'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Boss Would Be Happy to Lose Steve Bannon as a Viewer

One week after Bannon was namechecked on the HBO comedy, Trump's ex-chief strategist revealed himself to be a Larry David fan.
John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO
Larry David (left) with Jeff Schaffer on the set of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'

Larry David has found himself a surprising fan in Steve Bannon.

The former White House chief strategist to President Donald Trump has returned to running Breitbart News, and though he was too busy to catch last week's episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bannon has since said he's flattered about being mentioned on the HBO comedy. Even if the name-drop came amid a raunchy sex scene.

During the episode, titled "The Pickle Gambit," TV Larry reconnected with an old Muslim friend in hopes that she could help him out with his current fatwa situation. After an insulting impression of Iran's Ayatollah, the comedian was issued his own death threat and the storyline is still playing out. Shara (played by Anne Bedian) — who is best known for wanting to "fuck the Jew" out of Larry in the memorable season eight episode "Palestinian Chicken" — returned last week to Larry's bedroom. During their sex scene, Shara encourages him to blaspheme to her like he "blasphemed to the Nation of Islam!" and Larry's response is to rattle off Republican names until he climaxes, screaming: "Donald Trump, Steven Bannon, Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, Mitch McConnell — and Rudy Giuliani!"

In an exchange with The Daily Beast over the weekend, Bannon said via text message that he heard about the episode and that David is a "genius." 

When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter last week, Curb executive producer Jeff Schaffer explained that they had to re-edit the scene every time there was Trump turnover. Though they ended up cutting Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus' names from the final edit, the ousted Bannon stayed in because he was "still a dark force that needed to be mentioned."

But Schaffer, who was surprised to hear Bannon is a fan, says the response makes him feel "a little dirty." He told THR, "That is one fan I’d be very happy to lose. You want to be funny and you want to make sure everyone enjoys the show, but no one wants to be the guy that made Hitler laugh."

Schaffer does, however, support the refocus of energy. "It would make me happy if Bannon spent all of his time binge-watching Curb and doing nothing else — I’d recommend he go back and watch from season one," he said.

Ahead of the ninth season, David and the cast had described Curb as being political in ways, but the creator and star said Trump's election didn't change anything about the long-running show.

"Larry is a creature of the Westside of Los Angeles, so there is some political context, and there are some jokes about what’s been going on," is how Schaffer had put it. "But the unique thing about Larry is that he usually doesn’t see the forest because he’s worried about one single tree. I think one of the reasons people are happy Curb is back is because there’s so much going on, and everyone is worried, rightly so, about all the big things. Someone has to worry about the little things. Someone’s got to worry about the minutiae, and Larry’s our man."

THR revealed last year how Bannon made a sizable fortune from David's Seinfeld before rising to prominence as a Trump ally, something no one at the show's production studio knew of at the time.