I absolutely adore Larry David. I could watch Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes hours on end. For a reason that I am still trying to figure out, people either love him or hate him. I think those who hate him tend to feel physically or psychologically uncomfortable when watching him make one social faux pas after another. What I love about Larry is that he has no censor. Riddle me this: Why would people feel so uncomfortable watching another person who has nothing to do with them say things that are deemed ‘inappropriate’ by society or perhaps ‘too honest for the environment we happen to be in at the moment.’ I can tell you why. It’s because they see a little bit of Larry David in themselves and they’ve been brainwashed by society to play nice, color in the lines and don’t say anything too honest as this kind of thing is frowned upon in the facade of suburbia.
This is why I find him so refreshing. Lest anyone think I’m smoking crack, I challenge you to watch an episode with an open mind and a bird’s eye perspective. If you will notice, whether it be the Car Pool Lane, the braless housekeeper, the bowling shoe debacle, or the doctor’s appointment waiting list policy, 99% of the time Larry is right. He doesn’t see the world the way most of us have been trained to see it or behave through our filtered glasses. He penetrates the craziness of society’s dictates and fruitless protocols with a thinking mind. To me, he is more logical than most people. His overarching motto seems to be “Don’t tell me to act, behave or talk this way. Tell me WHY this rule is in place and you better give me a very good reason for it. ”
A sheep Larry is not, and for some reason that makes people uncomfortable. Yes, he can be neurotic, but we all are. It’s just that some of us repress or hide it better than others.
Recently, Larry David was castigated by the Catholic church for an episode where he’s urinating in the toilet and accidentally sprays a drop right on the picture of Jesus beneath his eye. It’s set up to make fun of Catholics as a mother and daughter come in, see the ‘tear’ beneath Jesus’ eye and fall to their knees claiming it’s a miracle. I think this is brilliant, although my parents’ reaction would probably be, “That’s in poor taste.” Similarly, the Catholic church does not seem to find the humor in it. Some fans of the show have even vowed to boycott the show in disgust. Really? I’m sure Larry will have many a sleepless night over that dip in his fan base. My question is, why must people take themselves or their particular faction so seriously? This is comedy, not meant as blatant disrespect. Larry makes fun of everyone including himself. He’s the Court Jester. He sees something in the world and dares to point out that people may have gone a little crazy and taken themselves too seriously and he attempts to lighten the mood through absurdity and exaggeration. The reaction of people is generally, “You can talk about this, this and that – but whatEVER you do don’t talk about that.” Maybe we need to take a moment to remove our Beaver Cleaver masks every once in awhile, poke fun at ourselves and have a good belly laugh. The world will not stop on its axis. A dash of irreverence every now and again just might keep us all sane.