After weeks of promoting and self-promoting (I have a podcast?), the show of shows has finally arrived.
And just in time to take our minds off what we can only hope is the final throes of this infernal lockout.
It’s the much ballyhooed “Curb Your Enthusiasm” podcast, also just in time for the return of an eighth glorious season of one of the funniest programs on television this Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.
Larry David makes his second all-time appearance on the podcast, but the very first in-person, and kicks off the show with a superb 20-minute chat that ranges from his love of (and occasional frustration with) his New York Jets to his smash years with “Seinfeld” to the all-important question of whether his eighth season of “Curb” will be the last. Of course, I try to pry some details in regards to the upcoming season of “Curb.” In between, David gets quite a bit off his chest as only Larry David can –- his demonstrative hatred of the prevent defense, his disgust with zone defense in general and his bold and brash claim that, even with only the slightest bit of preparation, he could be a highly successful offensive or defensive coordinator in the National Football League. For real.
And matters only improve from there.
After the LD one-one-one, I dial up the three executive producers of “Curb,” who also serve as the writers of the show –- the same exact roles they happened to share in one form or another for the last four seasons of “Seinfeld.” I’m referring to David Mandel, Alec Berg and Jeff Schaffer, who phoned in from the New York City location of their latest project: “The Dictator,” the next film from none other than Borat himself, Sacha Baron Cohen. So, in other words, over the last 15 years, Jeff, Alec and David have only collaborated with and provided the words/stories for Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and Sacha Baron Cohen. As the great Jack Walsh once said: That’s a pretty respectable neighborhood.
Needless to say, I plumb the comic depths with this trio and do my best to pull back what goes on behind the comedy curtain in order to create such iconic pop culture greatness. This portion of the podcast is a particular piece of candy for the “Seinfeld” fanatic. Want to know who was the inspiration for the “Man Hands” episode? How about the origin of the first name of “Jacopo” for the J. Peterman character? What is it like to pitch an idea to Larry David? Or Seinfeld? How in the world do they come up with this stuff anyway? All of that –- including a fantastic story about what happened the one time that Seinfeld himself stopped in and ordered from the original “Soup Nazi” -– can be found in this all-timer of a segment.
But, would you believe, all of the above is just the appetizer?
The podcast finishes with a prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay good bang –- a roundtable chat with Larry David, Jeff Garlin, JB Smoove (the uproarious Leon on “Curb”) and Bob “Super Dave” Einstein, who plays Marty Funkhauser. My goal for this chat was to let the guys do their thing and recreate the feel of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” in the chat. I don’t know if I succeeded but I most certainly lost control of the first 10 minutes or so of the conversation. Eventually, your humble narrator corralled the group back to attempt as in-depth a chat on a particular TV show by a large chunk of its cast as you’ve ever heard. I truly don’t want to give too much of it away, but you can guess -– this was a perfect capper to a podcast that will be tough to top moving forward.
But, as you know, I will try. Anything for a listenership that made this podcast the No. 1 sports podcast on iTunes this past week -– right in the middle of July smack dab in the 15th week of an NFL lockout. As Coach Norman Dale once said: I love you guys. Enjoy the podcast. I hope you have as much fun taking it in as I had putting it together.
Editor’s note (alright, it’s really my note but I think using the words “editor’s note” makes this sound more important): For those scoring at home (or not), a 30-minute version of this show will appear Thursday, July 7, on NFL Network at 10 p.m. All the good stuff that can’t make the TV version can be seen here on this page after the first airing of the show. Let’s call it a bonus video, shall we?