Jeff Garlin breaks down the art of improvisation in the first installment of Rolling Stone’s 101 video series, where artists — from their respective quarantines — provide expert instructions and insights into their respective fields.
Following the conclusion of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s 10th season — as well as news that Season 11 is in the works — Garlin also discusses the “genius” of Larry David and how improv plays into the long-running comedy series.
“I know who my character is, I know the scenario, and I just start talking, or listening,” Garlin says of his character, Jeff Green. As the comic actor says in Improv 101, David just comes to him with a scenario, “and I approach it differently every time we do a take.”
As for the art of improv, Garlin says, “Really what improvising does is it separates people who are funny from people who are not funny…Because if you try to be funny, you’re never going to be funny.” He adds, “My job, when I’m in a scene with somebody, is to make them look good.”
Elsewhere in his tutorial, Garlin also dispenses advice in the form of a Bruce Lee quote, talks about his grueling preparation ahead of his first time doing stand-up on Letterman, and the “rules” of the “craft.”