” David told the LA Times last October. “The actors are 10 years older; it doesn’t look right.”

David’s subdued, cool approach doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm of his costars.

Bob Einstein, who plays David’s pal Marty Funkhouser, said Sunday before the panel, “There was an innate excitement with ‘Seinfeld’ and the cast. You’re not going to get that back or the publicity. I like the excitement.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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