Who Is Curb Your Enthusiasm Star, Bob Einstein?

Bob Einstein came into the limelight when he was cast as Marty Funkhouser on Curb Your Enthusiasm. HBO liked Larry David’s sitcom so much that it’s been on the air for nine seasons. A tenth season could be in the works, but who exactly is the guy who was cast to deliver such deadpan humor? Even before his time on the show, he had an interesting career, and he has a well-known brother too.

Shelly Berman

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images
Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

The late actor passed away in 2017, but before that, he portrayed Larry’s Jewish widowed father. He usually tends to make mistakes that Larry calls him out on. During his comedic career, Berman was awarded three gold records and he won the first Grammy Award for a spoken comedy recording in 1959.

In addition to that, the Chicago native taught humor writing at the University of Southern California for more than 20 years.

Ted Danson

Dominik Bindl/Getty Images
Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

The Cheers actor is another one of David’s old friends. When Cheryl and Larry divorce, Ted sides with Cheryl since the two often do charitable work with the NRDC. Danson often appears with his wife, Mary Steenburgen, who plays a fictionalized version of herself.

The nominee of 16 Primetime Emmy Awards continues to find work to this day. Since 2016, he’s played afterlife architect Michael in the NBC sitcom The Good Place.

Susie Essman

Cindy Ord/Getty Images
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Essman’s role of Susie Greene saw her as Jeff’s wife who’s known for her explosive temper. She often uses Larry as a scapegoat for her marital problems too.

Essman has provided her voice of Helen Higgin on the Comedy Central series Crank Yankers. She was also an occasional correspondent on the first season of The Daily Show. The actress has also appeared in Law & Order Special Victims Unit and The Goldbergs.

J.B. Smoove

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Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

Smoove is the brother of Loretta Black, a single mother whose family was a victim of Hurricane Eda. When Larry and Cheryl take in Loretta, Leon moves in too. The comedian also starred in the CBS sitcom The Millers from 2013 to 2015.

Additionally, he played a fictionalized version of himself on the BET improv-comedy Real Husbands of Hollywood. In 2016, Smoove appeared on Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.

Wanda Sykes

Noam Galai/Getty Images
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Wanda is a friend of Cheryl’s who rarely agrees with Larry. She goes as far as telling Larry that she is “not his link into the black world” after he gets himself in an awkward racial incident.

Aside from her work in television, Sykes has also had a career in film. She’s appeared in Monster-in-Law, Evan Almighty, and License to Wed. Sykes is an outspoken supporter of Detroit’s Ruth Ellis Center.

Richard Lewis

Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

The neurotic stand-up comedian played a fictionalized version of himself on the show. Lewis is one of Larry’s oldest and closest friends, and they both moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy.

The New Yorker attended Ohio State University and was a member of the Eta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Since his appearance on the HBO show, Lewis found himself in the screwball comedy She’s Funny That Way and Blunt Talk.

Cheryl Hines

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Cheryl is Larry’s long-suffering ex-wife who often expresses annoyance with his behavior. For her role on the show, she was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards. She also starred as Dallas Royce on the ABC sitcom Suburgatory.

In 2009, Hines made her directorial debut with Serious Moonlight. The actress began dating activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in 2011. In April 2014, the couple announced their engagement and were married that August.

Jeff Garlin

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for FCancer
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for FCancer

The former roommate of Conan O’Brien plays Jeff, Larry’s sympathetic manager. Jeff often helps his friend with problems, but he gets entangled into the mess each time.

Garlin has had a long success with doing stand up comedy. Now, the Chicago native plays Murray Christian Goldberg on the ABC sitcom The Goldbergs. In March 2018, Garlin was one of the actors who voiced the audiobook A Day in the Life of Marlon Brando.

Bob Einstein

Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Einstein played Marty Funkhouser, another one of Larry’s oldest friends. Despite this, the pair gets into disagreements on many topics. He is often very methodical and by-the-book about most of his actions and puts emphasis on family first, making sure the entire family takes one opinion on a certain matter.

In January 2019, Einstein passed away after being diagnosed with leukemia. Interestingly enough, he had quite the career before he was on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

He’s The Brother Of Comedic Actor Albert Brooks

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Einstein was the older brother to Brooks, who is five years younger. Brooks has had an incredible career, especially considering he’s earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting actor in Broadcast News.

