Curb Your Enthusiasm, the brainchild of the iconic comedian and Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, has been a staple of television comedy for over two decades.
With its dry humor, unapologetic social commentary, and Larry David’s signature awkwardness, the show has consistently delivered laughs and moments that resonate with audiences. As we eagerly anticipate the release of Season 12, it’s the perfect time to look back at some of the series’ finest moments.
In this article, we’ll rank the top 11 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm, highlighting what makes each one memorable and why it deserves a spot on this list. From Larry’s misadventures to the clever social commentary embedded in the episodes, these selections represent the cream of the comedic crop in the world of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
1. Palestinian Chicken (Season 8, Episode 3)
Topping our list is “Palestinian Chicken,” an episode that showcases Larry David’s fearless approach to tackling sensitive subjects. The episode uses a fictional chicken restaurant in Los Angeles as a backdrop to explore complex issues such as the Israel-Palestine conflict, zionism, and forbidden romance. With its clever blend of humor and social commentary, “Palestinian Chicken” exemplifies what makes Curb Your Enthusiasm a groundbreaking and unforgettable series.
2. The Doll (Season 2, Episode 7)
“The Doll” is a fan-favorite episode that highlights Susie Essman’s character, Susie, as a comedic powerhouse. Larry’s accidental mutilation of a valuable doll sets off a chain of events that are both hilarious and cringe-worthy. The episode showcases the series’ knack for turning mundane situations into comedic gold.
3. Opening Night (Season 4, Episode 10)
“Opening Night” delivers a special hour-long season finale filled with comedic brilliance. The episode revolves around Larry’s involvement in a play based on Mel Brooks’ The Producers. Larry and David Schwimmer’s performances as Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom provide uproarious moments, and a cameo from Stephen Colbert adds to the hilarity. This episode also concludes one of the series’ most engaging storylines, involving Larry’s pursuit of an affair.
4. The Ski Lift (Season 5, Episode 8)
In “The Ski Lift,” Larry’s elaborate plan to befriend a kidney consortium head to help a friend in need leads to a series of comedic mishaps. As he pretends to be an Orthodox Jew, Larry’s faux-Orthodoxy is tested when he becomes stuck on a broken ski lift. Meanwhile, a dispute between Jeff and Richard’s nurse, Lisa, adds another layer of humor to the episode.
5. Krazee-Eyez Killa (Season 3, Episode 8)
“Krazee-Eyez Killa” takes a satirical approach to the music industry and relationships. Larry becomes embroiled in the drama surrounding Wanda Sykes’ engagement to a rapper named Krazee-Eyez Killa. Larry’s blunders and the witty dialogue provide ample comedic material, making this episode a standout moment in the series.
6. The Bare Midriff (Season 7, Episode 6)
In “The Bare Midriff,” Larry and Jerry Seinfeld grapple with the uncomfortable task of confronting a coworker about her inappropriate attire. Larry’s brashness leads to unexpected consequences, including a precarious rooftop situation. The episode’s absurd storyline, featuring an aggressive car horn, a Jesus painting, and a napkin limit dispute, is quintessential Curb Your Enthusiasm humor.
7. The Car Pool Lane (Season 4, Episode 6)
“The Car Pool Lane” stands out not only for its humor but also for its unexpected twist when Larry picks up a prostitute named Monena to use the carpool lane. As the episode unfolds, Larry’s interactions with Monena and his subsequent adventures with his father provide ample comedic material. The episode’s memorable quotes and Larry’s knack for finding himself in absurd situations make it a classic Curb episode.
8. Seinfeld (Season 7, Episode 10)
Seinfeld meets Curb Your Enthusiasm in this meta episode that features Larry’s attempt to win back Cheryl by casting her as George Costanza’s ex in a Seinfeld reunion. The episode explores the dynamics between Larry and Cheryl, both on and off-screen, and is filled with hilarious moments, including Larry’s inept George Costanza impression and the iconic line, “Do you respect wood?” It’s a memorable fusion of two legendary shows.
9. Happy New Year (Season 10, Episode 1)
Season 10’s opener, “Happy New Year,” introduces a whirlwind of cultural phenomena into the Curb lexicon. Larry’s antics include navigating the statute of limitations on New Year’s greetings, using a MAGA hat as a social deterrent, and reigniting his rivalry with Mocha Joe. With witty one-liners and clever social commentary, this episode showcases Larry’s ability to dissect and satirize contemporary issues.
10. Denise Handicap (Season 7, Episode 5)
“Denise Handicap” kicks off our list with Larry’s encounter with Denise, a woman in a wheelchair, and his hilarious attempt to navigate the complexities of dating someone with a disability. The episode humorously delves into Larry’s motivations for pursuing the relationship and the awkward situations that arise. With memorable quotes and cringe-worthy moments, this episode exemplifies Larry David’s comedic prowess in observing the minutiae of everyday life.
11. The Special Section (Season 3, Episode 6)
“The Special Section” offers a delightful twist on Larry David’s penchant for finding himself in absurd situations. In this episode, Larry inadvertently lands in the coveted ‘special section’ of a restaurant reserved for VIPs. As he revels in the perks, he encounters an old acquaintance, Clive (Steve Coogan), who insists on being seated in the same section. What follows is a classic Curb showdown as Larry grapples with the moral dilemma of whether to help Clive gain access to the special section, despite Clive’s questionable behavior.
Curb Your Enthusiasm has consistently delivered moments of comedic brilliance throughout its ten seasons. From awkward encounters to clever social commentary, the show’s ability to find humor in everyday situations has endeared it to audiences worldwide. As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Season 12, these top 11 episodes serve as a reminder of why Curb Your Enthusiasm remains a beloved and iconic comedy series.