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Larry David is a Putz: A Gossipy Rumination about His Marriage Breakup

08/07/2007 06:48 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011



God bless America -- land of great comedic writers.

But as Woody Allen says, "It doesn't pay to get too close to genius."

A lesson Laurie David has perhaps learned the hard way.

By now we -- Larry David's awed fans -- know that his wife Laurie has left him after she tasted freedom while touring with singer Sheryl Crow.

Laurie was trying to save the earth, and more interesting to me, she found herself laughing all the time.

I can't stop thinking about this.

Mostly because Larry David's fictional HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is so clearly based on snips and snaps of Larry's real life with a long-suffering, increasingly angry wife who is of course based on the estranged Laurie David.

I hasten to add that most of this indecorous essay is surmise -- but facts are elusive and life is short and good writing is forever.

Indeed I bet Larry David would rather have made art -- ie "Curb Your Enthusiasm" than stay married.

Furthermore I now believe Larry David has created the best contemporary record of a disintegrating marriage -- superior to that of Ingmar Bergman and to one I wrote -- in some part because Larry's version is mordantly,uncompromisingly,and harshly funny.

Yet I don't think Larry David meant to make a comedy series about a failing marriage.

And I know it's presumptuous to suggest he has done so.

I watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" frequently these days and am awed by the spectacularly irritating selfishnesses demonstrated by "Larry David" the writer's alter ego.

"Larry David" is insufferable and nearly all his willful, eccentric behaviors are inflicted upon his long-suffering wife (played by the excellent Cheryl Hines) who sighs and narrows her lips in response to him more and more as the series unfolds.

Since Larry David has revealed that much of Seinfeld is based on things that happen to him, I'm wondering if Laurie David finds herself humiliated beyond repair by "Larry's" confessional humor.

Even if episodes were invented, they had to humiliate Laurie David. How can Laurie keep insisting, for example, to acquaintances that her real-life vagina never got numb because "Larry" wore his condom inside out?

Or that real-life Larry never took a hooker to a sports event because he wanted to
save time by driving in the two-passenger car lane? And then made his wife pay the hooker in front of a lot of people.

Or that Larry never tricked Laurie into thinking he was sweetly upset about the hospitalized Oscar the dog, when "Larry'" was actually just pissed he lost a sports bet.

Will we ever know for sure?

I bet Laurie or Larry will eventually spill the truth.

In conclusion, I'm horrified to report that "Larry's" funniest prank occurs in season 5. (This prank doesn't reflect on his wife.)

Upon learning from a private detective that his birth parents are two sweet Midwestern gentiles, "Larry" becomes "gentile Larry" and behaves oppositely from "Jewish Larry"
Forgiving.
Considerate.
Altruisitc.

He looks classy, handsome in his suit jacket, white collar shirt, tie and red v-neck sweater.
"Gentile Larry" is GENUINELY LIKABLE.

(Of course "gentile Larry" does shoot a bird and club a fish to death.)

I fear this means that I -- one of Larry David's biggest fans -- am actually fed up with "Larry" and if so, I can only imagine why Laurie David burst out laughing all the time while far away from real Larry and touring with Sheryl Crow.

What an insufferable putz "Larry David" is. What a comic genius.