Curb Your Enthusiasm, "The Hero": Ricky Gervais is a tight-wad

Quick Take: Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Hero”
“I was trying to elevate small talk to medium talk.” – Larry

Curb 6

Review: Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Hero”
(S0806) Picking right up where "Vow of Silence" left off last week, Larry, Jeff, and Susie are on the plane bound for New York City.  Larry immediately rubs his pretty seat mate, Donna (Samantha Mathis), the wrong way by offering her a mouthful of his disappearing Pinkberry. He’s dead in the water before they take off. Larry only redeems himself when on the way out of the coach bathroom, he accidentally trips on his extra long shoe laces and takes down a belligerent drunk harassing the flight crew. Only Larry can twist clumsiness into a heroic moment, so he lets the passengers and Donna be impressed by his take-charge, selfless actions. Of course, Susie sees through his heroism the second she sees him tie his shoelaces post-incident.

In New York, Jeff and Larry see comedian Ricky Gervais also taking lunch in the same restaurant, and in a move to try and woo him as a client, Jeff sends the waiter over with a bottle of wine. However the waiter (obviously an Extras and The Office fan) lets Gervais pick a $300 bottle of wine, much to Larry and Jeff’s chagrin.

Later that night, Larry and Donna arrive at the Garlin’s dinner party and lo and behold Larry’s new nemesis is also there... hellooooo, Gervais. The two comedians engage in a masterful riff on their narcissist personas as they smirk at one another and volley passive aggressive insults about the other’s “generosity” and gift-getting expectations. Susie then separates the couples so everyone can “mingle” and puts Donna and Ricky at the head of the table with her, while Larry is relegated to the other end of the table with boring Hank (the droll Chris Parnell). Larry is so incensed that he is not at the “cool” end of the table, that he goes after Hank with abandon, grilling the poor man about his sex life and other personal topics. It’s classic David and the flustering of Hank sets up the climax that comes the next night after a performance of Ricky’s three-hour dramatic stage show, Mr. Simmington.

Insulted by Gervais’ cheapness and the revelation by Susie in front of Donna that he tripped on the plane because of his shoelaces, Larry is just bucking for a fight. When he then sees the comedian and Donna heading to the subway together, it ends in a brilliant showdown replete with subways thugs, a throw down via crusty Italian bread, and yet another round with Larry’s damn shoelaces.

Gervais (an admitted super fan of Seinfeld) and David are pitch perfect foils and create an even playing field of obnoxiousness that is rarely achieved on the show. Usually Larry is being such an ass you feel bad for his unwitting victim, or occassionaly on the flip side, he's being so outrageous that you can’t help root for him as in Vow of Silence. But with Gervais and David, they achieve an equal measure of cluelessness and self-serving audacity so it’s a joy to watch the stalemate. Let’s hope Mr. Simmington gets a long Broadway run so we see Gervais and David square off again soon.

By Tara Bennett

About the author

is an author (The Lost Encyclopedia), a national entertainment journalist and a media studies adjunct professor at Rowan University. She's been a film, TV and pop culture junkie for as long as she can remember and she's got the old TV Guide's to prove it. Pray for her thighs as she spends far too much time at her desk writing or her couch watching what she loves.

More From Tara Bennett

Executive producer David X. Cohen talks to us exclusively about the end of the brilliant animated cult series.
Read More
Masochist TV: why do we go back?
Read More
Creator Bryan Fuller and star Hugh Dancy share some tasty insight on their brand new horror series.
Read More
1 Comment
On: Monday, August 15, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

Is it weird that I'm most excited that Parnell is on Curb? I haven't watched SNL regularly since the '90s and haven't quite found the time to dig into Archer, so I feel like I need to get my Parnell fix in other ways -- fantastic on 30 Rock for example. 

Name:

Email (Will not be used):

Comment:

characters left
 

Featured Articles

Popular Today

 
 

Recent Comments

"Mysterion Rises" with The Cute Lord Cthulhu - South Park review
Actually, the birthing of Kenny in "Cartman Joins NAMBLA" doesn't necessarily conflict with the circumstances of Kenny's reincarnation...
Alien Encounters, "The Message": a hard to find little show that's worth the search
Mind Reading Technologies and Tongues Governments from around the world have been using mind reading technologies that can read...
Dog The Bounty Hunter, "And Baby Makes Three": revisiting an old favorite
i do like your show i wish can be your fan club i want all of your show on dvd please
Boardwalk Empire, "Two Boats and a Lifeguard": daddy issues
Are you looking for a partner for the relationship or for fun? Then you came to the right place. We are providing you the best dating...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I can verify Bear Claw. Good man. I cant vouch for the other participants. It is to bad society does suck so bad that this type...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
Lake Michigan is not an ocean. Has anyone seen my white dog? Lost him while hiking in Arkansas
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too also as well live on the island, I can attest that Dan lives in the ocean as he has for hundreds of decades. We locals call...
Parks and Recreation: why is everyone so mean to Jerry?
It's funny because its so not funny.
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
I too live on the island and ISLANDER does not know what they are talking about. Dan lives out in the middle of the island with...
The Boonies: National Geographic's off the grid reality exploit
this is not real i know that goat and it is not "doc's" its my neighbors goat. and by the way i live on the very top of that mountain...