Longtime 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' EP Talks "Getting the Band Back Together" for Season 9: "It Won't Be Long"

Jeff Schaffer opens up to THR about returning to his role as "Larry's little helper" for the upcoming ninth season of the HBO series.
HBO; David Livingston/Getty Images
Jeff Schaffer, Larry David

Now that Larry David has announced the return of Curb Your Enthusiasm, fans of his beloved HBO series have a lot of questions. Jeff Schaffer, who is David's right-hand man for the newly announced season nine, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to answer some of them.  

Namely, why now?

The Seinfeld creator — who has spent his time since Curb pouring ideas into HBO's Clear History, Broadway's Fish In the Dark and a multitude of Saturday Night Live appearances, among other things — has always been carrying around his notebook and jotting down ideas, says Schaffer. 

"You go out into the world and people act horribly and you write the ideas down. And it’s always just been a question of, where are these ideas going?" Schaffer tells THR. "Larry had a ton of other opportunities to do lots of amazingly interesting things, but as we were talking about it, nothing seemed as fun as getting the band back together. And treating these ideas that are Curb ideas as a season of Curb.”

Schaffer, along with David Mandel (Veep) and Alec Berg (Silicon Valley, Barry), was an executive producer on Curb when the series ran from 2000 to 2011. Now he's back as executive producer and taking lead among the three, since his most recent series, The League, wrapped last fall.

"I’m Larry’s little helper," Schaffer says. Explaining, "I sit in a room with Larry and help make the show. I write with him, edit, direct, exec produce. I just help Larry make Curb. That’s my job and I love it.”

The hope, says Schaffer, is that Mandel and Berg will help out as much as they can around their current schedules. After the Curb news broke, Mandel told THR that his dream would be to do Veep, which is currently airing its fifth season on HBO, and also contribute to Curb in the form of writing and, hopefully, directing a couple episodes.

Schaffer says he and David have already started work on the new season. "We’re working," he says. "We’ve gone from the theoretical to the practical and that’s a big step.”

Still in the very beginning stages, Schaffer couldn't speak to plotlines -- the show ended with Larry in Paris with Leon, played by J.B. Smoove -- but he did say that the goal is to create 10 episodes like they always have.

"Every season we get to nine and we go, ‘Maybe we’ll just do nine this year.’ But then the 10th one comes out and it’s usually one of our favorites. ‘Palestinian Chicken’ was the last one we wrote last season," he shares. "The danger is this: Now, Larry’s going to go, ‘Why did you say this?! Now we have to do 10!’ I’ve actually just doomed us. Now I feel terrible.”

As for when fans will be able to see the finished project, Schaffer had a bit of good news to share. "It won’t be long. It won’t be long. Geologically speaking, it’ll be a blink of an eye," he says. "Whether the next season of Curb came out one year later, three years later, five years later, 20 years later — detailing the petty behavior of the selfish and the self-serving is an evergreen business."

Which means the cast — which includes Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman and Smoove (and maybe Cheryl Hines) — will have some time to fit Curb into their schedules as well.

"We’d love to have everyone back," says Schaffer. "And I think everyone wants to be back, so it should be business as usual.” 

Read THR's chat with Mandel about the reunion here and keep checking in with The Live Feed for more updates on Curb.

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