Larry David, at least judging from his cranky TV persona, doesn’t seem like an awards ceremony kind of guy. And notching lifetime-achievement honors would appear to be enough to send him into a neurotic spiral over mortality (though one perk of death, as imagined by David in a memorable “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode, is getting your hair back in heaven).
Whether he likes it or not, the man who wrote the classic "Seinfeld" episode about a very private kind of contest, has won the Writers Guild of America’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel award for television, Variety reports.
Nobody deserves more to get something for shows about nothing.
In two decades since the premier of “Seinfeld,” David has established himself as TV’s kvetcher-in-chief, blowing up the smallest details of daily human interaction and conflict into comedy. (Or as David’s TV stand-in George Costanza put it in his sitcom pitch to NBC executives: “Nothing happens on the show. You see, it’s just like life.”)
News of David being honored for getting laughs "from our most human, awkward, and revealing moments" follows perhaps the best season yet of “Curb,” which featured a “Seinfeld” reunion where his two creations collided.
The big question, at least for fans, is what will David do after the collecting the award Feb. 20?
David has yet to announce whether he’ll return for an eighth season of “Curb” on HBO. In the meantime, he’s set to guest star on the upcoming Seinfeld-produced show “The Marriage Ref.” He’ll be part of a panel that helps real-life couples settle disputes – calling, no doubt, on his experience as creator of the eternally bickering Frank and Estelle Costanza.
David follows some pretty, pretty, pretty good past winners of the Chayefsky award – among them Steven Bochco (“Hill Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue”), Susan Harris (“Soap,” “The Golden Girls”) and Stephen J. Cannell (“The Rockford Files”).
Perhaps it’s appropriate that David is getting an award named for the man who wrote the line “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore” for the scathing and amazingly prescient 1976 TV news satire “Network.”
But instead of shouting it out his window in a fury, Larry David has proven himself award-worthy by mining the sentiment for laughs.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992. Follow him on Twitter.