Just when Larry David’s cantankerous sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm needed a boost, J.B. Smoove swooped in to bring new life to the show as our (anti)hero’s freeloading roommate Leon Black. As the cast and crew of Curb Your Enthusiasm prepare to produce a fan-demanded revival run of new episodes, Smoove sat down with us to sing the show’s praises in an exclusive ‘100 Greatest TV Shows’ video.
“There’s a certain type of person who loves Larry, who loves Curb Your Enthusiasm, because Larry hits on some very vital points in his show,” Smoove says. “Some people cringe because it reminds them of things that they deal with throughout their life. But also, people love that kind of humor.”
When the cameras weren’t rolling, the Larry David that Smoove worked with was far more pleasant than his onscreen persona would suggest. “When I met Larry, first day of shooting,” he recalls, “we were on the side watching the guy set the shot up, and we start talking. He said, ‘You know, it feels like we’ve been working together for years.’ And sometimes you get that relationship with someone immediately. You know you’re gonna do some amazing things on this show, because it felt natural.”
Smoove expresses his enduring affection for the man with a colorful analogy that only Leon could come up with: “When we’re working together, it’s like playing tee-ball. If you strike out playing tee-ball, you ain’t shit. Larry put that ball on top of the little tee, and all you gotta do is hit that shit. Just hit the goddamn ball – it’s right there for the taking! That’s the guy I know on-camera and off-camera. The places he goes are amazing, the writing is incredible. It’s definitely a show that people have been waiting to come back.”