Thursday, October 04, 2007 10/04/07-Larry David

In today's encore excerpt, Larry David, who later achieved spectacular success as co-creator of Seinfeld and creator and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm, lasts only one year as a writer on Saturday Night Live:

"Andy Breckman: I was there when Larry David wrote for Saturday Night Live. He was there for one season and he did not get one sketch on the air. Not one. And then he went on to do Seinfeld and be Mr. NBC. It was a Dick Ebersol year, and I'm sure that Larry has nothing good to say about Dick Ebersol, but of the sketches that Larry David didn't get on, some of them ... became the seeds of Seinfeld episodes. ... One sketch was about a guy who left a message on his girlfriend's answering machine that he regretted leaving, and he broke into his girlfriend's house to retrieve the answering machine tape. ...

"Elliot Wald: Larry would write pieces that, you know, we would just be falling on the floor over. Some of those became great Seinfeld episodes. The one about trying to get someone's apartment at a wake? Elaine did that in Seinfeld, but Larry wrote it first as a sketch. And we were falling down laughing. And Dick would say, 'That's not going on the air; that's not funny.' ...

"Larry David: It was the day before read-through around seven o'clock ... and I had been there maybe three weeks ... I had already written written maybe two or three sketches and maybe two news pieces for the update thing. So I was all set.

"So I'm waiting for the elevator to go home, and I remember Dick came out of the elevator, and I said, 'Good night,' and he said, 'What are you doing?!?' I said, 'Oh, I'm going home.' And he looked at me like I was out of my mind. He said, 'What do you mean, going home?' I said, 'Well, I've written three sketches and two news pieces and that's it, you know.' And he goes, 'But we stay up all night.' I go, 'What for?' He says, 'To write the show. That's when we write the show.' I said, 'But I've already written three pieces.' And he goes, 'Well, we stay here all night.' I just couldn't believe what I was hearing. And I said, 'I'm not staying up all night. For what? What am I going to do--just walk around? I'm all done.' So we kind of looked at each other and I said, you know, 'Good luck,' and I got on the elevator and left. I think that was the beginning of the end for me.' "

Tom Shales & James Andrew Miller, Live from New York, Little, Brown, 2002, pp. 269-272.


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