Richard Lewis Richard Lewis
Richard Lewis has spent the last 35 years explaining to audiences why his life is hell. So it's no surprise that he decided to title the DVD box set of his first three cable specials Concerts from Hell. The collection, which includes

I'm in Pain, I'm Exhausted, I'm Doomed and a recent 90-minute interview with Lewis, hits stores Sept. 13. Twelve days later, the lovable neurotic will pop up on the season premiere of the award-winning Curb Your Enthusiasm. TVGuide.com spoke with Lewis about the art of complaint and how he once harbored an almost palpable hatred for a teenage Larry David.

TVGuide.com: What's it like for you to watch Concerts from Hell now?
Richard Lewis:
The thing about those shows is that when I watch them closely, I realize that I developed more into a storyteller over these last 10 years, even though I love writing jokes. What I saw in these early specials is literally hundreds and hundreds of one-liners that I'm really proud of, that are part of the history and craft of stand-up. That really makes me feel like a comedian.

TVGuide.com: Between you, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, Larry David and many others, Curb Your Enthusiasm boasts some great stand-ups. But who's the best?
Lewis:
We don't judge. We all have very different styles. But to this day, Larry David denies being a fan of mine. He once came up to me at a club and called me "Mr. Lewis." To this day he denies it, and it really p---es me off.

TVGuide.com: When did you and Larry first meet?
Lewis:
We met at a very famous sports camp called Camp All-America, in upstate New York, when we were 13. [Larry] was one of the worst parts of the summer; I hated this guy. If people find him annoying as an adult, they would have found him suffocating as an adolescent. Twelve years later, I was a comedian and he came into the Improv. He started doing stand-up and was unbelievable. We ended up becoming best friends.

TVGuide.com: When did it dawn on you that you had known each other as kids?
Lewis:
At one point, I looked in his eyes and it was almost like a horror film. Instead of Rosemary's Baby, it was "Larry David's Baby." I looked deep into his eyes and said, "I hate you for some reason." It was like a gothic thing. He got really spooked out and was like, "What are you talking about?" and I said, "I don't know. I hate you for some reason." Then we sat down at the bar and retraced our childhood and it led to Camp All-America. I said, "Wait, you're that Larry David?" and we almost came to blows just like we do on the show.

TVGuide.com: What can we expect from the new season of Curb?
Lewis:
Let me just say this: I've had trouble sleeping since we wrapped. This is unlike any other season. [Larry] has topped himself. Of the four seasons, this is a potpourri of such Larry David darkness that it touches every aspect of his warped brain. It's almost like he had a Jewish opium dream.

TVGuide.com: Will people look at Richard Lewis the same after this season?
Lewis:
 They will like me even more and feel even more sympathy for me thanks to Mr. David. When the show begins to pick up its dark momentum, I will be able to go on HBO On Demand and I will scare myself on demand every night for the rest of my life. That's what he has done to me this season.