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‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Series Finale and ‘Seinfeld’ Kicker Explained



Larry David in the 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' series finale

[This story contains major spoilers from the series finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “No Lessons Learned.”]

Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s ending was lengthy within the making.

After 12 seasons and greater than 20 years, Larry David’s HBO comedy gem signed off on Sunday evening with a basic callback to the Seinfeld sequence finale, which aired in 1998. And the general reception to date brings to thoughts a well-recognized Larry phrase: It was a fairly, fairly good method to wrap.

Even David — the star and creator of the sequence that sees him taking part in a loosely fictionalized model of himself — was comfortable after the display minimize to black, his longtime collaborator, government producer Jeff Schaffer tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Talking the morning after the top-secret sequence finale was unleashed onto the Curb viewers, Schaffer and star Susie Essman (who performs the indefatigable Susie Greene) can lastly converse freely in regards to the genesis of Curb‘s ending, how lengthy the thought to rewrite the Seinfeld finale had been within the works and the way this places a “cussed exclamation level” on all of David’s work to lastly inform his naysayers that sure, this present is de facto, actually ending.


You saved the key. How does it really feel? And, do you are feeling you caught the touchdown?

SUSIE ESSMAN I had not seen it till final evening. I’d seen all of the episodes besides the finale, and I couldn’t be happier. I assumed it was such an incredible ending. Simply excellent. It wrapped up the entire sequence in a stupendous means.

JEFF SCHAFFER I’m so comfortable to not should be evasive about how we’re ending the season and the sequence. I really feel like I’ve had this deep, darkish household secret that I’ve been carrying round for a 12 months and a half now. However, it feels nice. On the present, half the time individuals are watching via closed eyes, going like, “Oh my God, Larry goes to interact,” or, “Larry goes to show again round and reengage.” And you’ll’t consider he’s doing it. I really feel like this season was that writ massive.

It was like, “Wait. They’re not likely going to do this, actually? They’re not likely going to do the Seinfeld finale. I can’t consider they’re doing it!” After which we subvert it ultimately, I assumed in an ideal means. I used to be very comfortable, as a result of ultimately, it was an ideal Larry David ending.

You weren’t absolutely trustworthy with me about Seinfeld earlier within the season once we talked in regards to the echoes! Larry spoke to Willie Geist (who visitor starred on the ultimate season) this morning about how he was getting too outdated to play this character, which prompted the present ending. How a lot of it was Larry saying it was time, and the way a lot of it was realizing that taking part in this Seinfeld card was the true ending-ending?

SCHAFFER Approach again in July of ‘22 we had been writing the season and we had been speaking about this. It was a joke scene with Larry: A child throws a ball or kicks Larry and he has to become involved on this lesson, and he doesn’t wish to be concerned on this lesson: “I don’t have time to your lesson, I don’t want a lesson. I’m 76 years outdated, I’ve by no means realized a lesson in my life.” And when he mentioned that we had been like, “Hey, maintain on. We at all times joke about you by no means studying a lesson. What if we simply flip that into the meta joke of the whole finale?” [The series finale is titled “No Lessons Learned.”]

As a result of a trial was a attainable ending. We weren’t certain what we had been going to do for an ending, however that was a risk. And as soon as we realized we might do that meta joke of Larry by no means studying a lesson — and oh by the way in which, he’s going to steer the Titanic proper again into that [Seinfeld] iceberg — that’s once we knew that was the top of the season and that’s once we knew that was the top of the sequence. From that time on, all the things was simply determining the way to seed issues in. How a lot and the way little we needed to. However from that second on, we knew that needed to be the top of the sequence, as a result of that was the funniest finish of the sequence.

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David within the Curb Your Enthusiasm sequence finale.

John Johnson/HBO

ESSMAN I’ve a query, Jeff. So then you definitely went again and peppered within the little strains in regards to the Seinfeld ending, like Ted [Danson] making that remark to Larry [about him returning to write the series finale and judging him over it]? You went again after which added these in, proper?

