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Posts Tagged ‘Larry David’

“I hate all kinds of writing.”
Larry David

Before Larry David created Seinfeld with Jerry Seinfeld, he failed to impress his parents or comedy club audiences with his comic genius:

I told my parents about wanting to be a comedian and my mother said, ‘You’re not funny, Larry. I’ve never heard you say anything funny.’ And my father backed her up, ‘She’s right, she’s right. You’re not funny. Why do you think you’re funny? You’re not funny.’ So, I started doing [stand up comedy] . . . but I was not all that successful. My therapist at the time said I wasn’t really temperamentally suited for it for the simple reason that if the audience didn’t laugh I would scream and curse them.

‘You stupid, f–king morons. You don’t know anything!’ I remember even walking the streets in New York looking for good spots to live in case I ever became homeless. I would mentally note them. Yeah, yeah, 44th between 5th and 6th. Good steam vent, there’s an overhang. I got to remember this. I bombed all the time. Got heckled unmercifully. People threw things at me. I wallowed in self-pity. ‘Why me? Why? Why can’t I do anything? I don’t understand. It’s not fair.’

“And then in 1988, Jerry Seinfeld asked me to develop a show with him. I’d never written a half hour before. I didn’t even know the format. The number of pages, I had no idea what I was doing.”
Larry David, creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld 
2010 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television acceptance speech
(H/T Speakola)

P.S. Larry David not only avoided being homeless, but today his net worth—thanks to the syndication deal of Seinfeld alone—is estimated in the mid-hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scott W. Smith

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One of the people I got to know when I lived in Iowa was actor Gary Kroeger who was born and raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Kroeger left Iowa to attend Northwestern University where he started an improv group with Julia Louis Dreyfus. The two ended up with Second City in Chicago and then on Saturday Night Live.

Kroeger went on to work on various TV shows (LA Law) and movies (The Big Picture) and co-wrote the script for The Chameleon before returning to Iowa in 2003 to work as a creative director. And he continues to do theater, TV and films. A few years ago I saw an exceptional theater performance by Kroeger as “Professor” Harold Hill in The Music Man–written by Meredith Willson from Mason City, Iowa. (I wrote about it in the post Talent and Trouble in River City.)

In 2004 he had the opportunity to work with Seinfeld creator Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm.  (The two met while working on Saturday Night Live.) Since I’ve been blogging about golf the last few days I thought a fitting scene to show was one from Curb Your Enthusiasm where Gary Kroeger (as a weatherman) and Larry David have a nice confrontation.

Today I asked Kroeger about getting the role and how it was shot and here’s his reply:

“I auditioned for Larry by improvising a weathercast. Once on the sets there is no script, only an outline for where the scene needs to go.  When I got to the golf course I was told ‘This is where Larry will confront you with his notion that you say it’s going to rain to empty the course.’ I wasn’t even told whether or not my character consciously did that, it was left to me to decide. They roll a camera on each actor and just ‘go.’ Every line is made up. Larry and a producer may then make a couple of suggestions and we’d do it again.”
Gary Kroeger

 

P.S. It’s interesting how many times Northwestern has come up on this blog. Here’s some other talent that’s come from Northwestern.

Scott W. Smith

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