11 Surprising Facts About Larry David

Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"
Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"

Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David’s knack for creating drama out of the smallest things—and infuriating everyone around him in the process—has made him one of the most endearing voices in American comedy. Here are 11 things you might not know about the television icon.

1. Larry David and Richard Lewis met when they were kids, and hated each other.

Richard Lewis, Larry David, and Jeff Garlin in Curb Your Enthusiasm.John P. Johnson/Courtesy of HBO

Larry David and Richard Lewis aren’t just close friends on Curb Your Enthusiasm; the two met as 12-year-olds at summer camp. Just like in their fictional relationship, they didn’t always get along. "I hated his guts,” Lewis said—so much so that the two used to get into fistfights.

More than a decade later, the two met again at the bar of New York City's famed Improv comedy club, and developed a close friendship. "Talk about walking to the beat of your own drum," Lewis told The New Yorker of David. "I mean, this guy was born in a snare drum."

2. Larry David worked as a limousine driver, and for a bra wholesaler.

Before he turned to comedy, David worked a number of odd jobs to keep afloat. In addition to working as a paralegal and driving a cab, David worked at a bra wholesaler in New York. "The bras were seconds, actually," David told The New Yorker. "They were defective bras."

While David's mother pushed him to become a mailman, David ended up "driving a limo for an old lady who was half blind and had no idea that I wasn't wearing the uniform and that the car was filthy," he said at the 2011 WGA Awards. "I did that for a year, and then one night I went to the Improv, saw a bunch of comedians, and I thought, 'These people seem just like me. They're complete losers who do nothing and get up and talk about how miserable they are. Are you kidding? I can do that.'"

3. Larry David once used a coupon to pay for dinner on a date—and got caught.

One time, while on a date, David attempted to pay for dinner with a coupon while his companion was in the restroom. When his date returned to the table, the waiter was telling David that the coupon was no good, which angered the date—which, in turn, angered David. "What do you care!?" he asked. "I’m still paying for it! And now I’m paying full price!"

4. Larry David and Bernie Sanders are related.

Larry David stars in Curb Your Enthusiasm.John P. Johnson/Courtesy of HBO

David is well-known for his spot-on impression of Bernie Sanders, and it might come more naturally to him than anybody thought. While on the PBS show Finding Your Roots, both men took a DNA test. While David had hoped to find out he was related to “a great athlete,” it turns out he and Sanders are actually distant cousins.

5. As a stand-up, Larry David would walk offstage if he didn’t like the crowd.

David, who is notoriously sensitive to social situations, was known to have a cantankerous relationship with his stand-up audiences even in the earliest days of his career. One time, after walking onstage and determining he didn't like the look of the audience, he just said, “Nope”—and walked off.

6. Larry David quit Saturday Night Live—then pretended he didn't.

In 1984, David was hired as a writer on Saturday Night Live, but had trouble getting any of his ideas on the air. In a moment of frustration with producer Dick Ebersol, who kept cutting all of his sketches, David blew up and quit—only to realize what a grave mistake he had made. In an effort to keep his job, David returned to work on Monday and played his whole outburst off as if it had been a joke. Not only did it work, it also became the inspiration for a classic Seinfeld episode. Maybe living well is the best revenge.

7. Larry David was prepared to walk away from Seinfeld if they didn't let him make "The Contest."

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld at an New York City screening of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2009.Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

David and longtime friend Jerry Seinfeld co-created one of the most influential sitcoms of all time with Seinfeld. The series was ahead of its time with its comedy, which could sometimes lead to disagreements with the network. So when it came time to make "The Contest," the famous episode where the gang sees who can go the longest without self-gratification, David was prepared for the network to fight it.

"I remember being nervous because the NBC executives were there," David told Vulture of the first table read. "I really had this thing going on in my head where, 'Well, if they don’t like it, I’m just going to quit the show.' I really had this built up in my head where, there’s no way they’re going to do it and I’m just going to quit if they don’t do it." Clearly, he had nothing to worry about.

8. Larry David had to tell George Steinbrenner he was being cut from Seinfeld.

For years, David did the voice of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner on Seinfeld. But when the actual Steinbrenner was invited to guest star on the show, he was apparently so bad that his scenes had to be cut. And it was left up to David, a lifelong Yankees fan, to tell him. “He said, ‘I’m a big boy, I can take it,'" David said. “And he was a big boy. He took it well.”

9. Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David is an idealized version of the real Larry David.

While there are clearly many similarities between Curb Your Enthusiasm's version of Larry David and the real-life version of the comedian, David is quick to clarify that what you see on television is an idealized version of who he is in real life.

"The character really is me, but I just couldn't possibly behave like that,” David told Rolling Stone. “If I had my druthers, that would be me all the time, but you can’t do that. We’re always doing things we don’t want to do, we never say what we really feel, and so this is an idealized version of how I want to be.”

10. Larry David really, really hates the outdoors.

David and the outdoors are not on good terms. In an interview with GQ, he admitted that he hates the water, bike riding, hiking, and the beach. His only exception to the outdoor rule? Golf. “This is really the only thing I like to do outside,” he said.

