In the latest season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which concluded in March, Larry David opens a “spite store”—a new coffee shop located next door to Mocha Joe, a rival establishment that banned him for excessive complaining. The primary goal of Latte Larry’s is to put Mocha Joe out of business. But that doesn’t mean David can’t implement a few design tweaks of his own, including heated cups, a total ban on defecation in the bathrooms, and most important, a bottle of Purell on every table. “In case there’s any handshaking to be done, you know, I just say … a little squirt!” David explains.
Curb Your Enthusiasm (available on HBO) completed filming long before the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States, but that particular innovation felt hilariously prescient on David’s part. Of course, various obsessions have been baked into his onscreen persona for years—hyper-attention to germs, uneasiness about personal contact, and an inherent distrust of other people’s cleanliness. The line between the “Larry David” of Curb Your Enthusiasm and the real writer-actor has long been a blurry one, a distinction David has poked at, most recently in a cheerfully irascible PSA recorded for the California governor’s office, urging people to stay home.
“You’re hurting old people like me. Well, not me … I’ll never see you.”— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) March 31, 2020
Larry David wants everyone to stay home to protect older Californians from #COVID19!
He does not do these things.
Listen to Larry. #StayHomeSaveLives covid19.ca.gov
“I basically want to address the idiots out there … You’re socializing too close, it’s not good, you’re hurting old people like me,” David says, pontificating from a comfortable chair in his home. “Well, not me—I have nothing to do with you. I’ll never see you.” To David, the order to stay at home and socially distance is a glorious affirmation of his entire approach to humanity: “You’re passing up a … once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay in the house, sit on the couch, and watch TV!” he crows. “If you’ve seen my show, nothing good ever happens going out of the house, you know that. There’s just trouble out there. It’s not a good place to be.”