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Film

From Martin Scorsese to Ben Stiller: The 10 greatest guest appearances on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Curb Your Enthusiasm is undoubtedly among the greatest shows of the 21st century, created by Larry David – the visionary behind Seinfeld. While many fans have claimed that David was a major part of Seinfeld’s magic, he took the iconic show’s brand of humour to its logical conclusion within the absurd frameworks of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

An incisive commentary on the vapid rituals of the rich as well as a metafictional examination of David’s own life, Curb Your Enthusiasm has even been transformed into a meme format by people online. A truly hilarious gem in a world that is saturated by mediocre comedy programs, this is the crowning achievement of David’s legacy.

This year, David released an announcement which revealed that the show was going to be back for its twelfth season soon. If you’re a Curb Your Enthusiasm fan and are eagerly waiting for the new episodes, we have curated a list of some of the most memorable guest appearances on the show which might just convince you to embark on a total rewatch.

Check out the list below.

The 10 best guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm:

10. Ben Stiller

Ben Stiller’s presence in the Curb Your Enthusiasm universe turned out to be an extremely funny outing, featuring Stiller as Larry’s partner in a theatrical production of The Producers which is set up by Mel Brooks to fail in an epic fashion.

Larry and Stiller get off to a rough start but things keep getting progressively worse, doubling down on the awkward humour that the show does so well. It all culminates with Larry stabbing Stiller in the eye but the journey to get there is the real thrill.

9. Ricky Gervais

Larry often comes across as the most self-absorbed, narcissistic asshole in the room he is in but one man rose to the occasion to challenge him and dethrone him from his throne. That man was none other than the beloved comedian Ricky Gervais.

In the show, Gervais nails the role of a greedy and arrogant actor who takes himself way too seriously. From ordering an insanely expensive bottle of wine at the expense of others to attempting to woo Larry’s girlfriend, their showdown is spectacular.

8. Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese has a very minor appearance when compared to some of the other recurring guest roles but his attempts to direct Larry in a disastrous project are hilarious. In fact, Scorsese agreed to appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm because he is a huge fan!

Scorsese said: “I don’t have time to watch any other shows, the famous ones. I’ve seen a few episodes of some, in fact. I only watched The Sopranos once or twice. I just couldn’t connect with it… Basically, I started watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, that is the key one, that is when I realised you could do something on television.”

7. Salman Rushdie

Curb Your Enthusiasm takes a lot of bizarre turns over the course of the many seasons but one of the most surreal arcs of the show happens when Larry is subjected to a fatwa, a religious order from Islamic leaders asking other members of the community to murder Larry.

In such a state of emergency, one veteran emerges from the shadows to guide Larry through the perils of living with a fatwa. That spiritual advisor turns out to be acclaimed author Salman Rushdie who was actually hit with a fatwa for his book The Satanic Verses.

6. Wanda Sykes

Wanda Sykes has appeared on multiple Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes like others such as Ted Danson which is why it is difficult to categorise her as a guest star but she definitely deserves to be on this list, managing to be the perfect antidote for Larry.

Wanda is very adept at making Larry feel as if he is the biggest racist on the planet, a feeling that often results in hilarious overcompensation by Larry to make people believe he isn’t one. Her appearances are among the funniest moments in the show.

5. Woody Harrelson

In one of the most bizarre sketches of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Woody Harrelson is courted by Larry in order to get the actor to play a part in a new television project which is based on the childhood experiences of Larry’s formative years.

To impress Harrelson, Larry pretends to be a very knowledgeable farmer by requesting a member of the Ku Klux Klan to lend him his farm. While Harrelson delivers some of the most Hollywood-esque speeches about social responsibility, Larry slowly proceeds towards an ominous denouement.

4. Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston has solidified his status in popular culture through his serious dramatic work in Breaking Bad but he has proven his versatility by working in comedy as well, including a recurring role as a bizarre dentist on Seinfeld.

Due to his pleasant experience with Jerry Seinfeld and David, Cranston was very excited about Curb Your Enthusiasm and he was perfect as Larry’s therapist. As the audience realises that his own therapist cannot stand Larry’s idiosyncrasies, Cranston ramps up.

3. Bill Hader

There have been a lot of guest appearances on Curb Your Enthusiasm but Bill Hader’s work in season 11 will always resonate with fans since the nature of his appearance stands out, featuring him in a role that is divided into three.

Hader first appears as Igor, the proprietor of a business and then comes on as the concierge of a hotel named Gregor until he appears again in his final avatar – the manager of a restaurant named Timor, leading Larry to believe there is a huge conspiracy afoot.

2. Lin-Manuel Miranda

Larry’s collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda comes across as a power struggle from the beginning, with the acclaimed playwright proving to be very skilled at dominating negotiations and the politics of spatial seating during meetings.

Like some of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s other grand resolutions, it results in an epic duel between Larry and Lin after the latter challenges Larry to a paintball stand-off. The conclusion of that fight is just as absurd as the rest of their spats.

1. Jon Hamm

Each entry on this list is as good as the next in terms of comedic value but Jon Hamm’s stint on Curb Your Enthusiasm takes the cake, overshadowing some of the best guest stars who have ever dared to enter the sick and twisted universe of the show.

Hamm decides to shadow Larry and learn about his unique mannerisms while researching a role that is very similar to Larry. As the show moves forward, Hamm absorbs some of Larry’s worst qualities before losing himself to the monster that Larry created.