As you may have heard, Larry David’s influential HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm will be returning to TV for a ninth season. But it’s been five years since the series was last on the air — eons, in internet time. So if you’re either an old fan in need of a refresher or a curious newcomer wondering what all the fuss is about, we’ve put together a list of five essential episodes that we think are a pretty, pretty, pretty good way to reacquaint yourself with the iconic series.
And while the following episodes are some of our favorites, we’re not implying that they’re the all-time best — but we do think they’re up there. (Episodes are listed in chronological order.)
1. “The Doll”
Season 2, Episode 7 (2001)
Larry David has a habit of upsetting a lot of people on the series, but often the funniest instances are when children are involved. Here, Larry, in his infinite wisdom, decides to cut off the hair of a small girl’s favorite doll. He then goes ahead and takes off the doll’s head as well, for reasons that only he could think make sense. The superb episode is rounded out by one of the series’ longest-running, most classic hallmarks: A hysterical, expletive-filled rant from Susie (Susie Essman) as she chews Larry out for his idiocy.
2. “Krazee-Eyez Killa”
Season 3, Episode 8 (2002)
Wanda Sykes is one of the many comedic talents who pop up regularly throughout the show’s many seasons. In season 3, her character falls for a rapper named Krazee-Eyez Killa (Chris Williams) — who, for better or worse (well, worse) becomes Larry’s friend, at least for a while. But let’s just say things don’t end well for anyone involved.
3. “The Grand Opening”
Season 3 Episode 10 (2002)
Much of Curb’s third season revolves around a restaurant that Larry and a group of investors (which includes Ted Danson) are trying to open. The finale centers on the eatery’s first big night, during which Larry hires a chef… who has Tourette’s. Also: look out for a terrific Susie appearance towards the end.
4. “Car Pool Lane”
Season 4, Episode 6 (2004)
A native New Yorker, Larry is often at odds with his Los Angeles milieu — car culture included. So when he realizes he’ll be late for a Dodgers game unless he uses the carpool lane, he comes up with the most reasonable solution that comes to mind: Pick up a hooker on the way.
Season 7, Episode 10 (2009)
Who wouldn’t be excited about a reunion that brings Larry David together with his old friends from the Seinfeld cast? The coffee cart guy with whom Larry gets into a hilarious fight, completely marring the day for everyone, that’s who.