Sunday night’s season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” brings the series to an even 80 episodes – 10 episodes for each of its eight seasons, to be specific.
But for comedian/actor JB Smoove, 80 episodes is 20 short of what the show’s star and creator, Larry David, ought to produce. And Smoove – who plays outspoken Leon Black on the HBO series – says he’s been just as outspoken in urging Larry to do more.
“I told Larry three years ago, when I got on the show [in Season 6], I said, ‘Larry, you have to do an even 10 [seasons]!’ ” Smoove told XfinityTV on the phone from L.A. the other day. “And he said, ‘I’ll be a senior citizen by then!’ I said, ‘Larry, you can do 10 seasons!’ I said, ‘Do 10 seasons, so you have an even 100! A hundred just sounds great on a boxed set – 80 doesn’t sound as enticing!’ ”
The question arises because David, currently 64, is famously noncommittal to the idea of embarking on a new season whenever another season comes to a close. For example, the season ending Sunday (Sept. 11) didn’t premiere until nearly two years after Season 7 ended in November 2009.
Smoove, whose character of Leon played a big part in Season 8 – following Larry to New York City to continue his role as free-loader and comic foil – does not know if Larry will sign on for a ninth season, much less a 10th one, though Smoove tried hard to get him to say yes.
“I said, ‘Come on, man! You gotta do a hundred episodes!’ ” he said, explaining the difference between 80 and 100. “When you tell somebody you’re 80 years old, they’re like, ‘Oh, wow, you’re up there.’ You tell somebody you’re a 100 years old? WOW! You made it to a hundred! People feel better that you made it to a hundred than you made it to 80!”
For Smoove, the season in New York was the best yet. “Man, this season was great,” he said. “I think Larry going to New York was a great idea. Larry loves New York, man. He so appreciated every moment of it.”
Indeed, New York gave David and the show a whole new location in which to create various scrapes for the Larry David character to get into. In the season finale – titled “Larry vs. Michael J. Fox” – Larry tangles with apartment “neighbor” Fox in a storyline that has Larry suing the “Spin City” star for harassment.
The season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” airs at 10 p.m./9c Sunday, Sept. 11, on HBO.