If you're looking to post video from a gym pratfall – or better yet, a Presidential press conference gone bad – there's no better background music than the theme to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Exhibit A: Dr. Tony Fauci -- the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases -- tried to muffle a laugh during a recent coronavirus briefing with President Trump. He didn't succeed very well. Enter the Curb theme.
Since 2000, star and creator Larry David has used the song to begin and wrap-up each episode of his HBO comedy. But he doesn't get the credit for creating the tuba-heavy classic: it all goes to Italian composer Luciano Michelini. Before you lay the music down for your next Instagram video, here's the backstory on the omnipresent tune.
The song is called "Frolic" and was written by Michelini, a Rome-based pianist and conductor who began composing for Italian and foreign films in the '70s. He told Vice in 2017 that he penned the tune for Italian actor Nina Toffolo, whose character Il Barone Rosso (The Red Baron) lived in a small airplane on the beach in the movie La Bellissima Estate. "A while later, Larry David's production team contacted the music editor, and I found out Larry had chosen Frolic as the main theme song for his new series. The funny thing is they also wanted to know if I was still alive because the movie was from 1974!"
David told the podcast Origins that he heard it in the background of a bank commercial and decided he must have it for his show. “There was something circusy about it," he told host James Andrew Miller. "I like to get away with things, comedically, and sometimes music can help in that regard. It tells the audience: Don’t take this seriously, it’s just funny.” Thank God Michelini gave HBO rights to the song.
"Frolic" is now the go-to song for any minor – or major – snafu that's captured on film or an iPhone. It's a phenomenon that has truly blown away the composer. “If I think of how many great songs there are in the world, I find it difficult to explain how Frolic has become such a success and so recognizable," he told one outlet. "I can only guess it was just the right song for the right TV show at the right time. I wrote the instruments including mandolin, tuba, piano, and strings to really catch the ear of the listener. It’s a piece with comical DNA.”
Here's some of the better uses of "Frolic" on the internet.
Have you seen an excellent use of the Curb theme? Post it below!
Original episodes of comedy, which is in its 10th season, air Sundays on HBO.