His voice acting credits are more well-known to some, considering he was the voice of Marlin in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. In addition to that, Brooks has been a recurring guest voice for The Simpsons and The Simpsons Movie.

He Wasn’t Only An Actor, But A Writer Too

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Before appearing on the HBO show, Einstein made a name for himself not just as an actor, but as a writer too. The California native would take home the Primetime Emmy Award in 1969 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music for The Smoothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Overall, he’s won two Emmy Awards while being nominated four times. He’s won the CableACE Award for acting as Super Dave.

Einstein Created Super Dave

super dave
Mr. Showbiz / YouTube
Mr. Showbiz / YouTube

The actor and writer created the goofy stuntman. He would make his first appearance on The John Byner Comedy Hour in 1972. The character would eventually become a regular on the 1980 television series Bizarre, which was hosted by Byner himself.

On top of that, Super Dave was a frequent guest on Late Night with David Letterman. In 1987, Einstein got his own variety show named Super Dave that ran for four seasons.

Super Dave “Fell” From The CN Tower

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

For anyone who grew up in the eighties, Super Dave was a staple in the comedic world. Not only was he a frequent guest on the late night talk shows, but he had his own show too.

Of course, CGI did not exist in those days, which is why Einstein came up with some pretty crazy idea. Most fans will remember him for his hilarious antics when he “jumped off the CN Tower” in Toronto.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Was His Longest Running Role

Einstein appeared in nearly two dozen episodes of the HBO comedy. He told a joke so funny it left Jerry Seinfeld in tears. The scene comes late into the show’s seventh season when Larry puts together a Seinfeld reunion with the original cast.

Despite Larry’s protests, Funkhouser introduces himself to Jerry and insists on telling him a joke. Einstein proceeded to improve a filthy minute-long joke. After the punchline, Seinfeld breaks out into laughter.

Fans And Colleagues Are Morning His Loss

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Curb Your Enthusiasm writer, David Mandel, was among those who expressed their sadness over the loss of Einstein. Of course, Larry David spoke about Bob’s passing as well. In a statement from Deadline, David said the following:

“Never have I seen an actor enjoy a role the way Bob did playing ‘Marty Funkhouser’ on Curb. It was an amazing, unforgettable experience knowing and working with him. We’re all in a state of shock.”

The Mockumentary Format Was Confusing For Friends And Family Of Cheryl Hines

David wanted Robert B. Weide to direct the first Curb Your Enthusiasm special. David’s commitment with HBO to do a special on his stand-up comedy recruit became more of a mockumentary than a documentary. Even people who knew Cheryl Hines thought it was too real.

She had friends who saw the show and were shocked to find out that she had married a TV producer and they were never invited to the wedding.

Larry David Is An Idealized Version Of Himself

There are many similarities between TV Larry and real-life Larry. However, the Seinfeld co-creator told Rolling Stone that it wouldn’t be smart of him always to be TV Larry.

He added “The character really is me, but I couldn’t possibly behave like that. If I had my druthers, that would be me all the time, but you can’t do that.” If TV Larry existed, there’s a good chance he’d be arrested.

Cheryl Hines Didn’t Think She Was Going To Be Cast

During a conversation at The Paley Center, Hines had an inkling as to who David was. “I wasn’t very stressed out about the audition, because I thought ‘It’s not going to happen.'”

Neither the actress nor her agent believed she was right for the part of Cheryl David. At the time of her audition, she was working as a personal assistant to Rob Reiner’s family. Four hours after reading for the part, she won the role.

Each Episode Is Based On An Outline, And No Dialogue Is Ever Written

David told NPR “I write the scenes where we know everything that’s going to happen. There’s an outline of about seven or eight pages; then we improvise it.” David wrote each episode and let the actors fill in the rest.

Weide would explain “I fear that if they make up a wonderful piece of dialogue, then they’ll be self-consciously trying to hit the same mark once we’re filming and we’ll lose the spontaneity.”

Cheryl David Is Not Based On Larry David’s Wife

The actress revealed that she didn’t meet David’s former wife, Laurie, until after the show began production. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she added some clarification: “It was confusing to people because people would ask me what kind of research I did on Laurie before I started playing her. And I had to say I wasn’t playing her.”

