Comedian Richard Lewis spent his 65th birthday on June 29 doing what he usually does on the popular HBO TV program “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and that’s making people laugh here in Eugene when Lewis played the famed McDonald Theatre where Tom Cruise got his start by acting on stage. Although Lewis didn’t joke about Cruise recently announcing his divorce, the famed Jewish comedian did note that HBO was concerned that Larry David would not want to do another season of “Curb” that Lewis has co-starred in over the past eight seasons. In fact, a statement on the HBO website features Michael Lombardo – who serves as HBO’s president of programming – the HBO boss said that “for the first time ever after this season Larry didn’t say ‘I never want to do this again.’ That is a promising start.” In turn, Lewis told fans in Eugene on his birthday that he hopes to revive his frequent recurring role as a character based on himself on the critically acclaimed "Curb Your Enthusiasm" that stars his close friend Larry David who also created the show after David’s success with co-creating his other TV hit “Seinfeld.”
Also, Lewis has revealed that he and Larry David first met at summer camp in upstate New York when they were just 13-years-old. Thus, it’s no surprise to fans that the two Jewish comedians seem to almost complete each other sentences as if married or friends over the past 60 plus years.
Richard Lewis brings himself to his role in Curb Your Enthusiasm
He lists his inspiration for creating comedy as Buster Keaton, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters and his close friend Larry David who Richard Lewis co-stars with on the hit HBO TV comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
During a recent concert stop in Eugene, Lewis also explained why these comedy legends are so important to his act that is, “basically about nothing… just my life.”
In turn, Lewis said it’s refreshing to simply play himself next to Larry David playing “more or less” himself on “Curb.”
Also, a review of Lewis and his stand-up comedy act was explained by local Eugene writer Andy Valentine in the Eugene Weekly by calling Lewis “a modern-day Franz Kafka of comedy,” while adding: “At first glance Richard Lewis might just look like a surly old white man who has every intention of keeping that baseball you threw into his yard, but the minute you strike up a conversation you’ll probably be ready to forsake the ball in place of escaping Lewis’ neuroses. In much the same view as Larry David to whom Lewis’ fame, at least with the younger generation, can partly be accredited to his comedy roles along like a barrage of twitchy self-deprecation that leaves you wondering whether the shrinks he so often discusses (on Curb) actually know what they’re in for. This said, the man is legend. A comic genius of the highest order, and just as funny now as he was back in the day.”
Lewis has a recurring role on Curb
Richard Lewis has a recurring role – as does his friend Ted Danson – on the hit HBO comedy “Curb Your Enthusiasm” simply playing a “version of himself,” and as an old friend of Larry David’s who he frequently butts heads with over simple, silly things.
For instance, in Season 8 of “Curb” that was released last month on DVD; the extras for the DVD collection features a roundtable discussion with Larry David and friends about the making of the show. In turn, both Larry and Richard Lewis discuss the 80 episodes that they’ve already completed during eight seasons of the show and “where to go with another show like “Seinfeld,” that’s basically about “nothing,” with the muse for Curb being Larry getting into trouble as a semi-retired millionaire who is dealing with his ex-wife Cheryl, his manager Jeff Garlin and Jeff’s crazy wife Susie.
In turn, Richard Lewis confirmed during his recent Eugene concert appearance on his 65th birthday that Curb is basically the stars being themselves; while fictionalized to varying degrees.
Also, on the DVD extras for season eight, Larry David explains the meaning of the show’s title; with David stating in an interview that it reflects his perception that “many people seem to live their lives projecting false enthusiasm,” that he believes is used to imply that “they are better than you.”
At the same time, David said he wanted to “lower expectations” after his phenomenal success of TV’s Seinfeld.
Overall, the Curb series has received a total of 34 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, states TV Guide, with one win for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for Robert B. Weide for the episode “Krazee-Eyez Killa.”
In addition, both Larry David and his friend Richard Lewis have each received nominations for their acting in Curb Your Enthusiasm, with Lewis telling fans in Eugene recently that “it’s a great gig to play yourself.”
Image source of Richard Lewis in the movie poster for the 1994 Western comedy film “Wagons East!” Photo courtesy Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagons_East!