SCHAFFER Sure, a few of these hadn’t even been written but. Then we began to slip these issues in and it was like, “Oh, after all, Leon [JB Smoove] by no means would have seen Seinfeld” and we are able to speak about that and get him concerned on this form of meta navel-gazing.

ESSMAN That’s the genius of those two collectively, Jeff and Larry, and the way they determine this stuff out. I learn all of the outlines earlier than we start, so I knew what the entire storyline was and what the ending was going to be, and I used to be there as we had been taking pictures it, after all. However to see all of it put collectively is a complete different factor.

SCHAFFER I’m pleased with the way it occurred and the way it got here out. It was such a foolish factor, but it surely was form of formidable in its laziness, progressive in its intransigence and distinctive in its repetition. We bought to swing and miss on goal, after which hit it out of the park.

Larry has clearly had emotions in regards to the Seinfeld ending for years and years, and everybody has made their emotions identified. However right here it’s circling again in an epic method to provide the ending to this present. So, it was fairly price it?

SCHAFFER In the end, this ending was about greater than the present. It spoke on the contrary DNA of Larry, and it form of spans his whole profession and makes it a becoming finish to the sequence and places a cussed exclamation level on all of its work. That’s the opposite factor I preferred about it. It spoke about not simply the sequence however in regards to the creator of the sequence.

It does really feel like a cussed exclamation level, one you possibly can’t revisit and open again up. Do you are feeling it’s too excellent and to ever revisit Curb? How last does this really feel?

ESSMAN I feel it’s last. It feels last to me, however in a optimistic means. We’ve accomplished 12 seasons, we’ve accomplished this for twenty-four years. It’s been wonderful, it’s been the best skilled expertise of my life and I consider everybody who has been on the present and, it’s over. And it’s over in an effective way and we are able to have a good time it. I bought so many texts final evening, “This have to be bittersweet.” It’s actually not that bittersweet. It’s over and that’s a optimistic factor, to have been a part of this creation for all this time. Nothing can final ceaselessly — we’re all getting outdated!

SCHAFFER We made certain once we had been doing this that it didn’t finish within the jail. It didn’t finish with Larry and Jerry tying up the profession stuff. We needed to finish with all of our solid. We finish with them how we started with them: just like the alpha and omega of bickering. I beforehand advised you, Jackie, a number of occasions — there have been scenes that now we have shot earlier than that we’re truly utilizing on this season. I couldn’t let you know this on the time, however the last scene of the sequence, we’ve shot twice earlier than. We shot it as soon as in season 9 and once more in season 11 on the way in which to Mexico: Susie opened the shade and bought right into a struggle with Larry on the aircraft. And every time it was like an additional joke in a scene that was already jam-packed and, how lengthy can we keep on a aircraft? So we minimize the scenes. Now, now we have this scene that we shot twice, minimize out of the present twice, and it turned the proper method to say goodbye to all of our guys.

Leon Black (JB Smoove), Jeff (Jeff Garlin) and Susie Greene (Susie Essman) and Jerry Seinfeld (taking part in himself) within the entrance row — with Ted Danson (taking part in himself), ex-wife Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) and Richard Lewis (taking part in himself) behind them — exhibiting their assist for Larry throughout his trial within the Curb Your Enthusiasm sequence finale.

John Johnson/HBO

You additionally spoke about scenes you reshot after getting back from the strikes. What had been these scenes?

ESSMAN The scenes within the reshoots had been me within the wheelchair within the courtroom, and a few the courtroom issues.

SCHAFFER It was additionally actually essential that, if we’re going to place everybody in courtroom, we needed it to be a Curb episode with Curb tales. So, wanting to determine what that salad dressing is and Leon speaking about sympathy. And all of it comes collectively in courtroom the place Susie will get to do that wonderful wheelchair efficiency; Larry and Susie get to staff up after which all of it goes to shit, culminating in an Auntie Rae [Ellia English] scream for the ages and a sentence that I don’t assume has ever been mentioned on planet Earth.  

ESSMAN She’s unbelievable. And, I don’t know if I’m appropriate about this Jeff, as a result of I by no means requested you or Larry, but it surely felt prefer to me once I learn the ultimate episode, a 12 months and a half in the past, that you simply guys gave every of us one thing particular in that final episode, as a present to every of us.

