TV’s All-Time Greatest Writers

Larry David

“You can’t be that honest and function in society. These confrontations frighten me so I avoid them and save it up for the show. It’s a little bit of a fantasy.” — Larry David on the real Larry David

Highlights: Creator of Seinfeld (1989-96) and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Influence: For better or for worse, David created a world where where it’s OK to say exactly what we think and not learn anything, ever. Whereas sitcoms before it plodded along to some moral ending that was essentially meaningless, Seinfeld embraced absurdity, and at 30 scenes a show, set a new benchmark in sitcom writing. After Seinfeld, David re-worked the sitcom again with Curb, which was so different it initially confused people: Is it a documentary? Why is the guy who did Seinfeld on camera? And what is that music? (It’s Luciano Michelini’s “Frolic,” which David originally heard on a bank commercial years before, in case you’re wondering. Needless to say, people figured it out, and thus David ensured more ostensibly weird, improv-based shows were on their way (yay!).

Supplemental reading: David’s short essay Fore! in The New Yorker on how to accept being bad at golf (short read and perfect for all you summer golfers).