This article originally ran in 2017 and has been updated.
Between 2000 and 2021, the man who perfected the weeknight sitcom in the ‘90s upped his own ante, taking harrowing discomfort to Herculean echelons Darren Aronofsky could only dream of. If you thought mother! was gruesome, try watching David explain a poorly landed affirmative-action joke to a dinner party full of black guests.
Curb Your Enthusiasm took elements of mumblecore, Neil Hamburger, and postmodern anti-comedy, fusing them with Seinfeld’s borscht-belt humor, with David as its perfect conduit, the hapless, self-destructive schlemiel.
The series would’ve been nothing without its rich nuance, though; David genuinely cares for his once, former, and possibly future wife Cheryl, and they had plenty of tender flirtations even after his worst exercises of judgment. Even his occasionally lecherous manager Jeff Greene and his own foul-mouthed, Larry-hating chainsaw of a wife Susie brought profane slapstick to a household that had identifiable relationship elements if not plausible ones.
But we’re not here to celebrate those aspects. We’re here to cringe, sigh, gape, perhaps even scream, at the deeply inadvisable and futile efforts of Larry David, a superhero who can leap from one problem to a much, much bigger one in a single bound. It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… a man who respects wood.
Here are the 10 most jaw-dropping instances where our Bald Asshole turned a bad situation into a world-class ballet of errors.