“Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” ninth season premiered Sunday, Oct. 1, at 10 p.m. on HBO.
We caught up with the show’s executive producer Jeff Schaffer at the New York premiere at SVA Theater. Check out what he had to say below:
How did this new season come about? What was the thinking?
Jeff Schaffer: Larry and I talk all the time, and I’d just finished the show The League that I did with my wife. Larry had a movie that someone had offered him to star in and he wanted me to direct. So we were talking about that, and as we were talking about it, he kept mentioning, “Oh, but that would be on Curb … I sort of want to do Curb.” Like, “Well then, why don’t you just do Curb?” And he’s like, “Well, do you think anybody would want to do it?” I’m like, “Yeah.” He’s like, “Do you think anybody would want to see it?” And I go, “Yeah.”
Then we started to talk about Curb. That doesn’t mean we’re doing it, that just means we’re talking about it. Then we had to come up with the season arc that we were happy with, that addressed the last five years and once we had that, then I knew we were doing it. Larry still didn’t know. So, it takes him till there’s about six or seven episodes, until you actually tell him, “Look, we’ve written seven of them, do you want to tell HBO that we’re going to do another season? Because we’re going to have to hire a crew at some point to shoot these.” And that’s how this season happened.
What was the timeline on this?
Jeff Schaffer: It was winter and spring of 2016, we were talking. Then we got to finally really work in the beginning of summer of 2016, actually writing.
What can fans expect from this new season?
Jeff Schaffer: This season everybody’s back. Curb is back with a vengeance. You’re going to see everybody you love, including some blasts from seasons way past, that are going to come back to surprise Larry, too. It’s a very fun season. It’s a really ambitious season. I think we tried … Production wise, casting wise, scheduling wise, it was one of the most ambitious things we’d ever tried, and I think we pulled it off.
How did you initially first connect with Larry to work with him, in the beginning of your career?
Jeff Schaffer: My writing partner, Alec Berg and I, submitted ideas to Seinfeld a long, long … in ’94. We were working on Conan, we had to come back to LA for a little bit. We submitted ideas and then we were just about to go back to New York for Conan and we got a call that they read our stuff and liked it. So we walked in and all of a sudden this show that I used to watch in college, we’re now in the room with Larry and Jerry. So we started writing there from season six and seven and then Larry left for seasons eight and nine. And Alec and Dave Mandel and I, with Jerry, were running the show.
What do you think of this trend of reboots of TV shows and the nostalgia?
Jeff Schaffer: Well, by the way, we’re almost a reboot. I think, if you’re going to wait six years, it’s almost like we rebooted Curb. We just didn’t get new actors. I think people still fondly remember some shows that made a special mark, like Arrested and stuff like that. You’re like, “Oh, I can’t wait to see that again.” And hopefully people feel the same way about Curb.
What’s coming up next for you?
Jeff Schaffer: Well, we go back after tonight and we go back to LA and sit in an edit room and finish this season.
It’s not done yet?
Jeff Schaffer: No, it’s not done yet. The end of the show, the last few episodes, are really big, and we’re still editing them right now.
What advice do you have for writers?
Jeff Schaffer: One thing I would always say is, when you’re writing your spec scripts, one of the things I would always suggest that they do, before you send it someone, read it out loud. Because when you’re reading it to yourself, you skip over things. When you read it out loud, one, you may catch tons of typos and things. Like, “Oh, there should be a not there.” He’s now doesn’t like her. Or, and also you go like, “Oh, that doesn’t sound like human speech.” That’s the first thing I would say. Before you want to send it somewhere, read it out loud!