Larry David Hates When People Call Curb Your Enthusiasm Cringe Comedy

Less than two weeks after Curb Your Enthusiasm aired its final episode, the cast reunited for a special event at PaleyFest on Thursday, where Larry David spoke publicly about the series finale for the first time.

In a panel conversation moderated by Judd Apatow at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, David told the crowd that “there was a week of basking” in the glow of the finale, which ended with an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld and a play on the Seinfeld ending.

“Honestly I was kind of blown away at the response to the finale, yeah,” David continued. “It exceeded my wildest expectations; of course, I never have expectations for anything.” Apatow asked if he had read reviews of the ending, and the star teased, “Only if they’re good, yes.”

Executive producer Jeff Schaffer said that Seinfeld joked the final Curb episode was 26 years in the making, as a way to address the divisive way Seinfeld ended. The crowd inside the event cheered at that comment, as David responded, “Oh fuck you, you didn’t like the first one?” and flipped off the audience to loud laughter.

Apatow asked if David had read reviews of the Seinfeld finale and the David noted he had read a couple, and “at the time, I think it did bother me” that were some negative reactions. “Enough to plot your revenge,” teased Apatow.

Later in the conversation — which also featured Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and Cheryl Hines — J.B. Smoove mused how because of the iconic show, people would forever say that cringe moments were just like a Curb scene, to which David quickly reacted.

“About this cringey thing — I never dreamed in a million years that it would have that kind of effect on people,” David insisted. “After the second or third show I hear, ‘Oh it’s cringey, I’m cringing, I have to leave the room.’ When people call it cringe comedy, I want to wring their necks.”

Apatow responded with an example of a clip shown earlier in the night, with David putting a water bottle in his pants and then being hugged by young girl, who gets wet and runs off to tell her parents. “I don’t understand how that’s cringeworthy,” retorted David.

Throughout the chat, the group named some of their favorite guest stars (Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen and Michael J. Fox were mentioned) and paid tribute to late co-star Richard Lewis. Hines also remembered how she would often tell David he could not do some of the jokes he had planned, as David joked, “I kept waiting to get canceled, I guess. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t.”

On a more sentimental note, after enduring each person on stage saying one nice thing about him, David admitted, “I’ve been unbelievably lucky, twice, to be surrounded by just the greatest cast and just a comedy that we were able to produce. I don’t know, that’s how I like spending my time, with people who I want to be with, having fun, doing comedy. It’s a little sad” that it is now over.

“It was the most fun I could ever have possibly had doing anything, anything,” David continued. “To do that, to write it and then film it — I can’t imagine how I could ever have had more fun in my life.”

On the red carpet before the panel, Schaffer elaborated on the finale reaction, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “I don’t think any of us expected the sheer staggering amount of talk about it, at all. Larry said, ‘This has surpassed my wildest expectations,’ just the amount of talk about it.” The executive producer added, “the thing that matters the most to me is Larry’s actually happy with the result and Jerry [Seinfeld]’s happy too, and that makes me really happy.”

Schaffer also revealed that he “got a wonderful very sweet email from Jerry and I got an amazing, sweet email from Julia [Louis-Dreyfus] the next day too, which was great. They loved it,” noting, “The reaction tells us that we ended at the right time, in the right way.”

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