The best of the worst of 'Curb'
“Curb Your Enthusiasm” returns to HBO on Oct. 1 after more than six years off the air. A lot has changed in the world since we left Larry (and Leon) in Paris, but it's a pretty safe bet that the new season of “Curb” will have plenty of awkwardness. In preparation, here are some — but clearly not even close to all — of the most cringe-worthy moments from past seasons that made us want to slink out of the room before the credits rolled.
Beloved ... something
In the first season episode “Beloved Aunt,” Larry agrees to submit an obituary for Cheryl's aunt, who died by suicide. He dictates the obit to his manager and friend, Jeff Greene (Jeff Garlin), who has a friend at a local newspaper. But when the obit runs, Cheryl's family discovers that the aunt in “beloved aunt” was somehow transcribed as an incredibly offensive word that starts with the letter C.
Larry returns from a shopping trip to find his in-laws livid. “It's a typo!,” Larry insists as Cheryl's mother sobs.
The doll (and a water bottle)
In Season 2, Larry and Cheryl attend a screening for a two-part ABC miniseries, at which Larry is forced to throw away his water bottle before entering the theater, despite his insistence that he needs it for medication he's taking. He's later shocked to discover that it was another patron — and not a staffer — who made him throw out the water.
Later, Larry and Cheryl go to an ABC exec's house for a party to celebrate the miniseries. The exec's young daughter asks Larry to cut her doll's hair. Larry happily obliges and gives the doll a chic bob, only to have the girl run crying to her mother when she realizes the hair won't grow back. To appease the mother, Larry and Jeff steal the head off of an identical doll owned by Jeff's daughter, Sammi.
Back at the theater for part two, Larry ends up in the woman's bathroom after deeming the men's room too disgusting for him to use. On his way out, he hides his water bottle in his pants to avoid getting into another argument with the self-designated “hall monitor.” The little girl walks in and hugs Larry, thanking him for fixing her doll's hair. She backs away slowly, then runs out, yelling “Mommy, mommy, that bald man's in the bathroom and there's something hard in his pants!”
Outside, the crowd roars in anger as Larry attempts to escape through the bathroom window.
Larry retrieves his golf club
At the viewing for Marty Funkhouser's father, Larry discovers that the elder Funkhouser wanted to be buried with his golf club. The problem? It's Larry's beloved (and irreplaceable) 5-wood. Horrified, Larry concludes that the swap must be the handiwork of a country club staffer he offended, and convinces Jeff to offer up his more conventional club for the casket.
At the funeral, Larry's swap is revealed when Funkhouser's relatives discover a telltale cashew raisin — Larry's favorite new snack in the casket.
Larry's most awkward first date
In “Denise Handicapped,” Larry goes on a date with a woman in a wheelchair. It's awkward from the beginning — when he insists on carrying her into the ramp-less restaurant — to end, when he goes inside her apartment for the most cringe-inducing make-out session (and somehow, a subsequent sex scene) we've ever seen.
The accidental racist
Larry is unsettled when he overhears a man use the N word in a hospital bathroom and relays the racist comments to a new love interest ... just as an African-American doctor is walking by. The doctor, a surgeon scheduled to operate on Jeff, is so angry he accidentally shaves Jeff's head. Because this is “Curb,” there are more connections to be made.
The woman Larry is seeing, also a doctor, has stereotypically terrible handwriting, so he takes a note she wrote to a pharmacist, hoping he can translate it. The pharmacist, who also happens to be black, is troubled by the note's reference to “all these brothers and sisters around” and the doctor's assertion that Larry's life would probably “be better without the Blacks.” (She's referring, of course, to her own siblings and Larry's houseguests, the Blacks, but Larry struggles to explain this to the pharmacist.)
In Season 8, Larry and Jeff discover the deliciousness of Al-Abbas Chicken, a Palestinian-owned restaurant, which they later discover is opening a controversial second location next to a Jewish deli. The impending expansion divides their friend group, with Susie announcing that she (and Jeff) will be joining a protest at the grand opening. That doesn't stop Larry and Jeff from eating there in the interim, or from insisting that a newly religious Marty Funkhouser (one of Larry's closest friends) take off his yarmulke if he's going to enter the restaurant.
Larry's public spat with Funkhouser impresses an Al-Abbas regular named Shara, who ends up at Larry's house for an incredibly awkward sex scene, punctuated by Shara's anti-Semitic expressions of pleasure. Funkhouser walks into Larry's house during the session and is horrified at what he overhears.