Larry David's brand of humor has always been a bit divisive. For some, his dry wit and constantly awkward composure is supreme socio-political satire and makes Curb Your Enthusiasm a must-watch. For others, his punchlines are hard to parse out from all the deadpanning and inadvertent insulting going on.
So, it's hardly any surprise that while hosting Saturday Night Live, David managed to ruffle a few feathers, but what is surprising is how he managed to do so: By trying to make a moment of his signature situational comedy out of the Holocaust. Yes, really.
He started out by addressing the dozens of sexual assault allegations levied against Harvey Weinstein and others in Hollywood (another subject that has given SNL's talent some pause in the past) and added, "I couldn't help but notice a very disturbing pattern emerging which is that many of the predators — not all of them, but many — are Jews. And I have three words to say to that: oy vey ist mir."
The last bit is a Yiddish phrase meaning "Woe is me," and the reason David turned to that is because he has his own history (at least on Curb) of giving women unwanted attention.
"I don't like it when Jews are in the headlines for notorious reasons," David, who is Jewish, continued. "I know I consistently strive to be a good Jewish representative."
He then proceeded to talk about his effort to be the idyllic representation of his religious community before laying into the lines that left some aghast.
"I often wondered if I'd grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp? I think I would," David said.
For many viewers, the phrase "too soon" will always apply to that moment in history, so David's joke was not redeemable in any way.
Did Larry David really just use his platform on SNL to turn a comment about the Weinstein scandal into a holocaust joke? Yes. Yes he did.— sophia (@herMajestysopha) November 5, 2017
Others thought he was well within his rights to make the joke, since he himself is Jewish.
I'm seeing Larry David getting a hard time for a holocaust joke. He's Jewish. Am I going mental here?— Limmy (@DaftLimmy) November 5, 2017
Finally, there were those who perceived all the outrage against him as yet another installment of his long-running schtick of making the world angry by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
the internet upset at Larry David for his holocaust joke is pretty much the most Larry David thing ever.— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) November 5, 2017
larry david getting backlash for telling holocaust jokes on SNL just sounds like a curb your enthusiasm episode— Sam Allan (@s_mallan) November 5, 2017
Saturday Night Live airs Saturdays at 11:30/10:30.