‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’: Larry David Recreated Trump’s Mugshot After SAG-AFTRA Strike, EP Says

Jeff Schaffer tells TheWrap about scrambling to add the joke before the HBO comedy’s premiere

'Curb Your Enthusiasm' Larry David Mugshot
Larry David's Trump-Inspired Mugshot from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" Season 12 (HBO)

Note: This story contains spoilers from the Season 12 premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Larry David was left in hot water by the end of the Season 12 premiere of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The episode saw the writer/producer/comedian get arrested in Fulton County, Georgia, for inadvertently breaking the state’s voting laws after giving water to Auntie Rae (Ellia English). The episode, titled “Atlanta,” concluded with David’s mugshot, a recreation of Donald Trump’s infamous 2023 mugshot from his own Georgia arrest — spray tan and all!

Though the Atlanta storyline had been written into the season for quite some time, “Curb” executive producer Jeff Schaffer said the team added the joke homage to Trump’s arrest after the resolution of the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Larry David and Ellia English in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 12, Episode 1 (John Johnson/HBO)

“We were always going to Atlanta because of the that barbaric law that you can’t give anybody water or food when they’re in line for voting,” Schaffer told TheWrap. “When we were talking about stories, Larry said, ‘This law is insane. I think it’d be funny if I got arrested for that.’ ”

Schaffer said he and David learned about the Trump news after filming on the entire season already concluded.

“Trump gets caught with one of his many hands in one of the many cookie jars, and I remember just walking in and I said to Larry, ‘This is crazy. You’re in Atlanta, he’s in Atlanta, you just got arrested. Let’s do this!’ ” He continued. “We had to wait until the strike was over to even be able to shoot Larry looking like our former Oompa Loompa. So it came completely afterwards.

“It was honestly a byproduct of us having to wait around during the strike. It was perfect and now it looks like the whole thing was because of that and that was the last thing that happened,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer also highlighted a hilarious scene featuring Larry getting into an expletive-filled argument with Siri, in which Schaffer played the AI assistant during filming.

“It was one of these free-floating kind of scenes,” Schaffer said. “We actually had it in a different episode originally because we were cramming it in.”

Schaffer explained the basics of the scene to David, such as the name of the restaurant, but gave him no other information of what Siri had in store before filming.

Larry David in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 12 Episode 1. (John Johnson/HBO)

“I had a few ideas for how I was going to frustrate him. It’s my voice on the walkie that we just replaced with Siri (in post-production),” he said. “So he’s just getting angrier and angrier, and more and more frustrated, and I’m literally Googling words that rhyme with c–t. And they’re talking to him and trying to figure out how to do this. So it was super funny when we shot it. It was better than we could have ever hoped because he’s really in the moment having a real-time fight with Siri. But Siri was me.”

Additionally, Schaffer noted there were more vignettes featuring David interacting with J.B. Smoove and other guests during the party sequence that didn’t end up making the final cut.

“We had two or three other very funny little vignettes at that party,” he said. “They were all funny but there were too many of them and we were just there too long. You may not pay the bill at the party, but you pay the bill later, so they had to go for pace.”

In addition to David and Smoove, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 12 stars Jeff Garlin (“The Goldbergs”), Susie Essman (“Broad City”), Cheryl Hines (“Suburgatory”), Richard Lewis (“Anything But Love”), Ted Danson (“The Good Place”), Vince Vaughn (“Wedding Crashers”) and Tracey Ullman (“Tracey Ullman’s Show”). 

David, Schaffer and Garlin serve as executive producers, with Laura Streicher and Jennifer Corey serving as co-executive producers.

The first episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” Season 12 is available to stream now. New episodes premiere Sundays on HBO and Max

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