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Show creator Larry David learns a lesson from 'Seinfeld' for 'Curb' finale

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" ended its 12-season run on Sunday. And if you didn't catch it, the episode's title gives a big hint - "No Lessons Learned."

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That was essentially the ethos of "Seinfeld." "Curb Your Enthusiasm" creator and star Larry David created that show along with Jerry Seinfeld back in the '90s.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: And their famous motto was, no hugging, no learning. Their characters were terrible people, and they didn't apologize for them.

CHANG: That's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. He was one of the 76 million viewers who watched the divisive "Seinfeld" finale back in 1998, when the main characters - Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer - were put on trial for their selfish behavior over the years.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SEINFELD")

JAMES REBHORN: (As D.A. Hoyt) And you will see how everyone who has come into contact with these four individuals has been abused, wronged, deceived and betrayed.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAPIRO: Well, that's also kind of what happens to Larry David in the "Curb" finale.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM")

GREG KINNEAR: (As Earl Mack) Larry David doesn't respect the law. He lives outside, unrestrained by the guardrails of human decency.

CHANG: Greg Kinnear guest stars as a prosecutor who calls to the stand characters from previous seasons to testify to David's selfish behavior. But unlike in the "Seinfeld" finale, David got in trouble for doing a selfless thing. He was arrested for giving water to a friend waiting in line to vote.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character) It is illegal for anyone in the state of Georgia to provide food or water to voters in line at the polls.

LARRY DAVID: (As himself) But that's barbaric. What kind of law - are you serious?

SHAPIRO: Besides mocking Georgia's Election Integrity Act, Deggans points to another key difference from the "Seinfeld" finale.

DEGGANS: It was not funny (laughter). But the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" finale actually learned from that - was funnier, was way more entertaining and was much more in line with the overall vibe of the show.

CHANG: So in the end, maybe some lessons were learned?

SHAPIRO: Towards the end of the episode, Larry David says this to Jerry Seinfeld, both playing versions of themselves.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM")

DAVID: (As himself) This is how we should have ended the finale.

JERRY SEINFELD: (As himself) Oh, my God, you're right. How did we not think of that?

SHAPIRO: I suppose it's never too late to get it right.

(SOUNDBITE OF LUCIANO MICHELINI'S "FROLIC") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Marc Rivers
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.
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