11. Larry David helped clear a man who was wrongfully accused of murder.

In 2003, 24-year-old Juan Catalan was facing the death penalty for allegedly shooting a key witness in a murder case. Catalan told investigators that there was no way he could have committed the crime, as he had been at a Los Angeles Dodgers game. Ultimately, police were able to confirm his alibi because of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was filming an episode at that very same game. It took Catalan's attorney just 20 minutes to find footage of Catalan and his daughter at the game. Five months after he was imprisoned for the crime, Catalan was cleared of any wrongdoing and released. (Long Shot, a short documentary about the case, is streaming on Netflix.)

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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15 Facts About The 40-Year-Old Virgin On Its 15th Anniversary

Steve Carell is The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005).
Steve Carell is The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005).
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

The 40-Year-Old Virgin helped launch Steve Carell into comedy stardom, reintroduced audiences to Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, featured one of Jonah Hill’s first movie roles, and began the Judd Apatow Comedy Filmmaking Empire. In celebration of its 15th anniversary, here are some facts that will make you cooler than David Caruso in Jade.

1. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was based on one of Steve Carell's Second City sketches.

The sketch was about a man who, in trying to keep up in a poker game conversation about sexual experiences, proves to be completely clueless about the subject. After working together on Anchorman, Judd Apatow asked Carell if he had any movie ideas; Carell pitched him the concept for The 40-Year-Old Virgin and the two wrote the film together.

2. Universal Studios provided Steve Carell and Judd Apatow with case studies on middle-age virginity.

They read that older virgins were typically normal people who, according to Carell, "at some point just gave up on the whole notion; it was more difficult to keep attempting than to give up."

3. Steve Carell was 43 years old and a father of two when The 40-Year-Old Virgin was released.

Carell's four-year-old daughter was “a little freaked out” at seeing her father on billboards promoting The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

4. Universal refused to allow Jason Segel to be in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Since Apatow didn’t have veto power back then, Jason Segel was out of luck. However, the incident reinforced Apatow’s advice to Segel that he should be writing his own material for a better chance at starring in films—advice which eventually led to Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

5. Steve Carell lost 30 pounds for The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Though Apatow was originally "nervous about it, because I don't think comedians wanting to look good is ever good for the comedy," he gradually realized that Carell being "ripped" was a good idea. Because it helped establish that Andy was only a virgin because he’s shy and nervous, not because of his looks.

6. PAUL RUDD WAS CONSIDERED SO OVERWEIGHT THAT UNIVERSAL SHUT DOWN PRODUCTION FOR TWO DAYS.

Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005).Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Unlike most other directors, Apatow encourages Rudd to gain some weight before shooting because he thinks the actor is funnier when he’s a little fatter. Unfortunately, Universal disagreed, and Rudd ended up not eating for 48 hours to satisfy the studio. The one scene that stayed in the film from before the Universal-mandated shutdown was the speed-dating sequence. But there were other reasons for the shutdown: According to Apatow, they didn't like that he was lighting the film "like an indie." Also ...

7. The studio thought Steve Carell looked like a serial killer.

In response, "Steve decided the character would be a little more Buster Keaton-esque," according to Apatow. "He was low-energy and everyone else was spinning around him." Lines were also written (and improvised) making fun of the fact that Andy could be confused for a serial killer.

8. Jane Lynch's "Guatemalan Love Song" in The 40-Year-Old Virgin was from a passage in her high school textbook.

Part of the translation was "Where are you going with such haste? To a football game.” Lynch’s role was originally going to be played by a man, until Steve Carell’s wife, Nancy Walls (who played Maria, the health clinic counselor), suggested Lynch for the part of the store manager.

9. It was Leslie Mann's idea to throw up on Steve Carell's face in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Originally, Nicky (Mann's character) and Andy were supposed to get pulled over by the police, and it would turn out that Nicky was concealing a gun under her seat all along. Instead, Mann insisted that her vomiting on Carell would be a funnier conclusion to the scene, so she gulped down a mix of strawberry yogurt and “some kind of kefir.”

10. The waxing scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin was real.

Steve Carell in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005).Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

About halfway through the ordeal, Carell was in so much pain that he realized it might have been a bad idea. It took seven weeks for all of his hair to grow back.

11. Judd Apatow and Steve Carell had trouble coming up with the big "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" ending.

Garry Shandling put it in Apatow’s head that it was important to show that Andy is having better sex than his friends because he is in love. Later, Carell came up with the general idea of singing a song, and Apatow immediately thought “Let the Sunshine In” would work.

12. That big musical number sent Jonah Hill to the hospital for heatstroke.

Hill had to be hospitalized.

13. The filmmakers shot 1 million feet of film for The 40-Year-Old Virgin,

The film company bought the cast and crew champagne to celebrate.

14. Test screenings made The 40-Year-Old Virgin less R-rated.

People notably stopped laughing during the scene in which Andy watches porn from Dave’s “Boner Jams ‘03” tape. Two weeks later at another test screening, the new cut featured far less graphic content. Andy overhearing his old neighbors having sex was also cut after poor reactions. Trish’s line about Einstein having sex with his wife was taken out, then put back in once Apatow and Carell realized women liked that line.

15. Exotic fish were accidentally harmed during the making of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

The electricity was shut off in the aquarium area after filming ended, causing a lack of proper aeration in the fish tank, leading to their deaths. The American Humane Association withheld its “no animals were harmed…” disclaimer because of the incident and rated the film “Monitored Unacceptable.”

This story has been updated for 2020.