Larry David Says He Behaved Like a ‘Little Baby’ at ‘Seinfeld’

David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images

During a rare hour-long interview with Marc Maron on the WTF podcast, Larry David touched on many aspects of his illustrious career, including why stand-up comedy made him “miserable” and his dubious suggestion that the main plot line from the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm—in which his character was arrested for handing out water to a Georgia voter standing in line—was not intended to be political (he described it instead as “ridiculous”).

But it was late in the conversation, when Maron brought up Seinfeld, that David revealed some new details about how he managed to make the show exactly what he wanted it to be with zero input from the network or studio.

Asked by Maron what “major obstacles” he and Jerry Seinfeld encountered early on in the process, David replied, “I was sort of doing whatever I wanted and fighting to keep it in.” But when Maron then asked if NBC or Castle Rock ever won any of those fights, he quickly answered, “No.”

“Not a big win,” David clarified. “I gave them little wins.”

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“And by the way, they sort of knew that they couldn’t tell me anything because I would leave,” he added, explaining that he had “threatened to quit a couple of times” so he “had that over them.”

David has spoken frequently about the frustrations that nearly caused him to walk away from the hit show in its early seasons, but he has rarely been this introspective about how he got away with taking such a hard stand.

“They believed me, as well they should have, because I would’ve,” David said of those threats, telling Maron that the only reason he wouldn’t have followed through was because he would have felt bad about “letting Jerry down.”

I didn’t really care if I left that much. I could have gone back to New York and continued doing stand-up,” he continued, despite the fact that he hated that life. “I can’t explain it. I just didn’t want people telling me what to do. I don’t react well to that. I can’t do it. If you tell me what to do, I can’t do it. And I won’t do it. I’m a little baby and I don’t want to do it. I just can’t do it. It’s wrong. It stinks. It’s awful. It’s embarrassing. I don’t want my name on it. Who wants to be involved in something like that?

That’s why, David said, his biggest piece of advice for young writers is to “stay single” and “don’t have any responsibilities” because “if you have responsibilities, you can’t just say no, you have a family, you have to do it—you have to take their shitty notes.”

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