Twenty-four years after Larry David said his first “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good,” his groundbreaking, controversial “Curb Your Enthusiasm” show is airing its 12th and final season.
While announcing the end of the long-running show, David joked that he would now be able to “finally shed” his own fictional “‘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,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
Over the years, the show has waded into some delicate territory, including an episode where David (reluctantly) used the N-word over and over after he was asked to reciprocate when fictional rapper Krazee-Eyez Killa (Chris Williams) referred to him as his “Caucasian.”
In another episode, the Ayatollah issued a fatwa against David, and, in another, he pretended to be mentally challenged to get rid of someone thinking of renting an office near his.
“The fans of the show don’t care about political correctness,” David explained to Vanity Fair in 2022 when asked why he hasn’t been canceled.
“I think idiots can get away with a little bit more than the more intelligent brethren.”
In the last 24 years, the show has hosted a myriad of celebrities, sometimes playing characters and other times playing mostly unflattering versions of themselves.
Here’s a look at a few stars who have appeared on “Curb” over the years:
Michael J. Fox
Michael J. Fox proved he’s a comedy legend when he appeared as a more sardonic character who seemed to be using his Parkinson’s diagnosis for behavior that constantly irritates David while playing his upstairs neighbor in a New York apartment building.
When David accuses Fox of shaking his head at him in disgust the night before, Fox denies there was malice behind it, explaining, “Yeah, my head shakes, Larry. I have Parkinson’s. I’m a head-shaking fool.”
A few minutes later, when David accuses the “Back to the Future” star of deliberately shaking up a can of soda before David opens it and has it explode on him, Fox shrugs and again blames “Parkinson’s” in a tone that questions his credulity.
After David confronts Fox for purposefully harassing him “under the guise of Parkinson’s,” the “Family Ties” star tells him off.
“I thought I was the sickest guy on this block, but you’re the new champ. I have a sickness in my brain,” Fox told him. “You have a sickness in your mind.”
The episode ends with David being thrown out of an event Fox is hosting for Parkinson’s awareness because he’s misinterpreted as making the sarcastic “playing a violin” sign while Fox is discussing the disease.
Judge Judy admitted “it’s so hard to be fair” after she met David on a fictional episode of her court show in season 9.
In the episode, a woman accuses David of “plant abuse” for neglecting to water a ficus.
While Judge Judy is frequently a bit exasperated with the people who enter her courtroom, she may have met her match in David, who interrupts the court proceeding to ask her if the water he was given is “filtered.”
“What is he asking me?” she sighs to the bailiff in the episode. When he insists the water isn’t filtered, she shouts “Don’t drink it, then,” before muttering, “That’s it, I’m done.”
She finally rules that anyone who would “neglect a plant in that fashion doesn’t deserve to have it.”
In season 10 in 2022, Sean Penn was featured in a fictional “Today” show piece about David opening a coffee shop built on “spite.”
In the piece, David explains to NBC reporter Ed Lavandera he opened his own coffee shop next to another one out of “spite” because they were rude to him.
His spite shop then inspired other stars to create their own, including Sean Penn, who opened “Sean’s Exotic Birds” out of spite because he said he was sold a bird that didn’t talk as advertised.
“I had always wanted a talking bird,” Penn tells the camera from behind the counter of his bird store. “So, I go to Ray next door, and he sells me the bird. The bird doesn’t talk. Just sort of grunts. So, I go back to return it. He says, ‘No returns.’”
The “Milk” actor tells Lavandera after the incident he found himself on a “slow burn, not knowing what to do.”
“Then Larry opens up the coffee place, and it was like ‘ding, ding, ding.’ ‘Sean’s Exotic Birds.’ Put Ray right out of business.”
He explains that he was never a “zen” person, but his bird business has made him feel “very calm,” right before he screams “Shut up!” to a toucan.
Season 12 will premiere Sunday on HBO and Max.