“The biggest difference between the two shows are the leads,” confesses Jeff Schaffer about working on “DAVE” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “Dave and Larry are playing versions of themselves. On ‘Curb,’ TV Larry is sort of the wish fulfillment version for real Larry. Dave is the opposite, he’s playing himself so real, it’s very brave.”
Schaffer serves as showrunner on both series. “DAVE” is an FX comedy that tells the story of Lil Dicky (Dave Burd), a suburban man who believes he can become one of the great rappers. The first season aired earlier this year. The producer explains, “I wasn’t expecting to do another show, but as I started talking to Dave it became obvious this was a show. I always try to make sure the energy is loose, and the actors are having fun. That being said, when you are in your tenth season, people just slide into their roles. When it’s a first season everyone’s trying to figure out their characters. There’s a lot more talk about that stuff. You don’t want to make a choice that sends you down the wrong path.”
Earlier this year “Curb Your Enthusiasm” aired its 10th season for HBO. Throughout its run it has been nominated nine times for Best Comedy Series at the Emmys (all but the first season) and won two Golden Globes. Schaffer jokes, “’Curb’ is the college kid who took eight years to graduate. It’s 10 seasons but 20 years.”
Schaffer directed eight episode of ‘Curb’ this season. In it Larry wears a MAGA hat to avoid people and is mistakenly embroiled in the #metoo movement. The director says, “The world changes but Larry is Larry. This season we wanted to reflect the world we are all living. I was so worried that someone else was going to do a big #meetoo story-line. Then I realized, what other sitcom is going to have their lead actor get #meetooed? In this climate everybody’s worried about the big things, and lots of people should be. But someone has to worry about the little things. Someone has to document the petty injustices that we deal with every day. ‘Curb’ is uniquely relatable because in our hearts, we’ve all got a little Larry inside of us.”
When it came to creating “DAVE,” Schafer explains that structure was key: “The initial version of the pilot was the day Dave clicked send on his first viral video. When we talked to FX, they said origin stories seem boring because you know the ending. I thought, ‘Let’s drop us in four weeks after that viral video. He’s nothing, he just had a viral video. But, he’s still got all that confidence.’ It made for a much more interesting pilot.”
Schaffer reflects, “We basically wrote the ‘DAVE’ pilot in my ‘Curb’ office. Dave and I would be talking about stuff and then Larry would show up and poke his head in. The funny thing is I always call Larry David LD. And Dave Berg, Little Dicky, goes everybody calls me LD. I go no no no no. There’s only one LD, he’s in the other room. You’re just Dave.”
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