"New York, Same Larry," promises the tagline for the eighth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," which sees our favorite curmudgeon landing back in his native city and encountering guest stars such as Michael J. Fox and Ricky Gervais. In honor of the show's premiere Sunday, Mr. David spoke with us about taxi patrons versus subway riders, the dearth of bald celebrities (and politicians), and why "Curb" is like an ex-girlfriend.
How was filming in New York different from filming in L.A.?
There were very big crowds watching us film in New York as opposed to L.A., where you can't get one person to stop. In New York, they're very vocal and really tend to be enthusiastic. And in L.A. they're pretty blasé about TV shows filming there, I guess because so many do. Nobody really cares, because they see so much of it.
How do you decide what celebrities play themselves versus made-up characters?
If you look at the history of the show, I'm sure we could unearth the answer. Dustin Hoffman didn't want to play himself on the show, so he played a character that was suited to him. Some actors don't want to play themselves. And other actors are comfortable playing themselves. Of course, when we say "playing themselves" they're not really playing themselves. They're playing themselves like I'm playing myself.
If you found out you had Groat's syndrome [the fictional disorder that afflicted Michael Richards last season] and had one day to live, how would you spend it?
Yelling and screaming, how else could I spend it? I'm not going to have any fun, if that's what you're getting at. I'm not going to do anything enjoyable. I'd be too nervous and scared. I'd just be crying and weeping and screaming. That's how I'm going to spend it -- on the floor, in the fetal position.
In the episode "The Seder" [season five], Larry was concerned that a follically-challenged sex offender was "very bad for the bald community." Who, in your opinion, is good for the bald community?
I'm not the president of Hair Club for Men. I'm not president of the bald celebrity league. I don't even know who the bald celebrities are. It used to be Telly Savalas and Gavin MacLeod. Who else is there? Mikhail Gorbachev is bald... Joey Pants... there's not that many of them. I mean, we always welcome new members with open arms. Most actors don't let themselves get bald. They get transplants or weaves or something. When's the last time you saw a bald president? There'll be a woman and a Jewish president and maybe even a Muslim president before a bald president. That's my prediction: There'll be a Muslim president before a bald president.
Larry David On Groat's Syndrome, The Bald Community And Curb's Eighth Season