Eventually, Hines asked her TV husband if she should hang out with Laurie. David said no.

There’s An Interesting Story Behind The Name Of The Show

The title of the HBO comedy is an ode to Seinfeld fervor. Essentially, that means that people shouldn’t expect this to be another show about nothing. In an interview with Time Magazine, David expanded on the meaning.

“There’s a double meaning. There’s that. And also people should keep enthusiasm curbed in their lives. Always keep it. To not is unattractive. It’s unseemly.” He just wants people to have a little excitement in their lives.

David Didn’t Want His TV Marriage To Be Too Happy

The creator of the show admitted that his on-screen marriage and real-life marriage started to mirror each other. During The Paley Center cast Q&A, David said:

“It’s [the marriage] mitigated a little bit by the kids in my real marriage. It’s much easier for me to play a guy without a kid. I want people to think we’re happy, but not that happy. I don’t want to see anybody that happy because it makes me a little sick.”

There’s One Episode That’s Based On A True Story

Cheryl Hines told TV Guide that her favorite episode was the 2002 Christmas episode. It’s the one where her family visits and Larry eats a cookie version of baby Jesus. The actress revealed what the truth was behind the story.

“When I was home in Florida, my family had made a manger scene out of cookies and everyone was walking around saying, ‘Don’t eat baby Jesus.” Then they talked about it and he loved the idea.

Larry Didn’t Want To Be Married On The Show If He Wasn’t Married In Real Life

Larry and his former wife got divorced in 2007. So naturally, he integrated that into the seventh and eighth seasons. The story arcs involved David separating from and then divorcing his wife.

His co-star, Susie Essman, told Rolling Stone, “As an outsider, I can see it. He doesn’t want to analyze it, that’s not his personality, he’s not analytical, but I think that that’s basically it. That if he’s not married, he doesn’t want to be married fictitiously, either.”

Susie Essman Has Fans Come Up To Her And Ask To Be Berated

The character of Susie Greene has a foul mouth and unleashes expletives fairly easily. Essman explained to The Paley Center audience how fans often ask her to be berated. “My life has become extremely bizarre that people just come up to [me] wherever I am, begging me to tell them to go **** themselves.”

She’s not always in the mood and the actress told Esquire that people are disappointed that she’s not this screaming crazy person.

Jeff Garlin Doesn’t Think Much Of His Character

During the Q&A session at the Paley Center, the actor claimed that David forced him to co-star and produce the show against his own will, and that he’s not the biggest fan of his role. Garlin also expressed how he truly felt about his character, Jeff Greene.

“He’s an idiot. He’s not a good guy. He wants to get laid constantly, by anyone, any time. I have no respect for this guy. He’s a buffoon, that’s all.”

The Show Helped Exonerate A Man Who Was Arrested For Murder

Juan Catalan was arrested for murdering a teenage girl in 2003. However, he couldn’t have committed the crime because he was with his daughter at a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game. The HBO show just happened to be filming at the same game Catalan was attending, and five months after his arrest, the raw footage from the filming proved he was there.

In 2007, Catalan was awarded $320,000 in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and its police department.

Larry David And Richard Lewis Used To Be Childhood Rivals

Long before the comedians were friends, they were teenage rivals. The pair attended a sports camp and they didn’t get along. Lewis told OC Weekly “It was like Curb Your Enthusiasm but at 12.”

Both Lewis and David forgot about each other until they met again a decade later. They were both starting out doing stand up comedy. The odds that these comedic icons found each other again is quite the coincidence.

Garlin Thought There Was A Slight Chance That The Show Would Return

It’s no surprise that people wanted David’s comedy hit to come back. Even people like Jeff Garlin was on board to do more of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The first eight seasons ran from 2000 until 2011.

On June 14, 2016, it was announced that David would be returning for a ninth season after a five-year hiatus. HBO announced that they would release the ten-episode ninth season on October 1, 2017.

Guess What? A Tenth Season Is In The Works!

HBO has confirmed that the show began filming the tenth season in October of 2018. The news comes ten months after the show earned a season renewal from the network.

It’s a good thing since fans had to wait six years between the shows eighth and ninth seasons to see its return actually happen. However, David has not revealed any plot details or premiere date just yet, and we already know there’s no dialogue in any scripts.