Larry David in 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Why ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Had To End

Curb Your Enthusiasm ended its 12-season run on Sunday night with “No Lessons Learned,” in which Larry David (the man) said goodbye to Larry David (the character) after more than two decades of hilariously blurring the line between the two. While anything is possible, there are a few reasons why this season had to be Curb‘s last.

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David ended Curb Your Enthusiasm the way every season ends, bringing all the dangling plot threads together in a satisfying conclusion that pays off like a great punchline. Essentially mounting his own version of the Seinfeld series finale, which he was famously not involved with, David also manages to turn the entire series into the mother of this comedy nesting doll; the finale is a punchline to a joke more than 20 years in the making. Although David has in the past gone back on his vows to end Curb for good, this time feels permanent—and necessary.

There won’t be a season 13 of Curb Your Enthusiasm unless Larry David changes his mind again, and it seems he’s deliberately painted himself into a corner for his—and the show’s—own good. “As Curb comes to an end, I will now have the opportunity to finally shed this ‘Larry David’ persona and become the person God intended me to be—the thoughtful, kind, caring, considerate human being I was until I got derailed by portraying this malignant character,” David wrote in a statement last December. “And so ‘Larry David,’ I bid you farewell. Your misanthropy will not be missed. And for those of you who would like to get in touch with me, you can reach me at Doctors Without Borders.”

Earlier this year, David did his best to convince everyone that this time he really meant it when he said Curb was ending. “People think I’m lying—I’m not a liar,” David told The Hollywood Reporter. “OK, yeah, 15 years ago, I said it was the last season—that’s what I say when I don’t think I’m going to come up with another one. But this is it.”

Ahead of the series finale, David sat down with Willie Geist, who plays a fictional version of himself in the final season, to elaborate on his decision to end Curb. “You know, I’m kinda old. Let’s not beat around the bush,” David told Geist on Sunday Sitdown. “You’re not old,” Geist said, to which the 76-year-old David laughed and replied, “I’m too old to really be on camera every single week now, to act the way I do on this show. How can I continue to act like that? It’s insane. I’m not going into the 80s acting like that.”

For David, Curb offered a way to explore certain thoughts and opinions that aren’t socially acceptable to have. “I’m doing this character, Larry, who is really me, but a me who can’t really be in society ’cause I’d be arrested or beaten up every day,” David explained. “But here, I have the license to really be who I am, which is that guy.”

“So what you’re saying is, in real life, you are the Curb Larry David, but you’ve got to pull back the reins a little bit,” clarified Geist, and David agreed. “Yeah because everything the character Larry David is saying, I’m thinking,” he said. “Although, the more years I’ve been on the show, the more I’m pushing it.”

(featured image: HBO)


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.