Best Of 2020: The Curb Your Enthusiasm Corona Episode
A lot of people have been clamoring for a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode based on the Coronavirus. How would the brilliant, comedic genius of Larry David do an episode based on this pandemic? Well unfortunately, we don’t know. Season 10 is already wrapped, and nothing will be filming anytime soon.
I took a Writing For Sitcoms class in college and wrote a “spec script” for a full Curb episode, so that obviously makes me extremely qualified to take it upon myself and write an entire fake Corona episode. I’ve already blogged one scene from that full episode that you can read here.
I’m not writing this in that screenplay format because I think it’s harder to read on a blog. Instead, I’ll just write paragraphs explaining what happens and include some dialogue.
I present to you ….
The Curb Your Enthusiasm Corona Episode
Background: Los Angeles is in its early stages of the coronavirus spread. It’s not yet the global pandemic that it is today. Let’s instead think back to how things were a couple of weeks ago. We’ll also pretend that this is a part of Season 10 currently airing and draw on some of those existing storylines.
INT. LATTE LARRY'S
The TV is on airing the latest news about the spread of the virus. Larry is getting visibly nervous and complaining about how people aren’t taking it seriously enough. He’s afraid of people spreading it at his coffee shop, but he refuses to close down since Mocha Joe hasn’t either. Instead, he just adds a “No Coughing Or Sneezing” sign next to the “No Defecating” one.
Larry notices an Asian customer begin to cough and sneeze. Larry becomes visibly alarmed. The man continues to cough and sneeze. Larry goes over to his table and asks the man to leave. Shocked and appalled, the man accuses Larry of being discriminatory just because he’s Asian and causes a scene.
Customer: “Oh you’re only going to kick me out?! The only Asian in here!”
Larry: “No, it’s not because you’re Asian. It’s because you’re the only one coughing and sneezing!”
Customer: “This is not what the country needs right now! We’re on the verge of a pandemic, and you’re out here trying to point the finger at the Asian community for it! It’s textbook discrimination, you racist pig! I’m going to Mocha Joe’s!”
Larry: “I’m not pointing fingers! No fingers are being pointed! We have a no coughing and sneezing sign, not a “No Asians” sign. You coughed and sneezed!”
The man storms out and other customers are shooting Larry dirty looks. Some begin to leave and head next door. Larry tries to reason with them. “I’m protecting you guys from the sneezes! You should be thanking me!”
INT. JEFF'S HOUSE
Larry is explaining the situation at the coffee shop to Jeff. Not totally caught up with all the Corona panic, Jeff asks Larry to explain it to him. Larry talks about the symptoms and the spread, and how people must self-quarantine for an extended period of time if they have the virus. Jeff is clearly interested in what Larry is saying.
Jeff: “So if you have it, then you HAVE to stay by yourself? With nobody else? For 14 days?”
Larry: “Yup. Only the infected can stay together. Can’t spread it to the healthy.”
Susie barges in to interrupt the conversation.
Susie: “Are you guys talking about that stupid virus? I hope it specifically targets bald people you miserable fuck.”
Larry: “You know, I actually heard beautiful, kind women are the most at risk to it, so you should be safe.”
The bickering comes to an end, and Susie reminds Larry that he agreed to make a donation and speak at her friend’s fundraising charity event for impoverished children in the Los Angeles area. The event is in a few days. Larry forgot about it and is now hesitant because he doesn’t want to go somewhere with a lot of people. Susie screams at him and says he can’t cancel after already agreeing to do it. Larry debates it but then says, “You know what? I could use some good karma at a time like this. I guess I’ll still do it.”
Susie tells him he needs to wear a special shirt the charity has and gives to all their guest speakers as a thank you for the donation. Her friend gave it to Susie to give to Larry. When she gives it to him, he immediately mocks the unique material it’s made of.
