Curb Your Enthusiasm returns next month for its first new season since 2011, which means we are about to see way more Larry David than we’ve become accustomed to over these past several years. That included a rare late-night appearance for the cantankerous comedian on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night.
Right off the bat, David made his attitude about the experience known by sitting in the chair furthest from Kimmel’s desk. “Does this bother you at all? Is this OK?” he asked of the distance between them. “I don’t like to get too close to people.”
After reluctantly moving closer to the host, David started going in on Kimmel for not coming into his dressing room to say hello before the show. “What, did all this Oscar stuff go to your head now?” he asked this past year’s Academy Awards host. But he was fully appeased when Kimmel explained that he’s trying to avoid “the double hello” on air. “You know what’s worse than a double hello?” David asked. “The double goodbye.”
Over the course of the interview, David told Kimmel that he is neither an animal person nor is he a people person, pointing out that the Venn diagram of people who don’t like pets or other humans is very slim, like “2 percent.” He vowed that there will be “no living thing” in his house ever again.
Asked by Kimmel if he ever has guests or parties in his home, David let out a hearty laugh and said, “Have you lost your mind? Guests or parties? God, no.” He proceeded to tell a story about throwing out nearly all of his dishware. Kimmel called it the “saddest thing” he had ever heard.
After a break, Kimmel asked his guest the question on many Curb Your Enthusiasm fans’ minds: Why did David decide to bring back the show after such a long hiatus?
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business, I really don’t,” David answered. “I think it’s a personal question. What am I, on Barbara Walters here?” The most he would say is that he felt he “kinda missed it.”
David explained that while his TV persona has not changed per se, the way people yell at him on Curb has evolved. “Every show someone’s yelling, cursing, everything. You know, you usually, it’s, ‘You bald bastard,’ things like that.” Now, it’s “old bastard.”
“The ‘bald bastard’ used to make me laugh,” he said. “But the ‘old bastard,’ I didn’t like that at all.” He added, “Boy, do I miss being called bald!”
“You know what I have to say about the whole thing?” David said. “I’m proud of myself for the way I accepted my baldness. I am. I’m proud of myself. It’s the only demonstration of character I’ve ever displayed in my life.”
But that’s not what he considers his “best quality.” Instead, David pointed to the fact that he’s a great person to break up with—“no histrionics”—and that he’s a “terrific mourner.” He explained, “I make it very comfortable for people to come up to me.” On the other hand, as attendees of his Broadway play Fish in the Dark learned, he is a terrible hospital visitor. “I can’t hide the pity,” he said. “If they didn’t know they were dying before I got there, they know when they look at my face. I cannot pity bluff.”
To Kimmel’s utter shock, David agreed to stick around for the final segment of the show with wild-animal expert Dave Salmoni. So viewers who stayed up extra late Monday night got to see Larry David briefly interact with a baby mountain lion.