If you’re excited to watch the Season 10 finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” this Sunday, so is star J.B. Smoove, because he hasn’t seen it yet either, and he might just be the show and Larry David’s biggest fan.
Before he was even on “Curb” as the scene-stealing Leon, Smoove was an avid watcher of the show along with his wife, and he’s kept it that way over the years by making sure he never knows too much on the day of filming and only watching new episodes as they air to the general public.
Smoove sat down with TheWrap ahead of the wave of cancellations and quarantines that came from the coronavirus, and he explained why he needs to do his own social distancing from any spoilers.
“A lot of the cast, they watch the show, they watch the full episode before it comes out. But I said, I don’t like watching it, I haven’t seen one episode until it airs. So for me it works because I get the chance to really enjoy the show as a fan, I get to enjoy it like that, as opposed to being able to watch it and seeing everything already. So when I watch it and my wife watches it at the same time, I’m as surprised as she is,” Smoove told TheWrap. “See what happens man. I’m watching this show just like you are. I ain’t seen nothin’. I don’t want to see s—! Know what I mean?”
Smoove says that knowing too much even affects his process as an actor, and he’d rather come to set ready to just react as Leon would.
“When I shoot, I shoot my scene, I leave. I don’t want to know who the special guest is, I don’t want to know the storyline. The first two seasons of the show, I didn’t even read the outline, because I wanted to be in the moment all the time,” Smoove said. “I got to the set and asked the producers, ‘what’s my motivation today? What did Larry do?” That way I could be in the moment and have a natural reaction to it. If I read the outline, studied too much over a few days, I’d come in overthinking it. I’d like to just be like a real person. How would a real person react to it?”
The 10th season of “Curb” has remained true to its roots of finding comedy in everyday life even as David has tackled topics like the #MeToo movement or the presence of Donald Trump in the White House. One of this season’s gags involved Larry putting on a MAGA hat in Los Angeles in order to get out of conflicts or conversations, a joke that even earned the attention of Trump himself.
“Larry has a way, the show’s always been fun, it’s always attached itself to what’s going on in the world, and I think that’s what makes it so relevant to people. I think the fun thing about ‘Curb’ is it’s as funny as it is cringeworthy. I know people who can’t watch it, just cannot watch it because it reminds them of their day,” Smoove said. “All those things that kind of annoy Larry, they kind of annoy everybody. I like that he has a way of attaching the show to what’s going on in the world.”
Smoove says that dating back to his days as a writer with “Saturday Night Live,” he watched “Curb Your Enthusiasm” “religiously, and his wife predicted that he’d be a good fit with David.
“You know what, you’re going to be on that show some day. I want to see you and Larry together. You’re both lanky as hell. You say crazy stuff all the time. Larry says crazy stuff, and I think you’d be really funny together,” Smoove recalls his wife saying. “But who knew there would be a seed planted and that I’d get the chance to work with someone I’d admired and a show that I was a big fan of?”
The season 10 finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” airs on HBO on Sunday. Check out the interview with Smoove above.