SCHAFFER We needed to verify everybody had their story, had their second. It wouldn’t have felt proper to have a last episode the place you didn’t get to see all of our sensible stars shine.

So when Jeff Garlin talked about you, Jeff, calling minimize after the ultimate scene and he started weeping, that was the aircraft scene?

ESSMAN Sure, that was the very last thing we shot within the last season.

SCHAFFER I keep in mind when Jackie [Schaffer, his wife] and I had been within the last season of The League, we had been speaking to Matthew Weiner in regards to the finale of Mad Males and he mentioned certainly one of his huge regrets was that the ultimate taking pictures scene of Mad Males didn’t have all of the solid collectively. Jon [Hamm] was in California and this and that. So we we actually remembered that. It was crucial right here that the ultimate day, no matter it was, had all of our solid collectively to have a good time an incredible accomplishment.

ESSMAN It’s the household. It’s an ensemble. It’s Larry’s present, however we’re his present household. And particularly once you’re improvising, you actually should have super belief and respect for one another.

While you took this concept to Jerry Seinfeld, was it a simple sure or did it take convincing?

SCHAFFER Larry known as Jerry and he goes, “I’m in.” And by the way in which, Jerry was so excited once we had been doing it. After we completed taking pictures that jail scene, he was so jazzed about it and he mentioned, “That is wonderful. It is a joke that’s 26 years within the making.” He was enthusiastic about what this was doing, too. I’m simply glad all of us stayed in showbiz lengthy sufficient to truly pull this off.

Now we perceive that remark Jerry Seinfeld had made within the press — the place he mentioned he and Larry had been as much as one thing about Seinfeld, and Jason Alexander mentioned he didn’t have a clue what they had been speaking about. Had been you freaking out when that occurred, or was all of it stirring the pot?

ESSMAN And, he didn’t know!

SCHAFFER I knew the place it was coming from, which was that he was very excited. And that made me comfortable, that he was enthusiastic about this. It was nice to see Larry and Jerry in a scene collectively taking pictures the shit, it was like watching Seinfeld Adam and Eve simply fucking round within the Comedy Backyard of Eden. It’s like, “Oh, that is how Seinfeld bought made, you guys chatting about nothing. About bearded women.”

One factor I wish to say about our solid is that that is an improv present and it’s so exhausting to do tales and be humorous. What they do is a stage of problem that’s simply unimaginable. I’ve the utmost respect for it. With different issues they’re scripted; you say the stuff. The stuff that we bought on this episode alone from this grasp class of comedians, it made it a extremely, actually humorous present. Not only a finale present, however a humorous present.

David and Seinfeld on the finish of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

John Johnson/HBO

You’ve talked in regards to the life cycle of Curb, the way you at all times really feel you guys are accomplished after a season. However now we all know that the door is extra shut than you let on. Firstly, in Curb world, the place do you see Larry going from right here in his future? And secondly, now we have Susie and Leon and many individuals you possibly can spin off. Is there something being severely thought-about for branching off and persevering with this universe?

ESSMAN Not that I do know of. I wouldn’t fear about Larry. His creativeness is so fertile. He’s not one to only sit round and play golf and watch the Yankees. He’ll do this, too, however there’s a mind there that doesn’t cease. And similar with Schaffer. There will likely be nice issues from this younger man over right here, Jeff Schaffer!

SCHAFFER After we knew this was going to be the ultimate season and this was going to be the ultimate episode, I mentioned, “Look, there’s going to be quite a lot of press about this. There’s going to be quite a lot of hoopla. However there’s nothing extra Larry David than taking a last victory lap after which slinking again.”

In order that’s your last reply, Jeff?

SCHAFFER At present!

ESSMAN As I’ve mentioned earlier than, none of us truly die ultimately. (Laughs.)

SCHAFFER Yeah, that aircraft didn’t go down! It landed again in L.A. and so they bought on with their lives. Susie had one other banquet and for some unbeknownst cause, she invited Larry once more.

ESSMAN Once more!


Curb Your Enthusiasm is now streaming on Max.

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