10.25.07

Larry David Blows Off The Truly Troubled

Posted in non-sporting journalism, The World Of Entertainment at 8:07 pm by

(l-r : Jeff Garlin and Larry, after reading Sasha Frere-Jones’ “A Paler Shade of White”

The New Yorker’s Jacob Ward spoke with UNC psychology student David Roberts in the current issue, as the latter has tried to treat the schizophrenic with ” television™s purest expression of social dysfunction”, Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.

Roberts considers Larry David to be the perfect proxy for a schizophrenic person. œOn his way into his dentist™s office, he holds the door open for a woman, and, as a result, she™s seen first, he said. œHe stews, he fumes, he explodes. He™s breaking the social rules that folks with schizophrenia often break. He went on, œOr the one where Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen invite Larry and his wife to a concert: the night arrives, they don™t call, Larry assumes they don™t like him, then it turns out he got the date wrong. It™s a classic example of a major social cognitive error”jumping to conclusions”that schizophrenic patients are prone to. As the patients watched David flub situation after situation, they laughed, and they willingly discussed with Roberts how they might behave in the same circumstances. œThat bald man made a mountain out of a molehill! one woman called out during a session.

Larry David has been replaced, however. When no one at œCurb Your Enthusiasm responded to a request for permission to use clips from the show, Roberts and UNC advisor David Penn hired actors to film their own cringe-worthy situations.

Larry David, reached on the telephone in California, said that he hadn™t realized how deeply the awkwardness on his show would affect people. œIt just deals with how you™re supposed to behave, he said. œA lot of the time, it™s just me expressing myself freely. I knew that my own mental health was problematic, but should I be worried? I mean, I blow up, too! Is this something undiagnosed? Do I need to see a clinical psychologist?

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