The 'Curb' Effect: How Larry David Changed Comedy Forever

Everyone from Louis CK to Sacha Baron-Cohen has been influenced by him

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Louis CK

Although he’s a standup lifer, Louis CK’s meteoric rise only began six years ago, after he started experimenting with brutal honesty. When he describes the decision to eat every last cookie available at a party, just to avoid interacting with other guests, you can practically see Larry David’s fingerprints on those cookies. Even more than his standup, CK’s hit show, Louie – in which he plays a fictionalized version of himself – feels of a piece with Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Just as in Seinfeld, each episode features scenes of the comic performing in brick-wall nightclubs, and as on both shows, the occasional bits of absurdity nicely undercut the blunt social truths explored. Louis CK may be paving the way forward for a generation of comics, but the road he came in on was laid out by David.

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