Some of the funniest people on the planet considered Bob Einstein, who died two years ago at age 76, the funniest person they had ever met. And now there’s a new HBO documentary to prove them right.
This Tuesday, Dec. 28, The Super Bob Einstein Movie premieres on HBO and HBO Max. The documentary includes effusive praise from the late comedian’s co-stars, friends, and lifelong admirers—including his brother Albert Brooks, former Late Show host David Letterman, and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and star Larry David.
If it was Letterman who helped bring Einstein’s daredevil alter ego Super Dave Osborne into the mainstream nearly 40 years ago, then David is responsible for introducing the comedian to an entirely new generation as the straight-faced Marty Funkhouser on Curb. As David puts it in our exclusive clip from the documentary, which you can see below, “He was hilarious. He really made me laugh. I’m laughing just thinking about it.”
“The genius of Bob was his commitment to character and physical comedy,” the film’s director, Danny Gold, tells The Daily Beast, adding that it was Einstein’s uniquely “deadpan style” that made him so funny.
“When he would go on talk shows, he was able to have the longest set-up in the world, to the point where the talk show host and audience may get a little uncomfortable,” Gold explained, “but then he was able to pull out the punchline at the right point and get the laugh.”
Elsewhere in the documentary are interviews with Curb’s J.B. Smoove, Cheryl Hines, and Susie Essman, who shared her fond memories of working with Einstein just this past month on The Last Laugh podcast.
“We all miss Bob every day,” Essman told me. “He was so funny and so singular and you can’t replace that kind of comedic voice. It’s completely original. There's only one Bobby.”
Einstein’s ability to make his co-stars break was best exemplified in the Season 7 episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Marty Funkhouser crashes the set of an imagined Seinfeld reunion and tells a dirty joke that made Jerry Seinfeld laugh so hard they had no choice but to leave that take in the show.
“They left in the real laugh from the first time I heard the joke,” Seinfeld told Einstein on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, to which Einstein smiled and replied, “That was the greatest.”
For more, listen to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’s’ Susie Essman on The Last Laugh podcast.