Larry David mines his own divorce for comedy on ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (2023)

In the exaggerated mirror to Larry David’s life that is “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” even the comedian’s own divorce is fodder for comedy.

Sunday night’s episode of the HBO show was a classic case of art imitating life with the announcement by David’s fictional spouse, played by Cheryl Hines, that she was leaving. It was just in June that David and his real-life wife, Laurie David, separated after 14 years of marriage.

The real-life divorce was filed by Laurie David, citing “irreconcilable differences.” Their spokesman has called the split “very amicable.” On “Curb,” the breakup was set off when Cheryl called hysterically from a potentially crashing airplane. Larry told her to “call back in 10 minutes” because he was having their TiVo fixed by a cable guy.

Safe but still rattled, Cheryl returned to declare: “I’m leaving, Larry. I can’t do this anymore.”

“People ask me all the time, ‘How do you stay with him?”‘ she explained. “I always tell them, ‘There’s another side to Larry that you don’t see.’ And then I just realized today, there’s no other side.”

Larry argued to no avail that the phone reception was bad and, besides, he was able to save her Tivoed shows like “Top Chef” and “Project Runway.” The rest of the episode finds the couple’s friends (some of whom are the REAL couple’s friends), choosing sides between either Larry or Cheryl.

David has always pursued a realistic brand of comedy that pulls directly from life. He and Jerry Seinfeld created the NBC classic “Seinfeld” one night at a New York grocery, where they decided that their casual banter should be the show – famously referred to as “a show about nothing.”

Even that moment was eventually portrayed on “Seinfeld” when Jerry and George (the character based on David, played by Jason Alexander) decide to create a sitcom for NBC.

The origins of “Curb” were similar. While preparing for a comedy special on HBO, David’s friend and comedian Jeff Garlin suggested that David have the entire process filmed.

A loosely scripted, naturalistic approach is now the “Curb” signature. Though his character bears his name and much of his life, David has always said it’s an exaggeration – who he might be if he had no manners or restraint.

Whether David’s divorce would be reflected on “Curb” had been a matter of speculation. In an interview with The Associated Press in early September (after the season wrapped but before it hit the air), David played cagey when asked if his marital woes would seep into the show.

“Can’t fire Cheryl,” he replied.

Asked if perhaps the fictional couple might feel increased discord, if not collapse, David said: “There’s something there, obviously. I wouldn’t shy away from dealing with it, if I do another year.”

Now David’s divorce has made its presence felt, and the following episodes will help determine whether his on-screen marriage still has any chance. A spokesman for HBO said the split would indeed constitute a full arc.

Both Larry and Laurie David, in real life, declined to comment.


What happened to Larry David and his wife? ›

After Larry and Laurie were married for many years, they surprised many observers when they got divorced. After that, Larry went on to get remarried and everyone knows that he has continued making lots of money due to his extremely successful Hollywood career.

Is Cheryl Larry's real wife? ›

Are Larry David and Cheryl Hines friends? ›

She claims she hasn't lost work over it, though she admits she feels wary in social circles that her friends will give her hell — and happy that so far they haven't. “I feel a lot of support and love from most of her friends, including Larry,” she said.

Did Larry David remarry? ›

After moving in together in 2019, per GQ, David married Underwood amid the pandemic in October 2020. The wedding reportedly took place in Southern California.

Are Seinfeld and Larry David still friends? ›

Are Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld still friends? Seinfeld and David are still close pals despite David's exit from Seinfeld. In 2012, David appeared on Seinfeld's show Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, in which they looked back fondly on their iconic sitcom days.

What is the net worth of Larry David? ›

National Review estimated his net worth to be about $400 million as of 2020. Charlie Rose noted David's overall wealth as closer to $500 million in a televised statement on 60 Minutes in 2013.

Why do Cheryl and Larry get divorced? ›

A few months later, midway through the sixth season of “Curb,” the show's semi-fictionalized Larry gets a panicked phone call from his wife, Cheryl (Cheryl Hines). She's on an airplane that might go down — and he's too distracted by a TiVo technician to offer her any comfort. Fed up with his narcissism, she leaves him.

How old is Larry David's new wife? ›

Profile summary
Full nameAshley Underwood
Age44 years (as of 2022)
Place of birthGeorgia, United States of America
Current residenceLondon, United Kingdom, and Los Angeles, California, United States of America
16 more rows

What is the age difference between Larry David and his wife? ›

Larry's relationship with the somewhat mysterious woman could, however, bring a new type of comedic inspiration. This is because she's a whopping 38 years younger than him. It's remarkable how little the press knows about Ashley Underwood.

Why did Cheryl and Larry get divorced? ›

Larry's Divorce

Fed up with his narcissism, she leaves him. Predictably enough, Larry finds it impossible to function without Cheryl, and their mutual friends desert him out of loyalty to her.

How many times has Larry David been married? ›

How long has Larry David been married for? Larry David was married to Laurie Lennard for 14 years, Laurie David for 14 years, and Ashley Underwood for an unknown period.

Why did Larry leave Seinfeld? ›

Larry David wanted to try something new

"I had been there for seven years, and that's a long time to suffer the way I do in my daily life," David joked. "Seven years is a long time for someone to executive produce a show like that." He also insisted that his exit had nothing to do with burnout.

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