Entertainment

This Podcast Is Basically a Four-Hour Oral History of Curb Your Enthusiasm

Listen to Origins with James Andrew Miller Before the Show's Ninth Season Premiere

By Sam Eichner ·
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Photo: HBO

You could prepare for the much-anticipated ninth season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm by binge-watching your favorite episodes. That wouldn’t be a bad choice. But it wouldn’t be the best choice, either. Because you could spend that time, instead, listening to the first, five-part chapter or the new podcast, Origins with James Andrew Miller. It’s more or less a four-hour-plus oral history of Curb, featuring interviews with everyone from Susie Essman, to Ted Danson, to director Larry Charles, to Larry David himself. And, let me tell you, it’s pretty, pretty, prettyeh, you probably know where I'm going with this.

If you're unfamiliar with Miller, he’s the author (or co-author) of several best-selling entertainment-related oral histories, such as Live from New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live and Power House CAA: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency. The podcast, as Vulture says, will “explore how prominent things came to be and how they’ve impacted the culture.” While Miller’s background suggest otherwise, he’s hinted that the podcast will tell stories beyond the realm of entertainment (The Hollywood Reporter suggests one revolve around a “famous romantic relationship,” which has certainly piqued our interest).

As for now, though, you should probably catch up on those Curb episodes. Miller wisely deploys a light hand, here, letting his subjects tell the real story. Some gems include tales of David’s early life as “a comic’s comic,” the improv session that led to the casting of the eminently talented J.B. Smoove and the terms under which David got full autonomy from HBO, in a way few, if any, creators have gotten before or since. For those interested in how the sausage is made, it also offers a fascinating glimpse into David’s creative processhow he outlines, films, improvises, casts and edits the show we know and love. In the event you've forgotten in the six intervening years since the last season, the pod serves as a welcome reminder that, with David, we’re truly witnessing the work of a once-in-a-generation type of comedic genius.

You can download Origins wherever you download podcasts nowadays. And though they haven’t been released quite yet, Miller has promised to periodically release full interviews with those he talked to for the oral history. Meanwhile, season nine of Curb Your Enthusiasm premieres on October 1st.  

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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