Trying to mine a written translation of Larry David’s oral tradition yesterday afternoon at TCA is an unenviable task. Once David began to get laughs from the critics at the start of the session, any chance that he’d answer any question seriously went way down. His performance (that’s what it was) was as entertaining as you might expect, or more. Much more. His timing, inflection and improvisational muscles were all in fine form.
Improvisation, yes. David offered that nearly all of this upcoming HBO film, “Clear History” (Aug 10), is improvised. Director Greg Mottola added that all the dialogue is improvised. And he noted he’s not decided on another season for “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” although he revealed (?) that he’s “lazy” and did “nothing” to prepare for his role in Clear History.
David’s thrust and parry with journalists approached a tour de force. On the other hand, the deck was stacked a bit. Critics weren’t at their best by day’s end, when David’s session began. For example, one critic, in all seriousness, asked where David thought “the influence of Jewish humor” on him came from. After a long pause for effect and many funny faces, David said, “It comes from Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay, Apartment 1D, Nostrand Avenue. Where do you think it comes from?…I grew up in a building with six floors, about nine apartments on each floor and Jews in every apartment…So, yeah, it rubbed off on me a little bit.” It only got better from there.