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Scott Pierce: Curb enthusiasm for HBO's 'Clear History'

Published August 7, 2013 5:33 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Beverly Hills, Calif. •

It's always fun when Larry David appears before a room full of TV critics. He pretends that he hates us.

Or maybe he's not pretending.

Members of the Television Critics Association don't applaud when "talent," as they like to be called in Hollywood, walk into the room. We're journalists, after all. Political reporters don't applaud politicians. Crime reporters don't applaud criminals.

David gets that. But he'll stick it to us, anyway.

"What a welcome," he deadpanned amid the silence. "I love you. Your journalist standards prevented you from any outpouring of love and affection."

And he got a big laugh.

David was here to promote "Clear History," a TV movie that debuts Saturday at 7 and 10:45 p.m. on HBO. He stars as a guy who, in a snit, quits a job and gives up his 10 percent share in an electric car company, which goes on to make billions. A decade later, he's still humiliated and hiding out — until he runs into someone from his past.

David co-wrote the script with Alec Berg and co-stars with Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Michael Keaton, Bill Hader, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan and J.B. Smoove. Greg Mottola directs.

Asked whether he chose to do "Clear History" instead of another season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," David was unexpectedly enthusiastic.

"That's a very good, legitimate question. Nice going," he said. "I would say this. I was thinking about 'Curb' or thinking about doing a movie, and I thought perhaps it's time I tried something else. So I decided to do the movie."

Except, "Clear History" is not much of a departure. It plays out like an overly long, but not overly funny, episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Asked about something specific in the movie, David replied, "Not a great question, sir. I hope that doesn't hurt your feelings."

It was all in fun. And he backtracked.

"You know what? It was a good question," David said. "I'm going to say this. It was a good question. I didn't have a very good answer. I blamed you for the poor question. I should be blamed for the bad answer."

Honestly, there are few people more fun to interview than Larry David.

As to whether there will be more "Curb Your Enthusiasm," David isn't sure.

"I don't know. I really don't know. I couldn't say," he said. "Ask me in six months."

Deciding whether to do another season is "like when I got married, yeah," David said. "I don't know. I'm just an indecisive fellow. You should see me at a restaurant.

"It's a big decision, by the way, to decide to do a season of that show. I don't take it lightly."

Scott D. Pierce's column appears Mondays and Fridays in The Mix. He can be reached at spierce@sltrib.com or 801-257-8603. Send comments about this column to features@sltrib.com.