Larry: “THIS is what they’re making me wear? How can they tell me what to wear? Is my donation not enough for these people? Will my check bounce if I don’t wear their stupid little shirt? Unbelievable!”
Susie screams, “JUST WEAR IT YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!” as she shoos Larry out of the house.
Jeff (under his breath): “I really gotta catch this god damn virus.”
As Larry walks out to his car with the shirt, he begins to sneeze and cough a bit. He thinks it’s odd, but doesn’t dwell on it. He gets in his car, tosses the shirt to the backseat, and drives away.
INT. LARRY'S HOUSE
Larry enters his house as Leon is kissing a girl goodbye. Larry looks disgusted. The girl leaves.
Larry: “What was that all about?”
Leon: “What? Just a little Tuesday matinee.”
Larry: “We have to cut down on house guests at a time like this. I don’t know what type of germs you’re bringing in here.”
Leon: “Oh don’t sweat it, LD. Black people can’t get Corona. I'm good.”
Larry (confused): “What does that mean? Who the hell said that?”
Leon: “You see the news report one black person having it? I haven’t. This shit started in China, not Africa. We safe, LD.”
Larry: “Just please for my piece of mind, tell me there will be no more strangers coming over here.”
Leon: “Alright fine. I swear on my grandmother.”
Larry: “Your grandmother? Isn’t she …. you know … dead?”
Leon: “Yeah, so?”
Larry: “I mean swearing on a dead person …. that doesn’t really mean much to me.”
Leon: “Larry, I’m swearing on her legacy!”
Larry: “Yeah that just doesn’t do much for me. What is she gonna do? Die again? Means nothing.”
Leon (exasperated): “Look Larry, I just won’t have any fucking guests over, alright”
Larry: "Thank you!"
INT. LARRY'S COUNTRY CLUB
Larry, Jeff, Richard Lewis, and Freddy Funkhouser (Vince Vaughn) are having lunch at the club. They’re making some small talk over the Coronavirus scare. Jeff says he’s strictly been eating hand-held food and not washing his hands in hopes of contracting the virus so he can get quarantined from Susie. When the food comes, Jeff licks the ketchup bottle and then rubs Larry’s hands to get some more possible germs before digging in. Larry is disgusted and goes to the bathroom to wash his hands before eating.
After washing his hands, Larry just shakes them off to air dry them and walks out of the bathroom. Outside the door, he runs into another club member named Paul that Larry vaguely knows. They shake hands, and Paul makes a disgusted face.
Larry: “What’s wrong?”
Paul: “Your hands. They’re just wet and disgusting.”
Larry: “That’s better than them being dry.”
Paul: “What? How?”
Larry: “The wetness is proof of the wash! If they were dry, you might think I didn’t wash my hands! You need handwashing proof at a time like this!”
Paul explains to Larry that germs can actually transfer more easily when hands are damp, so Larry should properly dry them going forward. Larry takes this to heart and applauds himself for being able to gather new information and learn from it.
INT. LATTE LARRY’S
Larry goes to check in on his coffee shop and sees that it’s empty, while Mocha Joe’s next door is packed. Word got out about Larry’s “discrimination incident” so people chose to avoid going to Latte Larry’s out of protest. Mocha Joe comes over to boast to Larry about how his business is booming. Larry spins it by saying he’s just looking out for public health.
Larry: “You’re not taking this virus seriously, Mocha Joe! Having everyone come into your gross coffee shop and spread it all over the place. I’m shutting down!”
Mocha Joe: “Good, that’s more business for me! People don’t want to buy coffee from a racist asshole anyway!”
Larry (angry): “He was coughing and sneezing! That’s why he got kicked out! But anyway, people don’t want to get coffee from a place where they’re going to catch a deadly virus either. So I hope that extra money is worth the guilty conscience of killing people!”
Larry storms off. He closes down the shop and puts up a sign that says “Closed To Save Lives”
INT. LARRY’S HOUSE
We cut to a scene in Larry’s house where he’s explaining the situation to Leon. Larry is angry that he was forced to shut down and that it may cost him some business.
