Susie Essman

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"The N Word"

I never knew being bald was such a burden. Look at our good friend Jeff: With a full head of hair, he's getting extra food and high-profile clients. As a baldie, well, he's just a fatter version of Larry, though, it must be said, without years of bitterness about his condition. Fortunately for him, his hair will, as he pointed out after cursing Larry, grow back. Larry's bald forever.Larry's not just bald, though. Larry's bald and single. And the single part is what prompted one-half of tonight's debacle (though the baldness didn't help). Why did Auntie Rae have to hug for longer than five minutes? He never would have mentioned his groin problems to Doctor Flomm (played by braless wonder Sue Ellen Mischke's alter ego, Brenda Strong), he wouldn't have been "massaging" himself in the car. With but one strike to go against the Blacks, he just had to be caught saying the N word. One can only thank god that Jeff's doctor shaved his head instead of fixing his snoring problem ("that motherf... read more

Curb Shocker: Who Would You Choose?

Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm courtesy HBO

'Fess up, fellow Curb Your Enthusiasm fans. Your first response to Sunday night’s pivotal episode was: What took her so long?When Cheryl left the TV version of Larry David in this blisteringly funny episode (reflecting, though one has to imagine far more humorously, the recent real-life split of Larry and wife Laurie David), you’ve got to admit that you’ve often wondered, as most of their acquaintances have, why she ever stayed with this misanthropic, myopically self-obsessed, shriekingly miserable kvetch-aholic.It took a turbulent plane flight for long-suffering Cheryl to wake up to the unnecessary turbulence in her domestic life. In a scene I’ve seen in promos since before the season began, but without a hint at the repercussions, Cheryl has the misfortune of calling Larry from her terrifying flight, to pass on some petrified final thoughts of love and whatnot, only to be hung up on by her distracted mate because he’s too busy with the TiVo repairman (an i... read more

"The TiVo Guy"

Knowing what any good Curb viewer already knows about Larry David's real life — namely that he and Laurie, his actual wife, recently divorced due to "irreconcilable differences" — this episode was uncomfortable to watch. Yes, if I called my husband from a rolling airplane and he asked me where the warrantee was for the TiVo, I'd be pissed, and I'd probably leave him, too. Actually that's a lie; my DVR means more to me than any man ever could. I'd probably be the one to be left. Like Larry, there's no other side to Leah. This is pretty much it.Can we blame Larry's friends (and restaurateurs) for siding with Cheryl? This is, after all, a man who wants to talk about the difference between real and fake crab during sex, and then claims he's complex. In the settlement, Cheryl gets Ted Danson, the Funkhousers (so much for Marty being Larry's best friend, eh?), Primo's, the cleaning woman, Simon, and by extension, the $10,000 Larry lent to Simon, since he's not getting it back. W... read more

"The Freak Book"

When I heard that this episode would feature a meeting of John McEnroe and Larry David, I was almost giddy with excitement. This was the highlight of the show, but unfortunately, the rest of the story just fell flat. Maybe I'm just scarred because that ride from the cemetery to the Staples Center gave me Vietnam-style flashbacks to a horrible Friedman family car ride, because of the screaming and the threats, but after a stellar four shows, many of the scenes this week just hit awkward notes.Larry's usually good for a decent party disruption, but bringing a "freak book" as a present and insisting on reading it with Jeff as Ted Danson continues opening gifts didn't strike me as the kind of hyperreal situation that Curb usually goes for. Instead, it felt like a setup, and this show has always been better than that. Even the should-have-been hilarious Susie scene didn't really go right. I can understand not wanting to be buried next to Larry David (who would?), but her excuse, "Even yo... read more

"The Lefty Call"

Folks, I attempt to make this a family-friendly blog, so I'm not going to quote any of Leon's advice to Larry about how to best deal with the skinhead (advice that included spray-painting and eating Snickers bars inside of said skinhead's southern orifice), but I will say that the whole thing had me laughing so hard, I was afraid I might hurt myself. Luckily I'm OK, because I certainly didn't want to end up in the doctor's office where I'd be quizzed on my bathroom habits. I do have to agree with Larry, Loretta, Leon and Aunt Rae, though, that anything less than two-ply is wholly unsuited for human use and is at the same level as the Port Authority.Compared to last week's episode, in which everything tied together so tidily at the end, tonight's episode wasn't quite as neat. It was more like just variations on a theme: Larry goes to the bathroom more than "normal," Cha Cha monitors these habits because she works across from the bathroom, Cheryl forces everyone to use recycled toilet... read more

"The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial"

What would Larry David do? That's going to be my moral barometer from now on. Think about what he would do and do the opposite (hey…). On the other hand, while I wouldn't toss 50 bucks to the floor just to get out of a funeral, I'd probably be one of the vultures diving for it, so should I really be one to judge?Let's try to follow the chain of events. Larry reams out a woman for abusing the ice cream sample policy — a woman who later turns out to be dean of admissions for the private school that the Davids, the Blacks and the Greenes are all hoping their children will attend. Because Larry can't purchase flowers for the dean with the money that came from Marty's jogging shoe, he has to steal a bouquet from Marty's mother's roadside memorial. To patch things up with his wife and Loretta, he steals two more bouquets. Since Marty keeps track of the memorial (and has a freakish sense of smell), he discovers what Larry has done, and after more sample abusing and grave robbing,... read more

"The Anonymous Donor"

Not even Joe Klein had so much trouble being anonymous. Then again, no one ever accused Mr. Klein of using a teddy bear as an aphrodisiac. Episodes like this make you wonder whether Larry David really ever thinks about anything but being master of his domain.Not that we should complain, because even if it is his main concern, we get to hear Susie say stuff like this: "You what? You jerked off in their house? That is sick! You have wrought your semen outside of our home, Jeff? That’s adultery!" Then there was her husband’s explanation that he had had too much Manischewitz at Passover and as such it was excusable, considering, "It’s not Yom Kippur, I would never do it on the high holidays." The Greenes make me swoon, but I pity their poor daughter, Sammy. That little girl is in for a lifetime of serious therapy.We also got the triumphant return of Gina Gershon’s Anna, the Orthodox Jewish dry cleaner. Thank god someone explained the "Law of the Dry Cleaner’s" t... read more

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