Jeff Garlin is an actor, writer, director, stand-up comedian, and, of course, Larry David’s amoral manager on Curb Your Enthusiasm (not to mention Susie Essman’s “fat f—” of a husband on the same). Beginning this Thursday, the funnyman will add “podcaster” to his resumé when By the Way, In Conversation with Jeff Garlin debuts on the Earwolf Podcast Network. As its name implies, the show features Garlin yakking it up with a series of notable acquaintances, including Larry David himself, who guests on the first episode.
Below, the jovial Garlin talks about his podcast, the future of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and why it is his patriotic duty to work again with Shakira.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve been recording these conversation-shows at the L.A. club Largo for a while now. What exactly can people expect from the podcast?
JEFF GARLIN: I’ve been doing these for a little over a year. We were recording them knowing we were going to do something with them but we had no plans. People kept on asking me, “What are you going to do with these?” And I always said, “I have no idea.” And then Earwolf presented to me a great opportunity so I went with it.
It’s me and my special guest, whoever they may be, in conversation. It’s not an interview per se, like you’re interviewing me. When someone’s career comes up — which it always does — it comes up in natural conversation, it’s not specifically to promote anything.
Are you saying you’re better than me, sir?
No. Different. [Laughs] I’m not an interviewer. That’s not what I do. But I am good at conversation. And, at worst, the people who do my show are acquaintances. I’ve never had anybody that I didn’t know. Actually, that’s not true. Henry Rollins, which is one of my favorite episodes, I didn’t really know him before I talked to him. No, they’re great fun and we talk about so many different things. For me, it’s really enjoyable and the audience seems to dig it too.
Was it easy to get Larry David to appear? As a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm myself, I imagine him coming up with an endless stream of excuses to not do it.
Well, if it wasn’t me, odds are he wouldn’t appear. He did this for me. He did Jerry Seinfeld’s Internet show. But if you’re not a close friend of his, the odds of getting him are pretty nil.
I listened to a clip of the first show and was fascinated to learn that you once worked with Shakira on the Wizards of Waverly Place.
Yes. I worked with Shakira and she’s a huge Curb Your Enthusiasm fan. That kind of blew my mind. She knew every single episode and she was nervous about meeting me. That was really a thrill. Who doesn’t love Shakira?
I have to say that I met her a couple of years ago and did fall slightly under her spell.
Of course! That’s what I’m saying. It was really quite fun to work with her. I hope I work with her again. I guess the way I could work with her again is if I cast her in something.
I think that’s what the public wants.
[Laughs] “That’s what the public wants!” That’s really the point of our whole conversation — the fact that people want to see Shakira and I together.
Who else do you have coming up on the podcast?
We’ve got Lena Dunham, Jeff Tweedy…
Wait, you’ve got Jeff Tweedy from Wilco?
Yes. It went down great. I just love the guy. That was a great interview. He was nothing but witty. Who else? I’ve got Michael Moore. Mitch Hurwitz. Sarah Silverman. Judd Apatow. Garry Shandling. He was really funny. Hysterical.
You mentioned Mitch Hurwitz. Rumor has it that you will be appearing in the revived Arrested Development.
If I’m not cut out, I will be.
Is that a serious fear?
It’s not a “fear” at all. But it happens. One of the biggest mistakes you can say to somebody is, “Oh, I’m in this movie” or “I’m on this.” There’s a chance always of being cut out. Did I film some stuff for Arrested Development? Yes, I did. So if it makes it, all the better.
You wrote and directed the 2006 comedy I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With. Would you like to make another film?
I have directed another movie. It’s coming out in May from the good people at IFC. It’s called Dealing with Idiots. It’s about youth league baseball parents.
What was the inspiration?
The inspiration was my son playing baseball. I was like, I have to write a movie about this. So I did.
Is there any news on a new season of Curb?
I’d say it looks good but it won’t be any time soon. Because I just finished my movie and [Larry’s] finishing a movie that he did for HBO (the Jon Hamm-starring Clear History). So by the time he writes some more and says, “Do you want to do them?” the earliest we’d start filming, if we did, would be the fall. We’ll see. But I think it’s pretty good.