July 2, 2013
LARRY DAVID (born 1947), the Kurbist Kosmic Kvetcher, The Shmultimus Prime of Neurotic Observance, is the greatest exponent of The Over-Determined Judaic Annoyance-Response-Trouble Syndrome since Jesus. Angry at perceived slights from Romans and Pharisees, Jesus had run-ins with the local Currency Converters, recommended the “Second Cheek Slap” manoeuvre to his friends, and insisted, despite some evidence to the contrary, that wild lilies were of central relevance to the human condition. Sadly, it didn’t end so well. Its probably Moses’s fault, when he got the family lost in the wilderness for 40 years, because he had forgotten to bring the map but refused to ask for directions. This ensured that Jewish DNA was propagated by those males who secured the best camels, and who smartly addressed Camel Saddle Genital Crush Syndrome. Thus genetically endowed, Larry David’s character in Curb Your Enthusiasm provides a useful organizing principle for Jewish Angst that is very much the “Player” rather than the Woody Shnook. Famously, when a struggling stand-up, David got on stage, scoped the audience, and promptly departed, proffering a simple, grudging “Nah… .” “Just Say ‘Nah…’” is perhaps King David’s most profound lesson to us all.
HUMORISTS at HILOBROW: Michael O’Donoghue | Jemaine Clement | Andy Kaufman | Danny Kaye | George Ade | Jimmy Durante | Jack Benny | Aziz Ansari | Don Rickles | Godfrey Cambridge | Eric Idle | David Cross | Stewart Lee | Samuel Beckett | Jerry Lewis | Joanna Lumley | Jerome K. Jerome | Phil Silvers | Edward Lear | Tony Hancock | George Carlin | Stephen Colbert | Tina Fey | Keith Allen | Russell Brand | Michael Cera | Stan Laurel | Ricky Gervais | Gilda Radner | Larry David | Chris Pontius | Dave Chappelle | Jimmy Finlayson | Paul Reubens | Peter Sellers | Buster Keaton | Flann O’Brien | Lenny Bruce | Sacha Baron Cohen | Steve Coogan | PG Wodehouse | A.J. Liebling | Curly Howard | Fran Lebowitz | Charlie Kaufman | Stephen Merchant | Richard Pryor | James Thurber | Bill Hicks | ALSO: Comedy and the Death of God
READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).