Leon: “So did you actually close down for public health?”
Larry: “No I didn’t close down for public health! It was my only choice. I don’t give a shit about any of these people but looking like I do was my only option.”
Leon: “Notice how there’s still no black people who got it.”
The conversation is interrupted when Larry gets a phone call from Jeff. Jeff tells Larry that he’s tested positive for the coronavirus.
Larry: “That’s great news! Isolation from Susie!”
Jeff: “The bad news is that she tested positive as well. We’re quarantined alone in our house together for the next 14 days.”
Larry laughs at Jeff’s misfortune and the entire situation backfiring on him.
INT. CHARITY EVENT
The charity event is going on as scheduled. Nothing in Los Angeles is officially shut down yet, besides Latte Larry’s, so people didn’t see a reason to cancel. Larry gets there and goes to the bathroom first. After washing his hands, Larry is seen to be thoroughly drying his hands for awhile.
As soon as he walks out of the bathroom, he runs into Susie’s friend, Lucy. They shake hands and Lucy makes a bit of a concerned face as they’re shaking. This puzzles Larry, but neither of them comment on it. She sees that Larry isn’t wearing the shirt and asks him about it.
Larry: “Oh shoot! I totally forgot. But if we’re being honest, do I really …. need to wear it?”
Lucy sighs and looks agitated.
Larry: “Alright fine, it’s actually in my car still. I’ll go run and grab it.”
Larry gets the shirt and comes back inside to get changed just minutes before his speech. Before he takes the stage, he again begins to sneeze and cough. Before he can worry about it, they call his name to take the stage and give the speech.
Larry takes the podium, but can’t stop sneezing and coughing. He tries to start his speech, but can’t get through it. The crowd looks concerned. The sneezes continue. Larry is befuddled until he looks down at the shirt and realizes he’s having an allergic reaction to the weird material, remembering that he also had the same reaction when Susie gave it to him.
The crowd is all out panicking. People are screaming “He has the virus!” “Larry David has Corona!” “He’s spreading it to all of us!” Larry looks out to the crowd and screams “No! It’s the shirt! It’s an allergic reaction!”
Lucy from before yells out: “He didn’t even wash his hands before! They were dry as sandpaper when I shook them!”
Larry yells, “No! I had just dried them! Damp hands spread germs!” as he continues to sneeze.
People call an ambulance to take him away, as Larry continues to plea that he doesn’t have the virus. “It’s just the shirt! I’ll take it off!” He takes off his shirt and his body has red spots all over it due to the allergic reaction. This freaks out people even more.
Larry sighs and says, “Ah shit” as we see the ambulance arrive.
As Larry is getting taken into the Corona testing area, we see him explaining to the nurses that it was just an allergic reaction. “I don’t have the virus! It was the stupid shirt! If anything, I’m gonna catch the virus here from all these people who actually have it!”
The camera pans to the other side of the room where we see the Asian customer (John) from earlier in the episode sitting next to Paul from the country club hand-washing incident. They both look at what’s happening with Larry.
John (surprised and angry): “Larry David?!”
Larry looks over and is shocked to see the two here together.
Paul: “You know him?”
John: “Yeah that racist kicked me out of his coffee shop!”
Paul: “That’s probably where you got the virus! He gave it to me with his damp hands!”
Larry (freaking out): “No! I don’t have it! I have allergies! You were the one sneezing in my coffee shop! And my hands were clean!”
Paul and John shoot Larry disgusted looks as he’s getting taken into another room.
John: “This is your fault. Look what you’ve done!”
Paul: “You did this, Larry David! You spread the coronavirus around Los Angeles!”
Larry enters the other room as he continues to have a classic Larry freak-out. “I didn’t spread it! I don’t have it! It was the shirt!”
The meltdown continues. Cue the music.
See also, the 2020 Episode: