((JR)) — A decades-long era of Jewish comedy on television will come to an end next year, as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry David’s HBO comedy, is set to end after its 12th season.
The imminent conclusion of “Curb” has been rumored for several seasons now, but a poster and press statement from David this week confirmed that its 12th go-around, premiering Feb. 4, will indeed be the show’s last.
“As ‘Curb’ comes to an end, I will now have the opportunity to finally shed this ‘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,” David’s statement reads. “And so ‘Larry David,’ I bid you farewell.”
David’s particular blend of semi-autobiographical Jewish misanthrope humor has influenced much of television comedy since “Seinfeld,” the cultural watershed sitcom he co-created with Jerry Seinfeld, debuted in 1989. After that series went off the air, David went solo to premiere the heavily improvised “Curb” in 2000, taking a series of extended hiatuses but always returning to his kvetching alter ego. The full series is now streaming on Max.
Now 76, David has over the years populated “Curb” with a wealth of Jewish characters and plotlines, including the time he posed as an Orthodox Jew in an effort to weasel out of donating a kidney to a friend; the time he went behind his Jewish community’s back to dine at a Palestinian chicken restaurant; the time he accidentally arranged a meeting between a Holocaust survivor and a contestant on the reality show “Survivor”; the time Mel Brooks cast him in “The Producers” on Broadway; and, most recently, the time he stole a pair of “Holocaust shoes” from a Holocaust museum to wear on his own feet.
Side characters on “Curb” have also become Jewish breakout stars in their own right, including Susie Essman, who told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2021 that she’s noticed the show has a large universal appeal despite often being specifically Jewish.
“I’ve had every ethnicity, every race, stop me on the street telling me how much they love the show,” Essman said. “It’s the truth-telling that we do — that we basically say all the things that people are thinking but are afraid to say.”
Details on the next season aren’t out yet, but life has imitated art since the last season: Presidential candidate and vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — who is married to “Curb” co-star Cheryl Hines — has made numerous comments linking COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the Holocaust or other antisemitic tropes.